Jack makes it on time for a change – – –
One of my weekly jaunts over the time we’ve been here is the trip to the local recycling center with our garbage. Carefully bagged into different stuff – cans, plastic, cardboard and ordinary trash. When I get there it goes into different dumpsters (skips for my Scottish readers). There’s a rotation of elderly guys who make sure you do it all correctly and help you if you need it.
They are all very pleasant and chatty and very often interested in my accent, asking ‘where y’all from?’ or ‘y’aint from around here’.
But today was a bit different. I usually take our trusty SUV ‘Angus’ (named because he’s black) because he has plenty of room in the trunk (boot for my Scottish readers). But he was full of stuff Wendy has collected to use for one of her projects, so I used our equally trusty wee red Prius this time.
I drew up as usual between the dumpsters and there was one of my elderly guys who engaged me in the usual conversation – the weather (it was dreich for my Scottish readers), and other pleasantries. Then he asked about the Prius, and I suspected he maybe hadn’t seen one before. He was most interested in its gas mileage (miles per gallon for my Scottish readers).
His final comment was “I’m surprised somebody hasn’t tried to back frame you”. I pondered this for a minute and then gave him the quizzical look I reserve for those occasions. He repeated “I’m surprised somebody hasn’t tried to back frame you”. I gave him the bland neutral look I also reserve for those occasions, offered a cheery wave and drove off. I had pictures in my head of some local big guy in his big truck deliberately nudging the back of our very out of place wee Prius!
But there was a nagging feeling about the times I’d been on the receiving end of those bland neutral looks as I tried to navigate the differences between American English, British English and Scots. So I tried to decipher what he had said to me –
Halfway home it suddenly dawned on me what he actually said, which was “I’m surprised somebody hasn’t tried to buy it from you”.