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    The Maine Difference Between The Accents

    | West Gardiner, ME, USA | Geography, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

    (I work in a travel plaza in a town in central Maine, fairly close to the Canada/USA border. The plaza is the only sort of gas station, restaurant, and other amenity on the highway for miles, so we get the gamut of travelers, most of whom are weary from long hours of driving. We are encouraged to be as helpful as possible, and to make conversation while ringing up customers.)

    Me: “Did you find everything alright?”

    Customer: “Well, I did in here, but…”

    Me: “But?”

    Customer: “You from around here?”

    Me: “Actually, I grew up in the next town over.”

    Customer: “Excellent. What is there to do in this area?”

    (I offer a few suggestions of popular tourist attractions, and unique local restaurants. The customer gives me an odd look and is silent while I tell him his total. While I’m counting his change, he suddenly explodes. He knocks half his purchases off the counter to get in my face and starts shouting.)

    Customer: “DON’T YOU LIE TO ME!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; excuse me?!”

    Customer: “You stupid b****! There’s no WAY you’re from here! How do I know everything you just told me isn’t all fake? I want to talk to someone who is actually from this area!”

    Me: “With all due respect, sir, what makes you say that?”

    Customer: “You don’t have the accent!”

    Me: “What?”

    Customer: “See! I told you you were lying! If you really grew up here, you’d have that authentic Maine accent! ‘Pahk the arnge cah in the yahd’.”

    Me: *drawling into a thick ‘Maine’ accent* “Ayuh well there sir what you got yourself there is a Boston accent; you ain’t soundin’ like no Mainer, deyah.”

    Customer: “What the f*** did you just say?!”

    Me: *in normal voice* “I said, I worked very hard growing up to learn to enunciate properly, but I can assure you I’m far more authentically Maine than these lobster souvenirs you just spent $10 on and then broke. I’m glad to know my hard work paid off. Have a safe trip now, ‘deyah.’”

    A Triple Rainbow Of Pens

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I work part time at the local convenience store that sells school supplies, snacks, basic clothing, and other things. A customer walks in smelling heavily of marijuana.)

    Customer: “Can I get some pens?”

    Me: “Umm, sure.”

    (I show the customer over to the area where we keep pens and pencils.)

    Customer: “Whoa… YOU GUYS HAVE PINK PENS?!”

    Me: “Yes, why?”

    Customer: “I didn’t know they made pink pens!”

    Me: “Umm… they make pens in every color, sir.”

    Customer: “Even… ORANGE?!”

    Me: “Yes, even orange.”

    Customer: “Even YELLOW?! Oh wait, that’d just be a highlighter.”

    Me: *points at yellow gel pens* “No, they make yellow pens too.”

    Customer: “WOW!”

    (The customer buys his pens and leaves. Good to know I may have changed someone’s life.)

    The Greatest Deal In American History

    | Delaware County, PA, USA | History

    (A car dealership just outside of Philadelphia is running an oil change special for $17.76. I overhear the following conversation at a convenience store.)

    Customer #1: “[Car dealership] doesn’t make sense. $17.76 for an oil change. Don’t specials always have 99 cents in the end?”

    Customer #2: “I know, it’s confusing! Probably just some number they pulled out of their a**!”

    Clerk: “The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Here. In Philadelphia!”

    Customers #1 & #2: *blank stares*

    Be Civil To The Civilians

    | USA | Military, Top

    (I am a female officer-instructor, in line at the on-base convenience store. I am in my civilian clothes. Behind me are two soldiers in uniform that I recognize as new students in my latest class.)

    Soldier #1: “Man, why do they let civs shop here?”

    Soldier #2: “I don’t know why they even let civilians on base, you know? Unless they’re clerks or some s***; gotta have someone run the till.”

    Cashier: *winks at me* “So, lieutenant, how’s the instructor life treating you?”

    Me: “Oh, same old.”

    (I look back at the two soldiers with my best ‘I will make you do push-ups until you throw up’ death glare.)

    Me: “…some of my new students are going to take a lot of work.”

    (Both soldiers turn pale and run out. The clerk laughs so hard she starts wheezing.)

    That’s Natch The Way You Say It

    | Robeline, LA, USA | Funny Names, Geography, Language & Words, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    Customer: “How do I get to ‘Natchy-toe-chess?’”

    Me: “It’s pronounced ‘Nak-a-tesh,’ and it’s a straight shot from here.”

    Customer: “Oh, wow. I was way off, wasn’t I?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “What about that ‘Provencial’ place I saw on a sign?”

    Me: “It’s ‘Prahv-en-saw.’”

    Customer: “Wow. Then I suppose the name of this town isn’t ‘Robe-line?’”

    Me: “No, ma’am, it’s ‘Ro-buh-lean.’”

    Customer: “Next year I’m going on vacation in Texas. None of the places there have such weird names!”

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