Posted 09-05-2003 at 16:10:49
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I don't even know where to begin. Jill and her boyfriend Paul and I made the weekly pilgrimage to Sarasota to pick up Fred's check today. Having some time to kill I offered to take the two lovebirds to the mall for an hour or two, but I had to warn Paul.
"Now Paul, honey, you're gonna see some things in this mall that are liable to astound, frighten, and amaze you."
Paul has been living in a small town all his life. Jill was thirteen when we left Sarasota. A city that is threatening to overtake Tampa in population. We still spend a lot of time there and have been in and out of the malls and seen the sights and the people.
He did really well until he couldn't find any bar-b-que in the food court and things only went downhill from there. I wanted to go into 'Hot Topic' to pick up a gift for my other daughter and he refused to go in. It's a rock and roll store. Contents something similar to what the punk rockers used to like to wear.
"I didn't lose nuthin' in there."
He finally went in and was pegged immmediately for the little redneck that he is and sent immediately to a small rack in the front of the store that held a half dozen John Deere baseball caps. From there he simply slipped out the door unnoticed and waited for Jill and I outside.
He did not get the concept of four dollars for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He was clearly uncomfortable with some of the racey items on display at Spencers. He was overwhelmed and embarrassed at the merchandise at Victoria's Secret.
We passed people with green hair, facial tattoos, facial peircings, same se* couples and assorted other oddities that he weathered stoically, but about one o'clock when we slipped outside, me for a smoke and him for a dip, he was caught so completely off guard by one of the most simple sights that I was left breathless from laughing at him.
We stood outside the door getting our nicotine fix, and five men came breezing out, tall, tanned, well built, clearly athletes. Two of the men were carrying 'man bags', or what amounts to purses for men. That caught his eye immediately, I could tell by the disapproving, although subtle looks he was giving the purse toting fellas. It was raining, so one man ran off to get their vehicle and the other four stood at the door talking and waiting. I wasn't paying any attention to them but suddenly Paul leaned over and whispered..
"Kin you understand what they're sayin'?"
Once I got to listening it became clear they were speaking a foreign language, German I think.
"No, they're speaking another language."
He glanced over his shoulder at the men.
"All of them?"
"Well" I said grinning, "I reckon so, they seem to be talking to each other."
Then one of the men shouted to the one who'd gone after the vehicle something that sounded like.....
"Singa morsa wanton fook?" And then they all started laughing hysterically.
Well that was it. Paul had already decided that these were five gay men and that one of them had just brazenly propositioned another in broad daylight in the middle of the parking lot at the mall. He was livid.
He faced me, his eyes as big as saucers and his face as red as a beet.
"Now that's some *&!!!" He declared. "I'm sorry about my language, but talking to a man like that in Hardee County will get ya killed!"
Whatever this guy said, could have been as innocent as...."don't you wish you brought an umbrella?" but that's not what Paul heard. There was no convincing him that the guy could have been saying anything, he was inconsolable.
The last straw, going out the door some silly woman with a perfume sample had the nerve to ask him if he wanted something se*y for his lady. He took Jill's elbow possessively and steered her firmly toward the door.
"No thank you, she's fine as she is....you people are just all about se* here ain't ya?"
I didn't think I was ever going to stop laughing. I have to tell you, the more I get to know this young man....the better I like him.