Date:         Mon, 14 Nov 1994 23:01:48 EDT
Reply-To:     English Language Discussion Group <words-l@uga.bitnet>
From:         gilbertsmith <>
To:           Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <words-l@uga.bitnet>

I have returned from one of the great cities of the world, in the
airport restaurante of which I heard the following conversation
between the cashier woman and a young man, who had ordered a sausage
po-boy and was not paying for it:

CASHIER:  So, you don't want the po-boy?
Young Man:  Yes.
CASHIER:  You do want it, or you don't want it?
Young Man:  Yes.  I don't want it.

This is partly for the benefit of the guy who posted a query about
whether this list is *really* about the English Language. Also,
this was one of many highlights of my trip.  Some others may appear
on the list from time to time.

Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 00:33:15 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>
Subject: Yes No Maybe So Certainly 3

Conversation participated in at SCMLA convention when I found that a
fellow actor from dinner theater days in Nashville, who had gone off
to Hollywood to make his fortune and later ended up in graduate
school, then Arkansas teaching English literature, was on the program
doing a paper on the Bard, using his actor's voice to quote from
Macbeth and Hamlet:
  ME:  Hi.  (Covering up my badge)  I'm a ghost from your past. (Had
not seen this person in 23 years).  Do you know who I am?
  HE:  Uh....  YES!!   Smitty!
  ME:  Most people call me Gib.
  HE:  No, Smitty!
  ME:  How did you remember me?
  HE:  Because you had a beard.  My room mate and I bought a dog at
the pound, a dog with a beard.  He said, "What will we call it?"  I
said:  "It has a beard... we will call it Smitty."
  ME:  It's nice to be remembered.
  HE:  The dog died in the arms of my mom, about ten years ago.
  ME:  Pity.

Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 00:43:53 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>

Conversation at the registration desk of the Clarion Hotel Friday
night, participated in by my friend Jean, who wanted to do the check-
out that night though she was not actually leaving until ten minutes
after she delivered her paper on Saturday morning, my room mate JOHN,
and *I*.

JEAN:  I would like to check out now because I wont have time in the
DESKPERSON:  I'm sorry, but we cant do that.
JEAN:  Why not?
DESKP:  Because if we check you out, the computer will show your room
to be empty and we might put someone else in it.
JEAN:  It's 11:30 p.m.  Are you going to put someone in a room at
11:30 pm?
DESKP:  I'm sorry, we cant do it.  Your room would be vacant.
JEAN:  But, I have a room mate who will *not* be checked out until
noon tomorrow.
DESKP:  No.  If we check you out, your room will show empty.
JEAN (A polite person):  Oh.  Well, thank you.
DESKP:  You're welcome.  Don't mention it.
I: (to my friend John, who is checking out on Sunday morning, leaving
me in the room until Monday noon):  This means trouble.
I: (to DESKP):  Excuse me.  My room mate is checking out on Sunday,
but I am not checking out until Monday.
DESKP:  That's fine.  Just have your room mate remind us that you are
staying another night.
I:  But, if he checks out on Sunday, won't my room show as vacant on
your computer?
DESKP:  No.  Of course not.
I:  Oh.  Uh....
JOHN:  Time to go.  *Now*!
I: (to JOHN):  New Orleans is a wonderful city.

Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 00:56:49 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>

Conversation between the three DESKPERSONS at the Clarion Hotel, the
Assistant Manager, the Manager, and *I*, on Friday night before my
room mate JOHN and I go out in the French Quarter:

I:  I would like to cash this $50 travelers check, please.
DP1:  I can't.  We don't have any money.
I:  Excuse me?
DP1:  I said, we don't have any money.
I:  Uh...  I am a *guest* in your hotel, and you wont cash a
travelers check for me?
DP2:  She didn't say she wouldnt, she said we *dont* *have* *any*
DP3 (opening cash box):  See, I have five dollars.  *Five* *dollars*!
DP1:  We've had a busy night.  We dont have any money.  Do you
I (in a high voice now):  The *service* in this hotel has really been
DP1: ........ (no comment, only an I Really Hate Crackers stare)
JOHN (just arriving from men's room):  What's happening?
I:  This is incredible.  They don't have any money.
DP3:  I have five dollars.
I (to JOHN):  Watch this.  This is something I learned from my father.
I (going over to hotel manager's desk):  Excuse me.
AHM:  Can I help you?
I:  I would like to speak to the manager, but since he is busy with
someone else, perhaps I can speak with you.
AHM:  Certainly, what's the problem.
I:  I tried to cash a travelers check, and the deskpersons say they
don't have any money.
AHM: (laughing) They said what?
I:  That they dont have any money.
AHM:  Just a moment.  (Whispers in HM's ear, snickering as he does it)
HM:  Sir, would you like to cash a travelers check?
I:  Yes, but...
HM:  I will cash that for you. (Takes my check, disappears behind
door, reappears with fifty dollars).  Here you are, Sir.
I:  Thank you.  By the way, I think I should sign that check.
HM:  Oh.  Just a moment. (Behind door, then back with check)  I
appreciate your remembering that.  That would have come out of my
I:  I appreciate your help.  Thank you.
JOHN:  Time to go.  *Now*!
I:  New Orleans is a wonderful city.

Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 01:40:35 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>

Conversation between my friend Paco, who was the chairman of my
section, and *I* on the afternoon after I gave my paper, on Canal

PACO:  I really liked your paper, particularly the part about all the
strange coincidences that led you to do that research.
I:  Oh, yeah, all the being in the right place at the right time.
I'm going to do a paper on the six or seven times that has happened,
something like "The Charmed Life of a Semi-Scholar"....  Oh, look!
The Fairmont Hotel.  That used to be the Roosevelt.  Been there?
PACO:  Never.
I: Let's go.  Thirty four years ago, my wife and I would come down
here at night, sit in the lobby and watch all the important people
walk through.  This is the hotel Arthur Hailey used for his novel
_Hotel_, and the movie was filmed here.  First time I ever became
aware of who Carmen McRae was, she was the lounge singer in the
movie.  Turned out to be the best jazz singer alive today.  Several
years later, the Brown U. radio station sold off all its jazz
recordings because nobody wanted to listen to that kind of music any
more.  I bought twelve Carmen McRae albums.  Still have them.
PACO:  God!  Look at this place.  Let's have a drink in this bar.  I
was born to live like this.
I:  My wife didnt like jazz.  She's been dead eleven years now, but I
feel her presence here.  This is where we really liked to be.  It
was fun, seeing all the high society dressed up for the most elegant
night on the town. (to bartender):  Was this once the Blue Room?
BT:  No, the Blue Room is over there.  This was the sitting area
where you would wait to go in the Blue Room.
I (to PACO):  This is where we sat and waited to see Jimmy Durante
tear up a piano and Sophie Tucker throw out her Sophie's Little Love
Pills after her show, and a bunch of high school students lined up
to get Earl Wilson's autograph, not knowing who he was but having
heard he was famous.  Over there is where I bought an LP from
her, which she signed and put the money in the jar for her Jewish
PACO:  You're making me cry.  I'm old enough to remember all those
people.  I need a beer.

The next morning, I buy a newspaper, open it, and find that Carmen
McRae has died, the day before.  The day I was in *her* Hotel.  Like
the character says in One Hundred Years Of Solitude:  "Everything is
related to everything else.  The world is an orange."

Date: Thu, 17 Nov 1994 02:03:46 EDT
From: gilbertsmith <>

Conversation between my room mate John, a Perfect Stranger, and *I*
Saturday morning before I look up my actor friend:

JOHN:  Have you talked to Barry?
I:  Oh yeah, he was in San Antonio offending everybody at his grading
table.  Particularly the three women who thought he was unnecessarily
JOHN:  Barry?  Rude?
I:  Yeah, right.  He smokes, you know, one after another, but he
couldnt smoke in the grading room, so at every break he would go out
and do three in fifteen minutes, then come back in smelling up the
room.  The three women--all from Puerto Rico or Cuba or somewhere--
would start in on how he shouldn't be smoking because it would ruin
his health, so he would start yelling What The Shit Do You Care Jesus
Christ You Dont Even Like Me Get Off My Back Its None Of Your Fucking
JOHN:  And he wonders why he cant get a job.
I:  Right.

twenty minutes later, I find the room where the actor will <do>
Shakespeare, and I have about fifteen minutes, so I decide to smoke
one of the very few cigarettes I smoke while in N.O., thinking I've
got to quit this for good when I get home.  Area is very secluded, up
on 6th floor away from other convention rooms, no one around.  I
light up and a stern looking convention participant comes over and
sits on the next sofa, glaring at me through her thick glasses.
Then, JOHN walks by, out of nowhere.

I (timidly, caught in the act):  Well, I finally had to smoke a
JOHN:  I wondered about that.  I hadnt seen you smoke.
I:  I dont smoke in the room.  It smells so bad.
JOHN:  Oh, it's not that. I was just worried about your health.
STERN WOMAN (whom I have never seen before in my life, to JOHN,
smirking):  He doesn't have any.
I:  What?
STERN WOMAN:  He said he was worried about your health.  When I saw
that cigarette, I thought "He doesn't have any."
I (about to yell What The Fuck Do You Care Jesus Christ You Dont Even
Know Me):....  Oh.....  yeah.  Right.  I appreciate your concern.

One more puff, resisting the urge to direct the smoke at my neighbor,
then I go off to hear Shakespeare, thinking "Everything is related to
every thing else.  The world is an orange."