Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Very Stinky Lunchour

The last time I quoted a conversation between two prototypical "Stinkies," the transcription was referred to as "a weird sort of poetry." I couldn't have agreed more.

Now I'm happy to present you with an extended transcript of BOTH SIDES of a stinky conversation, including a bonus "Muffy vs. Stinky" moment at the end.

During lunch today at Tim Horton's, the stinkies sat down at the table next to me as I was trying to write on my portable "Alphasmart Neo." The male stinky (Robert) wears suspenders and looks a bit like a turtle. The female's plumage is brighter -- pink shoes and fuzzy baby-blue pantsuit -- but her mental abilities appear far below Robert's...she repeats herself endlessly and always seems to be annoying him.

Their conversation here starts with the two of them sitting down, then the female stinky lurching to her feet and asking:

You want a donut?

No, I don't want a tea donut, ohhh.

One honey dip. You want it?


She buys a box of timbits and puts it on the table, then stands.

You be here for a while? I'm goin' home now.

You don't need that coat.

I'm cold, my back's cold.


I don't wanna get cold on my back. I'm goin' home now. You want your coat?

NO I don't want my coat.

Goin' home now. Goin' home now.

She leaves the store. Robert, alone, sits quietly for a while, then he starts leaning toward me and saying "Ma'am? Ma'am? Ma'am?" I ignore him because I know that if I make any sort of response, he'll start talking and he won't leave me alone.

Fortunately he is interrupted by the store's mentally handicapped employee. This is amusing because the employee really likes Robert, but Robert obviously DOES NOT return the sentiment. The employee keeps telling Robert not to eat donuts because they're bad for his health and will give him a belly. The employee won't go away. He thinks Robert is his best friend.

I become aware that even the stinkies have a pecking order and I feel less bad for ignoring him.

Eventually the woman comes back. She talks with Robert for a bit, and soon I start transcribing again.

It won't last that long. Won't last that long. Got a honey dip, another honey cruller, one honey dip. Got that one. He doesn't like that, you know that? Doesn't like honey cruller. He won't eat that cruller.

How do YOU know what he ain't gonna have?

One boston cream that he'll eat tonight. One boston cream that he'll eat tonight. I tole you.

(A moment of blissful silence).

They makin' honey crullers. You think they makin' honey crullers? You think they makin' honey crullers?


Two of them back there. They two of them. You think they makin' honey crullers? You think they makin' honey crullers?

Suddenly Robert leans toward me and starts saying "Ma'am? Ma'am?" again. I ignore him, pretending to be busy. The female stinky asks him what he wants and he says "I wanna know if she gets a SIGNAL on that thing," gesturing at the keyboard. "MA'AM! MA'AM!" The female stinky says "She's busy" and Robert says "I don't care, I'LL GET MY ANSWER. MA'AM! MA'AM! MA'AM!"

He is now literally YELLING at me and the people in the store are looking at us. I glance up at him and he says "Do you get a signal on that thing?" I say "no" and go back to typing.

The female stinky says "That's a guy, not a ma'am." However confused the female stinky seems to be, I suddenly realize that she's the more socially capable one.

Robert is very disgruntled, muttering at an old lady nearby who's been staring at us. The old lady says -- by way of obvious explanation -- "She's busy," and Robert says "He wants to be like that? He wants to be like THAT?" There is some degree of gender confusion going on now. I continue typing as though nothing's happening

Eventually he calms down. I don't dare transcribe any further now that he's got his eyes on me.


Anonymous said... having dinner in the same place as the Gumbys.

Anonymous said...

or eating at Reuben's

Anonymous said...

Me? I refuse to read this - I really dont get YOU looking down on other people. :-/

Adam Thornton said...

Why should *I* not look down on people who I consider to be difficult and obnoxious? As usual I'm defining the "stinkies" as truly unpleasant people. We defined them as such (way back when) because they were so annoying to serve. I DO look down on people who consistently behave poorly.

Robert Stinky's outburst at the end of the post is a facet of this unpleasantness. If you'd, you know, read it.

Adam Thornton said...

The Stinkies ARE an awful lot like Gumbies, which makes me think they're in every nation. :)

VanillaJ said...

I seldom have to deal with stinkie-like people anymore because my job no longer entails dealing with the general public. I can expect that the people I serve have a certain decorum and intellect. In minimum-wage service jobs, there is no protection from dealing with certain elements of society. In fact, I find it high inequitable that 'problem people' tend to accumulate around those who are often quiet powerless to choose another environment, free of their unpleasantness and problematic behavour.

Is is nice to be tolerant toward others? Yes. We should all try to be. I also think it's easy to be critical of those who aren't always 'nice', when they themselves aren't elbow-deep in dealing with shitty, difficult people all goddamn day.

Adam Thornton said...


Anonymous said...

true enough vanillaj, which is PRECISELY why I never worked in the service industry. :-)

Adam Thornton said...

JJ, may your disposition always be sunny. :)

Anonymous said...

It's like Creepy Pedro, except without the appeal of that protagonist. Poor Muffy!