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.'”

Veteran Veterinarian

| OH, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

(A girl of about 11 years old, who is a frequent library user, has brought a stack of books to my counter to check out. I’m in my 20s.)

Me: “Oh, lots of books about being a veterinarian!”

Girl: *nods head enthusiastically*

Me: “Well, when you become a vet I’ll bring my pets to you.”

Girl: *startled expression* “You’ll be dead by then!”

Inject Some Humor Into The Situation

| USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

(I am four years old, and in need of vaccinations. The nurse is babying me about it.)

Me: “Just do it; I’m not scared.”

(I have the vaccination with no problem.)

Nurse: “Wow, you’re one of the toughest kids I’ve met.”

Me: “Really? It’s nothing.”

Nurse: “Oh, you are tough. Half of the kids your age come in crying.”

Me: “Because they’re babies! I’m not.”

Nurse: “Let me tell you something. I have a friend who is also a nurse. A 40-year-old man needed an injection and he cried for 10 minutes before he calmed down enough for her to inject him. And he cried after she stuck him too.”

Me: “Really?!”

Nurse: “Yeah. I wish he could have seen you.”

It’s Going To Be A Hooray Kind Of Day

| Columbus, OH, USA | Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

(I volunteer regularly at a big science museum in Columbus, which has everything divided up into different ‘worlds.’ The world I work in is set up as ruins on a mysterious island, where you have to go around solving puzzles in order to ‘wake up’ statues and eventually enter the main tower. It’s a slow morning and the only guests are a mother and her kids, one about six months and the other about three.)

Mother: “What do you see when you wake up, [son]?”

Son: “Umm…”

Mother: “If you stand there and look straight up, what do you see?”

Son: *looks around, then down at his shoes* “Umm…”

Me: *cheerfully* “Up at the sky!”

(I raise my hands up and wave them around a little, trying to encourage him to look up. Eventually he does and his face lights up.)

Son: “A snake!”

Mother: “Hooray!”

Me: “Hooray!”

Son: “Hooray for me!”

(They proceed around the rest of the area with the mother gently directing her toddler through each puzzle. I’m meant to stay in my assigned area, but every once in a while I hear a little voice pipe up with ‘hooray for me!’)

Little Pony, Big Problem

| USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Movies & TV, Theme Of The Month

(I always try to make conversation with the customers, especially the kids. I notice that the young daughter of the family I’m ringing up is wearing a shirt bearing a picture of Fluttershy, one of the ponies from the new ‘My Little Pony’ cartoon.)

Me: “I like your shirt, sweetheart! That’s Fluttershy, huh? Fluttershy’s my favorite pony!”

(The little girl glares at me.)

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Girl: *crying* “You can’t have Fluttershy for your favorite, because Fluttershy is my favoritest pony ever, in the whole wide world! I like her way more than you could ever ever ever, and she’s my pony pal, not yours! I love Fluttershy, so you CAN’T!”

Me: “Oh… uhm, can I say Pinkie Pie is my favorite then?”

Girl: *sniffling, wiping her eyes* “Yeah. You can have Pinkie Pie.”