Saturday, July 18, 2009


I went to CostCo this morning to pick up a few things. When I was checking out, I had an interesting conversation with the checker. He was probably in his 50s or 60s, and reminded me of the dad in Better Off Dead, trying to communicate with his son. He didn't take it overboard, but he did use the word "dude" a lot. The way he said it was funny, as if it was a new sound that he had been trying out for a couple of days, but wasn't used to it yet. But he made sure to emphasize it ever so slightly, as if he was trying to assure me that he was young and hip.

"How are you today, Dude?"
"Um. Good."

Unlike on my blog, in person I tend to be a man of few words, at least to strangers. Certainly to strangers that I only expect to have to deal with for a couple of minutes, and then potentially never see again. Disposable strangers.

But the conversation took an annoying turn about the time he handed me my receipt. This is when I like cashiers to say. "thank you, have a good day", and then promptly ignore me in favor of the next person. But this was about the time he noticed my t-shirt.

"Oingo Boingo? I don't think I've heard of that, Dude. What is it?"
"They're a band. Well, they were a band."
"Oh, a band? You mean like music, Dude?"
"Yeah. Music."
"Well, what kind of music are they, Dude?"
"They were a ska band."
"Oh, you mean like rock and roll, Dude?"
"Um. Yeah. That's exactly what I mean."

Yes, he did use the word "dude" that many times, and more. The bagger (or whatever you'd call that guy at CostCo) was giving me looks that seemed to be a mix of, "I pity you" and "I pity me too".

There's a lesson here, I think. I'm not really sure what it is, though. Right off.

On. I mean on.


  1. Dude, that rocks! Can't believe he didn't know about Oingo Boingo. When you plot the demise of the world, start with that man.

  2. That's an awesome story, dude. Like, totally awesome and stuff. ;)

    I used to work with some guys that had their own word for what you term "disposable strangers:" fixtures. So, if you are out to lunch and were to converse with the hired help more than necessary to execute a transaction, they would say "Hey, don't talk to the fixtures," or, "Why were you talking to the fixtures?"

    I think they used the term as it relates to the idea expressed by the phrase "plumbing fixtures."

    Anyway...that's one fixture that needs fixing. Perhaps replacement is a better word. :)


Comments for posts over 14 days are moderated

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.