Kustomer: So we’re almost at the House on the Hill, right?
Me: Do you mean The House On The Rock? (And seriously folks, if you’re in Wisconsin and you’ve never been there, you should go. It’s an awesome place.)
Me: It’s about an hour from here.
Kustomer: But I was told it was an hour from where I was, and I’ve been driving an hour already!
Me: What road were you supposed to take to get there?
Kustomer: I don’t know.
Me: You…don’t know?
Me: You didn’t get directions before you started out?
Me: You’ve just been driving around?
Me: So how were you planning on finding it?
Kustomer: Aren’t there signs?
Me: Maybe occasionally, depending on if you’re going in the right direction.
Kustomer: So am I?
Me: I don’t know. I don’t know where you came from.
Kustomer: That’s not very helpful.
I sold him a map.
I’m at home, enjoying the evening, but just had to post this from my counterpart:
“Just had a girl in here who was on her way home from a picnic in Rockford, Ill. She lives on the north side of Chicago. Didn’t the Welcome to Wisconsin sign give her a clue she was going the wrong way?”
Apparently no more than going past several noteworthy Wisconsin towns, the entire city of Madison, a few prominently advertised cheese shops, a couple thousand cars with WI license plates on them, and the Wisconsin River. *sigh*
A woman in her 30’s or thereabouts walked into the store and gave me a big Sue’s Jack O’ Lantern smile. This is an apt description because when I carve a pumpkin for Halloween, I tend to do such a bad job on the teeth that I end up lopping most of them off in disgust. It’s not that she didn’t have any teeth, mind you. It’s just that none of them were optimally placed for communication purposes.
So, in the interest of time, I’m going to request that you assume that everything she said had to be repeated at least three times before I understood it. And, if you choose to read aloud, make sure you make slurping noises. Like…schlurping noishes. Schee what I mean?
Thank you for your cooperation.
schaid said to me, “I shink I’m loscht. I can’t scheem to contact any of my relativesch for directionsch. Can you help me pleasche?”
I asked her destination and when she told me (it wasn’t pretty) I figured out that it was about 100
milesh, I mean miles, from here. I reached for a map.
“I can’t read mapsch,” she said.
“That’s okay,” I said, even though it wasn’t. “I’m just looking for the best route to tell you.”
“I prob’ly won’t remember,” she chuckled. “I’m very bad at directionsch.”
“No big deal, I can write it down … for…you…” The apologetic look on her face spoke volumes about the education system from whence she came. Maps are not the only things she can’t read.
Asch we schtared at easch other in confusched silensch, a voische broke in to offer salvaschion. It was another customer.
He (perhaps despairing of ever being waited on in this lifetime) told us, “My friend out there by the van comes from that town. Go ask him and I’m sure he’ll help you out.”
As she obediently went outside to
conschult consult, I noticed that the helpful customer and his friend were wearing matching shirts which read, “Village Idiot.”
It’s probably just as well she couldn’t read.
Yesterday afternoon, a lady came in, pointed to the state highway going past the station and said, “That road goes to the Dells, doesn’t it?”
“No, ma’am,” I replied. “To get to the Dells-”
“We went through here all the time when I was a child. I remember it so well.”
“But it doesn’t actually go to the—”
“Of course, all these other buildings weren’t here then.”
“Heh, yes, well that’s because I think you have us mixed up with—”
“But I have such happy memories. How long has this store been here?”
“Over thirty years, I believe.”
“Oh no, it can’t have been here that long. It wasn’t here when I was small.”
No, I bet it wasn’t.
This morning a man walked in and said, “Do you know where [Insert Local Road’s Name Here] is?”
“Sure do!” I answered brightly. “You need directions?”
“No. I’ve already been there.” And he left.
Y’know, some things are best shared verbatim:
Krazy Kustomer: How do I get on the highway to Wausau?
Me (pointing): Underneath the bridge and go straight.
KK: So that’ll get me to the Wisconsin Dells?
Me: Uhm, no. That’ll get you to Wausau. You asked me about Wausau.
KK: I’m not going to Wausau.
Me: You’re not going… Okay, you’re going to the Dells?
KK: Yeah, that’s what I said. How do I get on the Interstate to the Dells?
Me: For the Dells you’ll still go under the bridge, but instead of going straight, turn left onto the ramp.
KK: And that takes me straight to Marshfield, right?
KK: For GAWD’S SAKE!
Me: For Marshfield you probably want to…
KK: Look, just tell me how to get to Mauston!
Me: …Mauston. Mauston?
KK: That’s what I said! Mauston!
Me: Under the bridge and turn left.
KK: And that’ll take me to…
Me: Yes. YES, it will.
KK: Okay then. I don’t know why that was so hard.
Krazy Kustomer: “I need directions to [insert name here's] house.
Me: I’m really sorry, but I don’t know [insert name here].
Krazy Kustomer: He lives by the river.
Me: The Wisconsin River is over four hundred miles long. Can you narrow it down?
Krazy Kustomer: (after long pause) So … you don’t know him?