There’s a hardware store conveniently situated on the road heading out of town. Every Saturday on the way to the farm, the contractor usually asks to stop there to pick up odds and ends. We go in and are greeted with a nod by the bored clerk, a young man leaning on the counter and scrolling on his smart phone. He stands up as we draw near.
The contractor asks him for something common and mundane, like a pound of 3-inch nails, or a steel brush.
And, without fail, the young man’s eyes open wide so that you can see the whites around his eyeballs. “Bwoi!!!” He booms loudly as if we’ve asked for something bizarre, like moon rocks. “Bwoi!” He repeats at a slightly lower volume, and then starts shaking his head and mutters, “Well, I no know if we have DAT!”
To that I usually say, “Well, can you look?”
“Right now,” he says, and shuffles off somewhere to the back of the store.
Without fail, he comes back with the requested item. “Da dis u d look fa?”
And we agree that, yes, that is what we had been looking for, and take it. A week later, it’s the same routine. WITHOUT FAIL. I’m not complaining, I just find this incredibly amusing. Like, why does he act so alarmed when we ask for hardware at a hardware store?