Ok, I’m going to try to do a better job of sharing the strangeness that happens to me on a regular basis.
Today’s interesting experience happened during my visit to Target.
I’d been running errands all morning by the time I got to the Target to buy body wash. I was worn out and very much ready for my Saturday nap, so I planned for a quick in and out job at the Target (hopefully). I grabbed what I needed and took my purchases to the “10 Items or Less” checkout counter. While standing in line I noticed that the cashier was a rather tattoo-ed kinda dude, but I didn’t think much of the whole thing until I noticed his name tag: BUBBA. And then I heard him greet the customer in line in front of me with “Haw y’all doin’ t’day?”
I swear, that’s how he said it. It was a cross between Southern drawl and Louisiana Cajun speak. I was fascinated.
If you’re not from the South, you’re probably wondering, “why did he call her y’all? Isn’t y’all plural?” Actually, y’all can be used in the singular or plural. For example, “Y’all get off my porch before I beat you with this broom and tell y’all’s Grandma on you” can be addressed to one little teenage hoodlum or five teenage hoodlums. It’s all about context, really and quite interchangeable. It’s kinda like referring to a shopping cart as a buggy, and all sodas as Coke.Sometimes I call it a buggy, sometimes a shopping cart. Just depends on what you prefer.
What’s funny is that people generally think all Southern folks use words the same way, but it also depends on where you’re from and what you grew up with. I saw y’all, but I’m usually referring to the plural, like “y’all suck” is something I only say when talking to a group of my friends. “You suck” is when I’m talking to just one friend. I don’t frequently use y’all in the singular. Everyone does it different, you know?
I could tell that Bubba was obviously new to the Target cashier team, since my frequent visits mean that I know most of the cashiers on sight. It’s weird: he was new enough to the team that I didn’t recognize him, but his name tag did not say “New Team Member” (see how much I come to Target?? I know their culture!). Either way, he had the friendliness and everything down pat. Regardless of the tattoos up and down his muscular arms, and the 10-gauge ear rings, he had on the requisite red shirt and tan pants, and was as polite as he could be. He wished the woman a “safe trip an’ g’night, yall”. It was 11 am in the morning!!
I was next. He turned to me with “Haw y’all doin’ t’day?”
“I’m great, thank you…. (pause. Then I just went for it.)… is your name really… BUBBA?
I swear to God he stopped, looked down at his name tag in surprise and said “I hope so, otherwise I guess it’s Target.”
I started laughing. He smiled. This was the best Target cashier interaction I’d ever had! I didn’t even care that he probably thought I was a village idiot, and I was completely unconcerned about the line that was building up behind me.
Did I mention the 10-gauge earrings he has in each ear?
As he’s ringing up my items and bagging them he finishes with “…I’m definitely a Bubba. I go hunt’n too much to be named Target”. The whole time with a straight face.
At that point I started discreetly looking around for hidden video cameras. THIS GUY CANNOT BE REAL.
My total was $19.87. As I’m swiping my card he says “1987, that was a good year.”
“Oh yeah?” I answer curious for what comes next. It’s like waiting for the punchline of a joke.
“That was my year! And a good year for trucks. But I’ve lasted longer than that truck, man. It was a good truck.”
I hope that the next time I’m at Target that Bubba is my cashier. Hopefully I can introduce him to the BFE. Bubba should be shared with the world! It took everything I had not to take his picture with my phone, but I really liked this guy’s energy and kindness and didn’t want to offend him. So I gathered my items and start to leave the store. “You have a good day Bubba”.
“Yew hava safe trip, now. G’night yall.”
I SWEAR TO GOD. It really happened like this. I swear!!
So that was my Target experience this morning. I never found the hidden video cameras.
On another note, I got home from a morning of running errands only to realize that my shirt has been on backwards ALL DAY. Why didn’t none of y’all tell me??