Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anything said in German counts as swearing!

“No, wait, wait. Wait,” Mitzi gasped, trying to sound dignified despite the giggle fit she’d just been indulging in. “One more time from the top.” Five high-pitched, slightly off key voices raised in song. Or shout, rather, since they were now to hyper to actually sing:

“Hast Du etwas Zeit für mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Denkst Du vielleicht grad' an mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Und dass sowas von sowas kommt!”

Marissa shook her head, hiding her grin at the sugar-and-caffeine fueled gayety that had started out as a German language study group. 99 Luftballoons was a great song but it wasn’t really “good” for practicing verb structure. The happy sounds coming from that end of the coffee shop made cleaning counters and washing dishes more enjoyable, though.

Miss,” someone whispered urgently.

Marissa looked up, startled. Before her stood a pair of older ladies, both looking a bit nervous. Her eyes narrowed and she darted a quick look around, making sure the local kids who used her shop as an afterschool study hall weren’t doing anything overly outrageous. Almost all of them were shifters, so outrageous could potentially be much worse than spitballs. Spotting nothing obvious, she turned her gaze back to the pair and smiled.

“Can I help you?” she asked politely.

We would like to speak to someone in charge,” the shorter woman said, still stage whispering.

“That would be me,” Marissa said brightly.

“Well I never!” shouted the taller of the two woman. Marissa forced a fake smile on her face. She’d gotten a lot of iffy reactions from people when they found out she owned Java Joe’s—this was Montana, after all and she had electric blue hair and dressed like an anime fashion plate. This was a little diferent than usual, though. These two ladies weren’t frequent customers, but they weren’t first-time visitors, either.

“Parrdon me?” she asked carefully.

“I cannot believe you would allow that sort of behavior in your establishment!” The tall lady said very loudly. A nervous glance told Marissa that everyone in the shop was now looking. Even the giggly flamingo girls had stopped singing.

“Just what sort of behavior were you referring to?” Marissa asked.

“All that.. that swearing!” the tall lady spat venomously. “I understand that kids these days think it’s cool to swear like sailors, but really! I can’t believe you are just letting them do it!”

“Ma’am, I’m afraid I don’t understand—“ Marissa began.

“The swearing?” the short lady said, nodding her head tellingly toward the table the flamingo girls were at. Marissa just stared at the two ladies. Swearing?

“I take it you have something about kids having a study group in public?” Marissa said, being very careful now, lest she alienate these two by giggling—like the flamingos were now doing.

“What?” both women asked, looking confused. Marissa nodded toward the flamingo table then raised her eyebrows.

“The study group. Every Wednesday the girls from Mrs. Winston’s German II class meet here after school to study for their Thursday test.”

“That doesn’t mean they need to practice swearing,” the shorter woman said condescendingly.

“Ma’am, they were not swearing. They were singing an ‘80s pop song called 99 Luftballoons by Nina. She released an English version of it, too, called 99 Red Balloons.”

“Well, if you say so…” said the short one.

“But why are they learning German in the first place?” the tall one cut in. “Is English not good enough for them?"

Marissa smiled and shrugged. There really was no way to end this conversation. Even after five years of running a coffee shop—a type of business that tends to draw every odd character under the sun—she still had no idea of how to educate the willfully blond people of the world…


Savanna Kougar said...

Rebecca, fun flash! And I luv that last line. Just too good.

Pat C. said...

Ah yes ... the willfully blonde. What would we do without them?

Wonder how those ladies would react to students learning to speak wolf or cougar? How many TP residents have to take English As A Second Language because their primary language is mostly howls?

I'll see what I can do about the Japanese swearing.

Savanna Kougar said...

That would be extra fun, yips and howls and barks and snarls and purrs, etc. Likely those two would call the insane asylum for pickup.