Wolfe’s Woofers: “Language Lesson”

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

“What are you up to today, Charlie?” I asked.
“Oh, not much,” Charlie said. “I’ve just been sitting here in the restaurant, drinking coffee and talking with the customers.”
A well-dressed older Spanish gentleman sat at the table next to us. He turned to Charlie and said, “Buenas dias.”
Charlie nodded and said, “Charles Worthington.”
That happened last week. On Thursday I was back visiting Charlie again and the same gentleman showed up.
“Buenas dias,” he said to Charlie.
“Charles Worthington, ” Charlie answered.
After the man ate his breakfast and left I asked, “What is that all about? Who is that man?”
“That’s Mr. Buenas Dias,” Charlie said. “I don’t really know him because he doesn’t speak a lick of English. He introduced himself to me so I told him my name. Now, every time he comes in he says his name and I say mine.”
“Charlie, he’s not introducing himself,” I said. “In Spanish, buenas dias means good morning. He’s just telling you good morning.”
“Well, I sure do feel foolish,” Charlie said. “It goes to show you how risky it is to assume something. Next time he comes in I’ll tell him good morning in Spanish.”
The next morning the gentleman showed up as we sat nursing our coffee.
“Buenas dias,” Charlie said, as the man sat down.
The man nodded and answered, “Charles Worthington.”


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