The Accent Barrier

PhotobucketTrevor is terrified of drive-throughs.  He detests them.  Seriously, last time we went to one, he made us park and switch seats so that I had to talk.  Yesterday, I found out why.

We were picking up KFC to take to my mom’s store for lunch, and I begged him just to suck it up and do the ordering for us.  “Fine. ”

The girl (imagine late teens city girl, northeast Philly accent): Hi, welcome to KFC.  Can I take your order?

Him (speaking in perfect, beautiful Queen’s English): Yes, I’d like a variety bucket.

Her: Could you repeat that?

Him: Sorry?

Her: <silence>

Him: (continuing his order)  … with chicken strips, a family sized fries, and four pieces of chicken.

Her:  Could you repeat that?

Him: <looking at me, bewildered>

Me:  Repeat it!  Variety bucket.  She doesn’t know what you’re saying.

Him: A variety bucket please, with…

Her: A what?!?

Some co-worker guy behind her: A  VARIETY BUCKET!

Her: Oh, okay.  What would you like in that? You can have chicken strips, popcorn chicken, fries, chicken pieces, honey barbeque wings…

Him: I’d like chicken strips, fries, four pieces of chicken…

Her:  Popcorn chicken?

Him: <bewildered again>

Me: She thinks you said popcorn chicken.  Tell her four pieces of chicken.

Him: No, four pieces of chicken.

Her: Okay, okay.  Original or extra crispy.

Him: <giving me that look again>

Me: Tell her original.

Him: Original.

Her: Anything else?

Him: <pleading with me with his eyes that there be nothing else>

Me: (very apologetically) Drinks?  Two large diet cokes and whatever you want.

Him: Two large diet cokes and a… large Dr. Pepper.

Her: Could you repeat that?

Him: Two large diet cokes and a large Dr. Pepper.

Her: Okay. Anything else?

Me: Drinks for the… Nevermind, we can get them something at the store.  That’s fine.  Tell her that’s it.

Him: That’s it.

Her: Please pull around to the next window.

The whole car lets out a BIG SIGH…

At this point I’m stroking his back and apologizing, “I’m sorry.  I get it now.  I won’t make you do it again.  Are you okay?  You talk so much better than her.  It wasn’t you.  I’ll totally drive next time.  I promise.  I’m sorry.”

We paid our money, I leaned across him to ask for some cups and lids for the girls.  The poor girl was all embarrassed and giggly, and the guy behind her was just shaking his head.

Two people, divided by a common language.  Go figure.