Monday, 23 January 2012

"Michael Schumacher? Didn't He Paint The Mona Lisa?"

You know those moments when you think, "please, God, I'll be moral and wholesome for the rest of my life if you just open up the ground and let me be swallowed right now"? I have them about once a week (sometimes twice), and this week's occurred whilst watching my sister receive her master's degree. There's something incredibly humbling (read:depressing) about being in a room full of people who are ten times cleverer than you, especially when you are sat in the front row and all you can see are geniuses (genii?) every which way you turn. Me and Chris amused ourselves before it started by playing Guess Who?, which basically consisted of selecting people from the other side of the room and giving the other person clues to guess them. Pretty sure people that overheard us thought we were rather odd when we started exclaiming, "is it that old woman in the bomber jacket that is now waving at us?" (it was). I then demonstrated that I am obviously not a genius by leaning my boot on the back of the empty bench in front and accidentally kicking the whole thing over, complete with the coat of the woman sat a few seats down from me. The ceremony was one of those 'only applaud at the end of each group' types, which meant that stifling a laughing fit was incredibly difficult and I literally had to suffocate myself with my scarf in order to keep from making even more of a scene than I already had. Just as I was calming down, a boy called Christopher Christmas went up to get his degree. Christopher Christmas. That was his actual name. After that, I had very little self control left - I'm just glad both my parents were there to experience the feeling of being so proud of one child whilst simultaneously being mortified at the behaviour of another.

As with most weeks, I have spent the majority of this one confined in a small space behind a deli counter, gradually going insane and making masks out of paper bags only to nearly break my nose trying to rip them off in a hurry as my boss comes round the corner. We were informed by our manager this week that at the end of the month all members of staff will be sent to the office for a sit down 'review' of their behaviour and progress. It was around this time that I started to regret changing my manager's phone settings to Dutch and leaving it like that for almost a week whilst watching her struggle to change it back. It probably also doesn't help that I greet her with 'guten tag' every morning and yell 'auf wiedersehen!' every time she leaves the counter...
In Cornish pasty related news, I have discovered after a little argument with a customer that we shouldn't be calling our Cornish pasties 'traditional' because they are made with minced beef instead lamb. The argument wasn't about the name, it was because I thought she was saying 'jam' and had started ranting about how vile jam would be in a Cornish pasty and that she was vile for thinking it. It wasn't until the customer had stormed off that my co-worker explained that she had actually been saying 'lamb', which, in hindsight, makes a lot more sense... Despite most people on the deli being relatively intelligent, I often wonder whether we aren't all a lot more stupid than we think. The other day we had a lengthy discussion about who painted the Mona Lisa, which, as a topic, seems somewhat intellectual until Arnold Schwarzenegger starts getting thrown about and someone gets Michael Schumacher and Michelangelo mixed up. (In fairness, this was the same girl that got the NCP and the BNP mixed up, so we'll cut her some slack). At least as a whole we're more intelligent that most of the customers, though. I can understand how vanilla fudge might look vaguely similar to chunks of cheddar cheese, but when people come up and actually say, "ooh, look, pink cheese!", things are getting ridiculous. It's amazing how someone's perception of strawberry fudge can cause you to judge them so severely.

As I'm sure I have made aware, I have recently taken to measuring my karmic synergy, not in order to better myself as a person, but basically just to try and get good stuff for free. At the moment, I'm not expecting too much good karma as I recently backed my dad's car into a wall whilst going down a lane near my house. (I was reversing to let someone else get past, because I am kind and courteous - karma, take note). It turned out to be a lot bigger than a 'little scratch' and as such trying to wipe it off with spit did not work as well as it has done in the past. It took the heat off me a little bit when my dad got a letter saying my sister had been caught speeding on her way to work, and not only was she speeding, but she was yawning as she did so. Nothing says cool like yawning as you break the law. I have my speed awareness course on Friday as a result of my own law-breaking antics and I'm tempted to ask whether or not we can get a 2 for 1 deal as I obviously hail from a family of miscreants.

In other news, I have recently booked a plane ticket to Australia because I am bored of selling pork pies, and when one is bored of pork pies, one is bored of life. (The realisation came to me after the best part of my day last week was holding a roast chicken above my head and singing The Circle of Life). In order to organise my finances for said trip, I have sorted through all my payslips over the past 6 months and realised that somewhere along the line I have spent £2,000 that is not accounted for through rent, paying back my overdraft, or transport related fines - which basically means I have effectively eaten two grand. Still, I managed to scrape enough together for my plane ticket so it's all good. I was going to go somewhere a bit more exotic, but foreign languages are not my forte, and as I'm going by myself I thought it might be a little easier to get by if everyone around me spoke the same language. (As me, not as each other). I once went into a cafe in France and thought I would whack out my linguistic skills and order a coffee in French. I made sure I put extra emphasis on one, coffee and milk so that there would be no need for her to reply, because once they ask you something it becomes apparent that you are culturally ignorant and don't actually speak their language, you have just lazily memorised a phrase from the guide book and hoped for the best (which is what I did). Anyway, she obviously felt that I had given insufficient information and proceeded to ask me a question (I could tell by her eyebrows that she expected an answer instead of just a smile). I've no idea what she asked, but I'm fairly sure the answer was not: "where is the station", "my summer holidays were great", or a detailed description of my morning routine, including what I had for breakfast, which is pretty much all I learnt at school. I soldiered on and managed to get what I wanted in the end though. (Before anyone takes this away from me, the fact that I resorted to speaking in English in no way makes it any less of a feat...)


Anonymous said...

hahahahaha I wish I had your life, it's funnier

Melissa Pace said...

This is hysterical. I'm also fantastic at shaming my parents in public.
It seems like your Dutch is pretty good, perhaps your travel destinations aren't so limited?

Nana Sue said...

The only response I can make to your blog is has someone warned the Aussies that you're about to visit them !!!!!!!!!!