I'm a kept woman.

As soon as we leave she says: you can't write about this on your blog.

She is a middle-aged Southern white woman with a warm, reassuring accent, typical of her generation and class. She says y'all and warsh instead of wash. She rents a car for four days while she's in Houston. When she returns the car, she realizes she mistakenly approved $90 in insurance charges she didn't want. So she starts to work it.

Ah'm a kept woman, she says. My husband rented the car on the Innernet and Ah just, well, Ah just thought it would be alright. Ah didn't even read it. Ah need you to take those charges off, 'cause my husband is gonna be so so angry with me. You can't imagine the trouble Ah'd be in. A huge smile, a grin, a weak, pleading tone in her voice. There'll be hell to pay if Ah go home with this bill after what Ah've done.

The attendant, a perky, chubby white girl with dyed blonde hair and her roots growing in, her name's Daisy or Brin, looks at this woman, at the computer screen, at the woman, at the computer screen. She says, Ma'am, you approved the charges here and here with your initials.

The woman repeats the exact same speech, naively, innocently.

Daisy looks at the woman, at the computer screen, at the woman. Ma'am, would it be okay if I pay half of the charges and you pay the other half?

Ah'm a kept woman. He's gonna be so mad at me. She smiles gracefully. Doesn't answer the question. A minute of smiling and repeated the now familiar words. No change of tone, no change of accent. Just vapid, ditzy repetition.

Okay, ma'am, Daisy says, next time you need to read what you sign.

The woman says, Thank you sooooo much, I really appreciate it.

Another attendant, a black girl with long extensions two computers down, mimics the lilting, slow Southern accent and repeats, Thank you sooooo much, I really appreciate it.

The woman looks at her smiling. The black girl realizes what she just did, laughs embarrased, says, I'm sorry. Your accent is just sooooo cute. I don't mean no harm.

And the middle-aged woman just smiles, signs the receipt and rushes out of the car rental place, pleased with her performance and with its results.

3 comentarios:

LA dijo...

I like the "broken record" technique. I teach it to my clients.

jp dijo...

Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Long live the broken record!
Y et cetera.

MaGreen dijo...

i admit to being a professional at getting all sorts of 90 dollars deleted from our bills.

lovely moment.