Monday, December 7, 2020

Tales From the Pit Crew

 I have a crew of people I hire to come to my home and help me get dressed, get out of bed, take a crap and do stuff like that. I call them my pit crew.

 Anyway, here’s a story one of them told me recently. (I’m giving him an alias to protect his identity. I’m calling him Alexander the Great.  He said he didn’t care if I protected his identity, but I’m giving him an alias anyway because I think it makes the story funnier if I do.)

 Alexander the Great just turned age 21 last March. Before that he faced a common but daunting challenge of finding a liquor store that wouldn’t card him. He heard tell of a liquor store in another neighborhood that was lax on carding because it was near a college campus. It was owned by Assyrian guys.  He went there with some underage friends and nobody got carded.  So he figured it was safe when he went back alone and picked up a six pack of Pabst.  But the guy behind the counter asked him for ID. Alexander the Great had to think fast. Since he speaks German, he put on a German accent and said he was visiting from Germany. “I do not like to carry my passport and I do not yet have American identification,” he said. As soon as he said it, Alexander the Great wished he could do it over. He was convinced that his accent was way too over-the-top generic, like Hogan’s Heroes.

The guy behind the counter had a Middle Easternish accent. “What part of Germany are you from?” he asked.

Alexander the Great made something up again. But apparently that was good enough for the guy behind the counter because he welcomed Alexander the Great to the U.S. and rang him up. The guy said his name was Faheed.

When Alexander the Great returned to the store a week or so later to get more beer, Faheed was excited to see him. There was another guy behind the counter with him. Faheed introduced the other guy to Alexander the Great as Maurice, the owner. “Maurice used to live in Germany!” Faheed said.

Oh shit, Alexander the Great thought to himself. Now my fake accent will for sure get me busted!

“Wie gehts! “ said a smiling Maurice to Alexander the Great.

“Wie gehts!” replied Alexander the Great. Maurice spoke some more German and Alexander the Great spoke German back but he was convinced that soon Maurice would realize that he wasn’t as fluent as a German citizen should be and he would be busted. But then Maurice apologized in English and said his German was rusty since he hadn’t lived there in 17 years. Alexander the Great said he’d happily converse in English from now on. He could use the practice.

Every time Alexander the Great came back to the store for more liquor, Maurice followed him around and engaged him in conversation, meaning Alexander the Great had to listen to him complain about everything. Americans are terrible drivers. The mayor is useless. But the thing he complained about with the most frequency and vigor was Muslims. They’re all evil, without exception. They’re ruining so many countries with their immigration.

Alexander the Great didn’t know how to respond to that one without getting on Maurice’s bad side. So he said, “Yes well it’s true immigration is a problem in Germany.”

And then Alexander the Great turned 21, which meant he was able to shop at all the liquor stores in his own neighborhood without pretending to be German. So he never went back to Maurice’s store, leaving Maurice and Faheed to wonder what became of their German friend.   

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