“I’ll take a large house,” I said to the attractive young woman behind the coffee stand. I visit this stand a couple of times a week and each visit finds a new woman working the station; she is nearly always tired and is, without doubt, lost in the juxtaposition of education and American consumerism. Each of these women is attractive however - terribly attractive - and this is likely the primary reason the stand remains in business. Because it certainly isn't the quality of their product.
“Would you like a little womb in yo coffee?” she asked politely.
“Please?” I asked.
“Ok,” she said and proceed to the back. I had to stop her for two reasons. The first is that the phrase, “Please” uttered in the questioning fashion is a habit of those from the Cincinnati, Ohio area. The upturned phrase means “I don’t understand what you are saying,” not “I agree with your statement. Please proceed.” The other reason was, of course, that I in no way wished to have a womb placed lovingly in my morning coffee.
“I’m sorry miss,” I said. “I didn’t mean to say that I wanted a … well … what was it you said?”
“I asked you if you wanted womb,” she said, starting to get mad. The line piled up behind me and her homework, a play by Thornton Wilder, sat unread in the background next to the espresso machine.
“I hate to sound like an idiot,” I said, “but why would I want a womb in my coffee?” She blushed and lowered her head in the universal fashion of those who are unpracticed at being embarrassed in front of large groups of people.
“What is it?” I asked.
She squared her shoulders, closed her eyes, and fashioned her mouth in the shape of the letter R. Then she spoke.
“ROOM,” she said, blushing futher. “Would you like a little ... ROOM in yo coffee? Foh milk?”
We shared a couple seconds of laughter with each other and with the rest of the people in line. I apologized for my misinterpretation, and the blush left her face almost as quickly as it had come.
“Sowwy,” she said.