Sticking To Celery

| Working | May 7, 2017

(Although she has lived in the US for quite some time, English is not my coworker’s first language, and she sometimes picks the wrong word for what she wants to say.)

Coworker: “Hello, what are you doing?”

Me: “Hello. I’m cutting these little coupons off of these labels. [Coworker #2] collects them.”

Coworker: “Ah, I know these! For education, right?”

Me: “Yep!”

Coworker: “Sometimes, I think, they are on celery, too?”

(It’s immediately obvious to both of us that that wasn’t what she meant to say. We both say the word out loud to see if we can figure out what word she wanted to use.)

Me: “Celery?”

Coworker: “Celery?”

(My brain, instead of giving me suggestions, offers up an unhelpful, albeit funny, image of green grocers patiently tagging individual stalks of celery with those tiny coupons. We keep repeating the word.)

Me: “Celery?”

Coworker: “Celery?”

(Suddenly, her face lights up.)

Coworker: “Cereal!”

Me: “Yes! They come on cereal, too!”

(We laugh, mostly because we were glad that no one walked on us, staring at one another and repeating, “Celery?”)

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