Move to the big city and talk like a dolt.

Everyday, I hear 20-something loud talkers blundering their way through the language. Are declarative sentences now uncouth and no one told me? I hear voice after voice trailing upwards at the end of every sentence as if every utterance is a question. Or they communicate in vague phrases that only echo the information that they are trying to express. I witnessed a prime example of this needlessly opaque communication style last night at a local burger joint.

Now there is little excuse for confusion at a place with five things on the menu: Three burgers and two types of fries is all this place offers. But when the couple at the table beside me was served dinner, all inarticulate hell broke loose.

“Our fry situation, is, like, totally, reversed?!” said the young woman in the 60’s style print cotton dress and platform wedge peep toe woven straw sandals. Her face was contorted in disgust as if piles of rodents had just been delivered to her table.

The waiter had little response except for a look of confusion like the one I flash at my cat after he has squealed out a meow that is eerily similar to an English word.

The boyfriend was just starring at the baskets of dinner. Not trusting them now that his date was so upset, but not comprehending the meaning of her outrage.

She tried again while pointing at herself then her date, “I, like, didn’t want the sweet potato fries? But, like, he totally did?”

A light went on behind the waiter’s eyes and he grabbed for the baskets.

The boyfriend finally displayed his liberal arts college reasoning skills, “Naw, could we just swap sandwiches?”

“Oh, yah,” she agreed. They exchanged beef burger for fish burger and had the fries of their liking.

I should stop paying attention to others and just enjoy the view of this grape vine.

Why was it so difficult for these two to figure this out? Why even involve the waiter and why address him with such babble? She would have had a better chance of being understood if she were speaking pig Latin and she wouldn’t have looked as childish doing it.

A few minutes later when this same waiter brought my companion and myself our baskets of burgers and fries, he was still on edge from his earlier encounter and had slipped into non sequiturs. “I don’t know about the fries and stuff?” he tentatively asserted while placing the food in the middle of the table. Incoherence must be catching.

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