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OKAY folk....I will let you into my most embarrasing moment with the English/USA language.....

Veteran Member
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Joined: Apr 17, 2006


Posted to Thread #10416 at 1:17 am on Apr 22, 2008

I was in the States with my 10 & 11 year olds for the first time.
I was on the look out for a wee gift for them to take back to their friends at school.
My husband and I had seen some (of the following) when in the UK before and so we had decided they would be a great gift and so were on a mission to get them.

SOOOOooooo the 3 of us headed on down to the mall (recommended by my friend we were staying with) and made our way to the said store.

Once there we looked and looked and finally I asked for help.
I found a young lady assistant (she seemed about 18) and asked her to show me their 'rubbers'. She looked at me as if I was from Mars....????....and suggested I went somewhere else to find a DRUGSTORE????

Now in Africa we had just had a BIG thing going on in the paper...a new shop had opened called a 'Drugstore' that sold ice cream sodas amongst other ice creams and fizzy drinks.

In South Africa, being an Afrikaans nation....(those in authority often had little or no English)........ anything with drugs, apart from medical, was banned ???!!!
The end result was the store put a huge A over the U and so the "DrAgstore" was accepted......OK, the authorities didn't actually get the meaning of "DRAG" in those days....(English and well traveled folk knew the meaning of drag, of course)

Sooo back to me.

I was completely taken by surprise. Why on earth was I being sent to a drugstore???
What on earth was I being treated as if I was a bit of dirt and I especially got the feeling they were wanting to seperate my kids from me......By now a couple of the other assistants were there behind the young lass.

My girls were on either side of me hanging onto my arms, as young kids do, were eagerly anticipating finding their school friend's these gifts and so I asked the young lass if I could speak to the manager (after all she wouldn't look at me as if I was an alien...would she?)

The manager came over and asked what it is I wanted.
I explained, with a rather emphatic use of my hand...."I am looking for rubbers with stars and stripes on, you know, they are about this size and you use them to RUB out with"...using a sort of up and down motion deffinately NOT used in polite society in the wrong context ...


She told me that if I did not leave the shop forth-with she would call the cops....

My poor sweet little girls by this time were tugging on my arm saying 'Mum, let's go, let's go'. So we did.....

I was too embarrassed to say anything to my friend we were staying with and pushed the whole episode to the back of my mind.

We found the rubbers in the UK on the way home and they girls were happy as were their friends......

Some 6 years later we were now cruising and in this anchorage we met with some super American folk.
We were on their boat for supper one night and the subject turned to how I was schooling them, how I got suplies etc.
I said we were doing very well with the Calvert school from Baltimore but the only rubber they had, had dissapeared overboard so they had to cross out their school work out instead of rubbing out.
These American friends fell about laughing and as they did that I went totally


all those years previously the stationary store thought I was looking for condoms with stars and stripes on that I wanted to (graphically) use to ...move up and down".....

If only I had known and used the term ERASER!!!!!!

Wine does not make you fat, it makes you lean/against walls, tables, chairs, floors and ugly people.

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