Gimme the salsa and no one gets hurt

By Mir
January 18, 2008

There are things I really, really love about living in a college town. We have a variety of delicious foods, for one thing. And music and arts and stuff like that. Also, college students are shiny and happy and young and peppy, and most of the time that makes for a pleasant day, what with all of that exuberant youth around.

Sure, I’m going to go off, occasionally, on the preponderance of flip-flops or on whether or not it’s TRULY necessary for you to be staggering around drunk when I am merely trying to take my kids out for a bowl of noodles or about how SOME THINGS ARE BEST LEFT TO THE IMAGINATION (and by “some things” I mean “your breasts,” young lady, so try PUTTING ON SOME CLOTHES), but in general it makes me happy to be somewhere like this.

Last night I remembered why sometimes it’s not ALL good.

Our at-home options for dinner last night were a box of macaroni and cheese or half a cup of potato salad leftover from earlier in the week. I was out playing Mom’s Taxi Service, schlepping the kids to and fro, and decided to stop at a popular hole-in-the-wall Mexican place to pick up dinner.

[Digression, except not really: Although Otto and I joke about how we end up going to the grocery store every other day due to poor planning, we eat take-out very rarely. I could probably count on one hand the number of weekday meals that haven’t been cooked at home since moving here. But what with the big storm and all, and then the fact that I figured the stores would still be wiped out from all of the crazed shoppers the day before, I hadn’t replenished our supplies yet.]

So. The kids and I walked into the joint. (Not jail, just this little… oh, stop it, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEANT.) I asked them what they wanted, and decided what to get for myself and Otto, and went up to order.

Here’s where it all went terribly wrong. Said establishment was blasting some rock music from somewhere back in the kitchen, and the nice college student who took my order had a terminal case of MUMBLEMOUTH.

Me: We’ll have a chicken quesadilla, a cheese quesadilla, and two chicken Baja burritos, please.
Him: hskgg sgewrh ksjsg
Me: I’m sorry?
Him: hskgg sauce ksjsg
Me: No…?
Him: Sixjghskhsk erehskg
[Here I was in luck, because the cash register displayed my total. Phew. I paid him.]
Him: hmmm a goo?
Me: Pardon?
Him: hmmm or goo?
Me: Uhh, to go? Thanks?
[Confusion causes me to put question marks on the end of everything I say. I hear what I’m saying and sort of want to punch myself in the face, yet I persist.]

Now, that actually wasn’t the bad part. The bad part was that after a few minutes of listening to Monkey tell me about how this particular Pokemon can actually evolve into this other Pokemon that can do this terribly important thing against some third Pokemon that no one else can do (pretending to listen: mothering at its finest), Young Master Mumblepants walked over to the counter with a bag of food and placed it RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE (not out towards my edge, but also not back near him) and said: sjfjs order jseudv quesadilla gsjgew


And I looked into the bag and saw one quesadilla and two burritos, so I ASSUMED that he’d said something about how the second quesadilla was coming right up. So I continued to stand there. And stand there. And stand there.

Eventually another college student worker came along and asked me if I needed something.

Me: Um, well, I think I’m waiting on another quesadilla…?
Him: Let me check.

So he walked the SIX FEET over to the guy who’d waited on us, who came over, looked at me like I had twelve heads, and said: skjgse ida quesadilla BOTTOM!

Oh, right. The second quesadilla was on the bottom of the bag. Of course. SILLY ME.

So I gathered up my food and my children and my 95-year-old eardrums and went home.

I was briefly filled with a righteous anger because, seriously, I realize you’re not exactly making the big bucks, but if you’re going to work in service, you should speak loudly enough for people to hear you. But that all disappeared when I got home and Otto suggested we have beer with our burritos.

I said: dfjs sgeuhgsl sjdfls BEER!

And then it was all okay. The end.


  1. Megan

    I work at a university and regularly field things like:


    Poor lost little bunnies.

  2. All Adither

    Perhaps the U. offers a personal presentation class where this boy could learn not to speak as if he had a mouth full of pintos and cheese.

  3. Flea

    Mmmm … beer and burritos.

    Don’t EVER order fast food in Louisiana. It’s that, exponentially.

    I have an aunt in Duluth who swears by a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place there. I’ll get the name if you’re anywhere close. Shoot, if you’re anywhere close, I’ll get the name of several of her favorite places, since she’s been there 20 years. It sucks being new in town and not knowing where the good food is found.

  4. Leandra

    I *KNOW* this place of which you speak. Are you sure it wasn’t the hair hanging in front of his face which was obliterating his words? Or perhaps the cool hat which he has pulled down so far that it masks his words, much like Fat Albert’s friend? Cause THAT’s usually what I get when I go there.

  5. MomCat

    Dwy yhh thkk yww mgttnda hrngayid? Czsmtymmssidu. Spcleewhn thrsnoyz.

  6. Bob

    oh well – last night we went out to eat at my daughter & her friend’s favorite hangout and encountered the exact opposite – oh, the hair over the eyes was there as was the pimply skin – but the young man who took our order was enunciating every syllable. As if talking to grandma & grandpa.

    He didn’t offer me the senior citizen discount though. I might have had to hurt him.

  7. Zuska

    This whole thing was very funny, of course, but to me the funniest part was the whole Monkey Pokemon exchange (actually, monologue is probably more accurate,no?) because I LIVE THIS EVERY DAY. But now, somehow Digimon is also in the mix, and I know even less about Digimon than I do about Pokemon, if that’s possible!

  8. Rachel May

    I’m really lauging out loud at “I said: dfjs sgeuhgsl sjdfls BEER!” because that would be me. :)

  9. D

    A long time ago I worked with a woman whose Mum made all three kids work at some big fast food chain with drive-thru service. When the second kid came along, she was greeted by, “Are you related to Joe $samelastname? He’s your brother? Oh, yeah, we still have people asking for him because he was the only person they understood on the drive thru – the job is yours shortly.” When the woman I worked with got there [three years later and older sis had moved on], she was greeted with, “This is this, this is that, here’s the ear piece, there’s the window.” Apparently she looks a LOT like her older sister. :-)

  10. Ben

    You should have just texted him, then all would have been okay.

    (that’s what we have to do in OUR college town for decent Texican food)

  11. tammy

    I think if you’re stoned off your wazoo, you can understand them perfectly. It’s a reaction response time thing.

    Also, I would like some dfjs sgeuhgsl sjdfls BEER, pls.

  12. Jamie AZ

    Today’s post was funny (at your expense, sorry!), but then reading the other comments add even more hilarity to it! Ys, BEER!

  13. Tootsie Farklepants

    I’m trying to break my oldest son (11) from Mumblemouth. He starts a sentence off strong. With all good intentions of finishing his thought. But. You must always follow up with, “What was that last part?”

  14. Sherry

    Monkey doesn’t have an extra Charzard Pokemon Card does he? My son would love to haggle with him if he would be willing to do some trading.

    “Blah, blah, blah, Charzard! Blah, blah, blah, 200! Blah, blah, blah, my life would be complete!”

  15. Cheryl

    You mean my 4-year-old isn’t going to grow out of the Mumblemouth phase? I’ll listen to him talk about Pokemon if I can understand what it is he’s saying!

  16. Daisy

    Oh, that would be even harder on me. I’m hearing impaired, and when people mumble, even my high-tech hearing aids can’t help. I resort to my meager lip-reading skills or ask my teen to translate.

  17. The Over-Thinker

    When my husband and I pulled up to a BK drive-throooo, he said into the microphone, “Just to let you know, I’ll be ordering everything off the Dollar Menu,” and then proceeded to order fries, cheeseburgers, cokes. He gave the dollar-menu clarification so the guy would know we wanted the $1.00 fries, drinks, etc. When we got to the window, he handed us a GIGANTIC bag filled with one of ever item off the dollar menu. Apparently the employee freaked after my husband’s 1st sentence and stopped listening…

  18. LuAnn

    *cheers* :)

  19. rachel

    mmm… beer. or margaritas…

    I feel like an old fogey about kids these days, glad it’s not just me!

  20. Cele

    I’m glad it ended well, mine always seems to become more agitated wiht the second quesidilla is nowhere to be found.

  21. StephLove

    I know what you mean about college students, loving their youthful energy and enthusiasm, and wanting to scream at them to cover up for gosh sakes. The urge was especially strong when I had them in my office going over papers and I was already in advice mode:

    “You have some great ideas here, but you need to define your thesis more clearly and re-think the organization so your support builds to that point and while you’re at it, go find a shirt that covers you chest AND your tummy at the same time, can’t you?”

  22. StephLove

    Just to clarify, that last part of the dialog was in my head. I never said anything remotely like that.

  23. Nicki

    I know!! The older I get the more irritating teenagers are. And I realize how stupid I used to be. It’s kind of sad in a funny, self-righteous kind of way. I don’t know what I’ll do when my kids get there. Military school?

    Very cute blog, I happened over here from the Awards page.

  24. Michelle

    Customer Service is soooo frustrating!!!!

  25. kim

    My son. Last year he was a clear-speaking highschool senior. He started college and turned 18 in September. For his birthday…he was blessed with mumblemouth. I picture it somewhat like in Sleeping Beauty when the good fairies blessed the Princess Aurora with gifts on her birthday. Except in this story the fairies were college dudes who wear flip-flops and shorts when its 9 degrees out and snowing. And they need to comb their hair. And washing those jeans wouldn’t hurt either. I’m sorry…what were we talking about????

  26. A-Licious

    OMG – that was HILARIOUS – i was falling out of my seat with the giggles…..because I TOO live in a college town and i SO no what you are speaking of….

    ….ahhhhh toooo funny!

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