Days at the bakery are pretty long, so when it's time to get the h*ll out, we all run for the door. The other day, however, I was taking my sweet time for no good reason at all, and I ended up serving this old man with a really heavy accent. Now, when I say old, I mean old. He literally looked like he was dragging his legs towards the bakery. As for the accent, I don't know what it was. German, Russian, Czech... Beats the heck out of me. What I do know is that I couldn't understand him.
Anyway, when he finally made it to the counter, he grabbed onto it with both hands, steadied himself as upright he possibly could, looked me straight in the eye and said...
OMWHA: I vant a vife zake.
Me: (holy frickin' accent, dude!!) I'm sorry, sir, you want a what?
OMWHA: I vant a vife zake!
Me: (hmm... a vife zake... a wife zake... a wife cake... A WHITE CAKE!!) Sir, would you like a white cake?
OMWHA: (annoyed) No, no, no! D'you no lizen me!
Me: (oh, I hear you, alright, I just can't understand you) I'm sorry, sir.
OMWHA: (tapping his tattered fingers on the display case) I van dis zake.
Me: (looking down & spotting a white birthday cake) Sir, you want a white birthday cake?
OMWHA: (annoyed, again) Dis vat I zay!
Me: (uh, not exactly, but OK) Right, that's what you said. Would you like me to write something on it for you?
OMWHA: You vite happy berth-day nine two.
Me: (wow, I actually understood that... guess he practiced saying it before he got here) OK, so you want Happy Birthday 92? What about a name?
OMWHA: (angry) No, no, no!!!
Me: (sh*t, this guy's gonna have a heart attack) I'm sorry, sir. Please tell me again.
OMWHA: No, I vite down, z'ok?
Me: (it's z'ok with me, but will I be able to read it?) Alright, sir, just a moment.
I quickly grabbed a pen & a piece of scrap paper and made my way back to the counter.
Me: (handing OMWHA the pen & paper) Here you go, sir.
Ever so carefully, OMWHA started writing down what he wanted on his cake. This is going to take a while, I thought to myself.
A couple of minutes later, OMWHA handed the piece of paper back to me with the words "Happy Berth-day 92 my wife" scrawled on it. OK, not only did he practice saying it, but he practiced writing it down too? Seriously, how can he write in English better than he can speak it?
Me: Sir, is this (pointing at "berth-day") how you want me to spell "birthday" for you?
OMWHA: (nothing, just shaking his head like he can't believe how dense I am)
OMWHA: (sighing) Vatz vong vid'you? Vite on zake like paper, z'ok?
Me: (z'ok, man, Z'OK!! Geez!!) Yes, sir, I'll be right back.
As I wrote OMWHA's birthday message on the cake, I thought about some other weird things people have asked me to write on cakes for them. Remember that redundant message Multiple Cake Guy wanted on his son's birthday cake?? Yeah, I think I'm going to make a list of strange cake messages for a future blog post.
Me: (returning to the counter) Here's your cake, sir. I hope your wife has a lovely birthday (and I hope you can walk & carry that cake at the same time).
OMWHA: (nothing, just a grunt and another shake of his head)
Yup, I'm pretty sure the old guy thought I was a complete idiot.