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    Nothin’ Like A Good Old Existential Meltdown

    | St. Andrews, Scotland, UK |

    (I’m confronted by a customer with an extremely high pitched voice and impenetrable Highland accent. This is one of those tiny old Scottish women with a headscarf nailed on and muscles like steel wires. They are a common sight in the East of Scotland, and are almost immortal. Only the slow action of the wind off the north sea will gradually erode them.)

    Me: “That will be £***, please.”

    Old Lady: “Areyenamerican?”

    Me: “I beg your pardon?”

    Old Lady: “Ah sid, are ye Namerican?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I missed that.”

    Old Lady: “Are… ye… an… American?”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I misheard you. No, I’m English.”

    Old Lady: “Oh… why?”

    (I have spent much of the last three years trying to come up with a satisfactory answer. As yet I have made no progress.)