.

Cairo and Back

All of a sudden I realized that I was backing out of their driveway and there was no way I could read her lips. I thought I might have gone too far. Irene, indeed.

Yesterday I dropped Betty off at a day care center. She reads to kids. What a great gig. And NB was in the car, too. Back seat. He piped up that she has a wonderful voice for story-telling. He won her over right then.

NB has been in pharmacy for 32 years - about half of it in forensic toxicology with Chicago law enforcement. He says he could tell some stories. I believe him. I listen and guess his ethnic origin as Arab.

“Pretty good,” he said, “I’m impressed. Most people think I’m Greek or Mexican.”

Really? I thought ... with an accent like that?

“I’m originally from Egypt.”  he says.

I should have said Egypt. I knew it was Egypt. I got to go with my gut more often.

He bought his car with us ten years ago and has been coming for service ever since. We’re doing a great job.

Further, his car was done earlier than expected and I was able to pick him up before my shift was over. His wife was coming along and they were headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond to return some stuff. When I told him that’s what he was doing he looked at me like I was a mind reader.

“No, I just see your wife getting in the back seat with the BB&B bag from the store.” I told him. He laughed.

“Hi. Good morning! And, what’s your name,” I asked his wife.
“You can call me Irene,” she said. “No one here can say my name.”
“Really?”  I challenged, “I’ll bet I can.”

He grinned and gave her a nod.

All of a sudden I realized that I was backing out of their driveway and there was no way I could read her lips. I thought I might have gone too far.

I wonder why it is, after all this time, that she still thinks no one can say her name. It is two, simple syllables.

Irene, indeed.



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Read Patch Thursday mornings for ShuttleBug: stories with people in an auto dealer customer service shuttle van.
More stories here.

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