There's an old New York expression in response to someone who excessivly grubs (borrows, begs, asks for assistance, etc.). The Dowager Duchess didn't approve of the expression, but my father used to like to use it. For example:
"Excuse me. Do you have the time?"
"How far is Lexington Avenue."
"Three long blocks that way."
"Wow. Can you break a five for the bus?"
"Yeah. Here's five singles."
"Thanks. Do you happen to have a cigarette?"
"Gee, thanks. Have you got a light?"
Finally, in disgust, "Yeah! How ya fixed for spit?!?"
Hopefully, you understood the preceding conversation. When I tried to explain it years ago to San Geraldo, the South Dakotan, he didn't get it. For some reason, it came to my mind when we visited the electric company today.
|METAL FLOWERS ATOP THE OLD TOBACCO FACTORY. NO SPIT (OR WATER) NEEDED.|
When we arrived at the electric company, a very coarse, loud customer was consuming all the air and energy in the small office. She was also consuming both staff members, even running from desk to desk. Staffer #1, who was on her cell phone on behalf of the customer, had a very heated argument and hung up. The customer was by that time driving Staffer #2 a little nuts.
Staffer #1 was on her desk phone when her cell phone rang again. She put her desk phone on hold, called across to the customer saying, "It's her. Watch this." She then pressed a button on her cell phone (I assume it was "answer"), spit into her phone, and hung up.
The customer cackled. Staffer #2 looked glumly at the papers on his desk. The cell phone rang again. And, again, Staffer #1 pressed the button, gave the caller another raspberry and hung up.
Finally, the coarse customer was done and left. Staffer #2 smiled sheepishly at us and welcomed us to his desk. We explained that we needed to cancel our service beginning Thursday of next week. He was very pleasant. He explained that we couldn't cancel service more than two days in advance. Huh? Ah, bureaucracy. Anyway, we'll head back Tuesday morning to take care of it.
In the meantime, I'm not letting that other staffer anywhere near my cell phone.