Thursday, August 26, 2010

Strange Things Are Afoot at the Circle K

I have a Circle K near me. Or did…they were bought by some other fuel chain and renamed, but it’ll always be the Circle K (I feel sorry for anyone trying to find my house that is told to “turn left at the Circle K”).

One of the regular employees is a very nice, but very weird man with probable mental issues. He had brain surgery. I know this because every time I see him (about every month when I gas up there, or buy ice or propane), he manages to work into the conversation that he had brain surgery. Thus it was on Saturday morning when I went there to buy 2 bags of ice (for a soccer tournament in which I was coaching).

Me: Hi, I’d like 2 bags of ice.

Guy: Hummuna mumbla somethinga mumbla hummuna.

Me: Excuse me?

Guy: Hummuna mumbla somethinga mumbla hummuna.

Me: Umm…come again?

Guy: Hummuna mumbla somethinga mumbla hummuna.

Me: *Blank stare*

Guy: Oh, sorry! I was speaking Spanish and didn’t realize it. I do that every now and then, go back and forth between English and Spanish, on account of my brain surgery. I had brain surgery and I do things like that every now and then.

Me: *Uncomfortable smile*

Guy: So are you doing alright today?

Me: Uh…huhhh.

Guy: Good. That’ll be $5.08.

Me: *Hands crazy guy $20*

Guy: Alright, out of $20…hey, do you know what year Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue?

Me: What?

Guy: What year did Columbus sail the Ocean Blue?

Me: Uhhh…..Fourteen….Ninety…Two.

Guy: Very good! $14.92 is your change, here you go and have a great day!

Me: Thanks! *got the hell out of there quickly*

Here’s the really crazy part….when he was mumbling to me, I was absolutely positive he was NOT speaking Spanish. I know enough Spanish that I know when it’s being spoken around me, and he was not speaking Spanish. He was speaking some crazy language, like speaking in tongues. He almost sounded like Robert De Niro at the end of “Cape Fear,” when he was going under water and speaking in tongues.


  1. And this is what worries me about brain surgery.

    Thanks a lot, Steve! *sticking tongue out*

  2. When he starts to click his tongue, look for spears :-D

  3. Around the convenience stores here, if the employee doesn't speak English so well, it's because they're more fluent in Hindi or Urdu or some other South Asian language.

  4. Oh dude, that's rough. It's always painful when the "touched in the head" expect you to just roll with it like that.

    But I'd still take that any day over "put-out" black guy who helms the register at my local "Walmart" gas station. At least your freak's friendly!

  5. 'Hmmm. I appear to be a munter. I know, I shall recite random historical facts in pop-quiz fashion in an attempt to appear less munty.'

    Not working, Munty Guy.

  6. Luna, I'm willing to bet this guy had brain surgery because of a motorcycle accident or something. Completely unrelated, don't worry.

    Nat, that or Coke bottles falling from the sky?

    YD, normally the same here, but occasionally you do run into a very white man who doesn't speak Spanish but pretends he does. He almost sounded like Beavis when he was pretending to be Cornholio.

    Heidi, be careful, Angry Black Man Syndrome is what drove the Long Island Railroad shooter to commit mayhem.

    Yobbo, I excuse it because of his head issues, but what really annoys me is back in high school when I worked in a grocery store, I'd check out groceries and the amount would be something like $19.85, or the change would be $17.76, and the guy (always an old guy) would say, "1776...that was a good year." My thought, always unspoken, was always "yeah, I bet you remember it clearly you old bastard."

  7. He actually sighs when a customer approaches the counter so yeah...ur probably right.

  8. Yeah, the scary part is that the brain surgery was presumably to fix something about his brain and this is the "fixed" version. Of course, the alternative might have been him being dead, so it works out well for him.

    Heidi's guy reminds me of the morning guy at our nearby Circle K. I was trying to buy something at 7:01 AM and he told me it was going to be 20 minutes because they were in the middle of a shift change. I now go to the much less convenient Exxon in the morning if I need to stop somewhere.