I was greeted by a very friendly gentleman who reached across the fence separating customers from the work area and shook my hand, saying, "I'm Jim."
"Hi, Jim. I'm Larry."
"Larry? That's a good name!"
He started asking questions and entering the information into a hand-held computer device.
"What's your last name, Larry?"
"Eubanks. E-u-b-a-n-k-s." I've learned to do this because the silent E messes everyone up.
"Eubanks? You any relation to that guy on that T.V. show? What was the name of that show?"
This is a conversation I've had many times before. "The Newlywed Game. Bob Eubanks. No, I'm not related."
"Bob Eubanks! Yeah, that's his name. Bob Eubanks. You not related, huh? Bet you wish you had his money!"
"Well, I reckon."
"OK, Bob, we'll get you squared away here with your battery."
"Oh, yeah! Larry, that's right."
Apparently "Larry" is a good name, but not as memorable as "Bob."
"What kind of car is it, Larry?"
"A 2003 Buick Century." Remember this part. I drive a 2003 Buick Century.
He enters the info into his device, makes sure I have the right battery, takes my keys and heads out to get the car.
My 2003 Buick Century is the only car in the parking lot of the service area, but that doesn't prevent Jim from stopping halfway out, turning around and yelling, "Hey, Larry, which one is your car?"
So I point to the only car in the lot, and he enthusiastically waves and nods his head and is on his way.
At this point I'm not sure I want Jim to drive my car even the short distance to the service bay. But wait, it gets better.
After taking a few steps toward my car, he stops, turns around and calls out, "Hey, Larry! That looks like a Buick!"
All I can do is shrug my shoulders.
Seems Jim had just helped a lady who was driving a Toyota, and my bringing him a Buick messed him up. Apparently this constituted information overload for Jim, bless his heart.
This reminds me of the time I lost my cell phone and after fruitlessly searching for it for two weeks, gave in and called the insurance company.
After explaining that I had lost my cell phone, the nice young lady started opening up a claim for me. At one point she asked, "Mr. Eubanks, do you know where you lost your phone?"
Hmm. Maybe "lost" has a different definition in other parts of the country.
The question took me by surprise and I laughed at her. "Well, no, if I knew where I lost it, it wouldn't be lost, would it?"
I know, a bit sarcastic, but the question caught me off guard. She explained that she was asking if I lost it at home, at work, in the car, on a roller coaster, etc.
OK, makes a little more sense, but I had no idea at what point it went missing.
But it was the next question that left me dumbfounded:
"Mr. Eubanks, do you have the cell phone with you?"
I couldn't have heard her correctly, so I asked her to clarify, which she did thusly:
"Do you have the lost cell phone with you? Are you in possession of it?"
I don't know what a dropped jaw sounds like, but mine was deafening.
"Why, yes, it's right here in my hand! Why didn't I think to look there!"
What I wished I had said had I not been busy squinting my eyes and shaking my head.
I love people.
© 2008 Larry L. Eubanks