He Thinks You’re Referen-Dum

, , , | Right | April 13, 2020

(In the early nineties, while in college, I work drive-thru at a fast food place. There is a man, maybe in his early sixties, who comes in very regularly for “senior’s coffee,” which is only 25 cents at the time. We don’t think he is old enough, but he is such a mean, nasty, cheap old fart that we just let him have it for that price. He’ll often target the newest front counter girls, just ask for coffee, and then berate them if they dare to charge him the regular price. If they don’t know that he gets a “special” deal, he likes to make them cry.

One of the managers has told me that this man’s wife attends the same church he does, and she is the sweetest, kindest woman ever. We don’t know how she can stand her husband.

If a manager tells him off, he would snark at them, too. Apparently, he was “somebody” in the community at one time.

Around this time, Canada holds a national referendum, and I get a job for the one day working a voting booth, which pays well. I manage to get partnered with a good friend from work, and we have a small polling station to ourselves, so it seems like it will be a long but fun day away from our usual work. Partway through the day, who should come into our polling station but [Grumpy Old Fart]. He is in his usual state, griping loudly.)

Grumpy Old Fart: “Why are you calling yourselves a ‘voting’ station? It should say that you’re a ‘referendum’ station! What is this country coming to?! Are you so dumb that you don’t know the difference? Why aren’t you labelled as a ‘referendum’ station?!”

(He carries on in this vein for a while. When I can get a word in edgewise, I say:)

Me: “Well, we couldn’t spell it.”

(I have never actually seen someone go as apoplectic as he did; he was so livid he could barely speak, and he stormed out. My friend and I nearly had an aneurysm ourselves from trying to not laugh in his face; we managed to hold it until he left. He never spoke to either of us again after that.)

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