Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Strong Dose of Successful - More Powerful than Espresso

Sitting as patiently as possible during Voir Dire as the judge rattled off the names of potential witnesses, I tried earnestly to pay attention to the names.  As he wrapped up, he looked at us all sitting in various positions in the jury box and the additional seating.

"Did anyone recognize any of the names I read?"  The judge, a Gary Sinise look-alike, asked.

Four hands raised amidst the faces and heads I could see.  It was library-quiet and difficult to keep my growling stomach from loudly protesting the lack of nourishment.  As each of the hand-raisers had a turn at describing the potential association with a particular witness, I noticed that I was not the only person in the room waging an all-out battle against boredom and drowsiness.  No one seemed that particularly interested in the proceedings.

Finally, the judge came to a well-groomed, good looking younger gentlemen sitting in one of the bench rows to my left.

"Juror number twenty-seven.  Did you recognize one or more of the names I read out?"

"Yes."  The well-put man answered.

"Which one?"

The man then proceeded to list off every doctor's name the judge had called out.

"And how do you know these doctors?"

"I work with them. And two of them are very close friends of mine."  I noticed several of the courtroom's occupants look over at Juror 27.

"Do you feel like this could cloud your judgment should you be chosen to serve as a juror today?"

"With two of them, yes; I trust them implicitly."

The judge nodded.  "And may I ask what you do for a living?"

"Certainly.  I'm a plastic surgeon."

And just like that, the courtroom came alive as every woman in attendance collectively exclaimed, "Ooohhhh."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bless Her Heart

Tired one night, I traipsed in to the local supermarket to purchase some things for a quick dinner.  Spying the Starbucks, I found myself inexplicably drawn to purchase a chai on my way out.

As I approached the counter, a lady in Starbucks attire and a bad 80's perm moved to the register.  I noticed two teens standing a bit behind her, also in uniform, as well as two additional young people standing off to my left, obviously market employees and even-more apparent, obviously acquaintances of the Starbucks employees to some extent.

"Well, hi," began the lady with more roots than an aspen grove in the thickest southern accent I have ever heard, "how ya'll doin' tonight?"

I stopped digging in my wallet long enough to glance around.  Nope.  Just me.  I began searching for my debit card again. "I'm fabulous, thank you."

Being from the south, I realize that certain words I say do sound very Texan, such as 'thank you' and 'my'.  And like fine wine and good cheese, the Southern Drawl tends to grow more prevalent as it ages.  So I'm sure at this point in our conversation, it became evident that I may just hale from south of the Mason-Dixon line.

"What can I get ya'll?"  She didn't back off the twang.

 I took another quick look about me.  "There's only one of me, hon, and if you keep saying "ya'll", I'm going to become self-conscious about my weight."  I smiled up at her to find a very irritated fake Southerner from the 80's glaring back at me while brandishing a plastic cup, pen poised at the ready.  "Um, I'll have a venti non-fat, extra hot chai, please."

The teens behind her moved off to join their friends at the end of the counter.  I distinctly heard the sound of snickering.

"Alright.  Will that be it for ya'll?"  She drawled intentionally.

This is one of my greatest pet peeves.  While I understand the enticement of the Southern drawl and mannerisms, I do not tolerate the fake accent.  This really pisses me off.  I directly met her gaze.

"Where are you from?"  I asked, not even trying to sound polite.  That point had passed a good three "ya'lls" ago.  I'm pretty sure she had no doubt now about another southern trait I'm in possession of: attitude.

"Georgia."  She laid it in on thick at this point.  I felt my eyebrow draw dangerously close to my hairline.  I think my nostrils flared.  My expression must have relayed my challenge, because she quickly added: "Well, I'm actually from here, but I've spent the last 15 years in Georgia."

Okay, this wasn't some young'un that had grown up in our dear sweet peach pit and had adopted the accent as speech developed; this was a grown-ass woman, some years older than me that was trying to impress all the Coloradans who love some good ol' Southern hospitality.

I couldn't seem to help myself any longer.  "You do know then, that a true Southerner would never call one person 'ya'll'.  One person in the south is 'hon'.  That's spelled H-O-N, by the way.  Only when you have two or more people does the term become 'ya'll'."

I did manage to regain my self control before adding that it was pronounced either "yaw" or "yawl".

She held out my cup and I smiled, brandishing all of my teeth, as I took it from her.  I briefly glanced at the kids that had witnessed this exchange then back at her before saying, "Ya'll have a good night, now, ya' hear?"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Casting the First Stone

As construction continued on in to its fourth month, we worked diligently to focus on getting things accomplished amidst the noise, the debris and the continual stream of workers coming in and out.

Sitting down at my cube one morning, I heard the entry door within the panel of plate glass windows on my right begin to shake and an irritating pounding set to rhythm.  I knew that across the large bullpen, the development group was meeting, so I decided to see who was attempting to gain access.

As I stood up and moved towards the door, I saw this scruffy, homeless-looking man in raggedy camo jacket and really bad haven't-been-combed-since-the-seventies hair looking in to one of the engineers in this meeting and waving at him as he continued to jerk on the locked door.

Still having not seen me standing to his left, this guy smiles a broad, toothless grin - seriously, all of the top front-facing row had been lost to the abyss oh so long ago - and looking directly at the engineer, the (obvious) construction worker says: "Yeah, come open the door, you dumb mother fucker."

I stopped short in my steps, appalled beyond function at the blatant irony of the situation.  So, outside we had an ill-mannered vagrant attempting to repeatedly try to open a locked door while proclaiming profanities that he didn't think could be heard at a successful, obviously intelligent man comfortably ensconced in a warm, protected environment where he earns what can only be assumed as a good living.

In all honesty, who should be calling who a 'dumb mother fucker'?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Seeing Things Differently

Groggily schlepping out to the car for the morning commute, I busied myself trying to find something other than radio commercials to entertain me.  I happened upon this soothing voice and proceeded to zone out as I made my way to the coffee shop.

As she droned on about her rags to riches story, I heard her say:

"...and in that terrified moment, as I looked down the barrel of the gun pointed directly at my forehead..."

Uh...wait.  What?  Where exactly are your eyes located ma'am?