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Monday, March 17, 2008

The technology of English

My old man had decided it was time for a new computer. I don't know if it was because he was tired of getting the punch cards mixed up, or if he wanted to reclaim a thousand square feet of his house, but it was time.

You have to understand, dad hasn't progressed technologically since 1969. He still wants to know how they make those teeny tiny little vacuum tubes that go into IPODS and LCD TVs. So when he decided it was time for a new machine, he entrusted it to me. He asked me if it would cost more than $100,000 and if he would have to clear out the basement.

In retrospect, I should have said yes and paid off my mortgage. Still, I like to imagine myself to be a good person. I try anyways.

Theres a really awesome computer store I go to in a nearby city. It takes about a half hour to drive there, but it's definitely worth it. They always have lots of stock, their prices are good, the staff is knowledgeable and they are open on Saturday's. The downside? They're from either India or Pakistan, and all of them have extremely thick accents.

Having done my homework, I already knew what I wanted and I walked in and asked them for it, by model number. They understand me as well as I understand them, so after a few confused verbal exchanges I show them the computer I wanted on their own website.

The store clerk told me they had a better machine for less money already built on that shelf over there. Well, that's what he tried to say. What I heard was this:
"Dip monga holla bana dip dooly nipple mattta bannanna fwanna drools!"

After a few minutes of frustrated exchanges, I finally understood what he meant. Looking at the machine, it was indeed a better machine for less money. I was instantly impressed, this man valued customer happiness over making more money. I wouldn't have known the difference anyways. This just reinforced my liking of this particular store.

I noticed that the machine had windows Vista on it. I didn't want Vista, so I asked him if I could get Windows XP instead.
"dunga matta dip longa whoona fwunga darcheese," came the reply.

I eventually translated that to mean he'd give me the XP liscence in exchange for the Vista liscence, and a burnt windows CD.

"Great!" I said, "I'll buy it!"

And he heard

"sping boggin wanta funna billo fuming abtoooo."

Half an hour later, after all the appropriate translations, I walked out with the machine tucked under my arm.

I got the computer set up and working, with virus software, Microsoft Office and every bell and whistle they'd need. Now comes the fun part, all the phone calls. How do you do this? Why did the machine do that? Training my parents is always fun.

The moral of the story? I'm going to learn Hindu for next time I have to go to this store. It's a great store, and I'm pretty sure learning their language would SAVE time. At least, I think it will.


If you liked the above, you may also like:

A guide to the dangers of Canadian animals
High time for high school
Spazoid's 100th post!
Things I notice
Business Proposal!

25 keen observations:

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

"Dip monga holla bana dip dooly nipple mattta bannanna fwanna drools!"

Hey, that sounds like me when I'm drunk!

I gather you got the ethernet modem figured out! Good show! :)

Black Cat said...

Hi! I just found your blog through 3 Cat Blog and I love it! You are very funny. I also read your guide to Canada's dangerous wildlife and laughed my socks off (oh, actually I'm not wearing any, but I'm sure you get the picture). I have relatives in Canada and there are black bears near where they live. I think you should do an update and also warn prospective visitors about the tiger mosquitoes, the shad flies, those things that burrow into the skin round your ankles if you swim in a lake before August and, of course, last but no least, the Vishus Deer! See you again:)

moooooog35 said...

As you go through life, just remember this tidbit from Wayne Gretzky on Saturday Night Live:

"Mona luckahiki means hockey
Mona luckawiki means love
A moonlit ice rink means romance
with my baby and the stars above."

That should cover you for all other encounters with people you can't understand.

You're welcome.

On another note, my father-in-law came by yesterday because his Garmin was still showing him directions from when we were in Florida. He brought it over because he couldn't figure out how to change "the starting point."

We turned it on, waited two minutes for it to actually acquire the satellites that told him where he was, and then I let him go home.

Mike said...

Fashionista - Is that when you're drunk, or are those the noises you make on your frequent drunk pukes??

Remind me to tell you about the ethernet next we chat on MSN. I figured it out, and it was quite amusing.

Black cat - Thanks for visiting! I think my next Canadian thing will be a guide to all things Canadian for visiting Americans. Stay tuned!

moooog - Maybe your father in law can get together with my old man. My dad just bought a GPS unit.

I'm anticipating the call from somewhere in timbucktoo when they go visit my sister in Virginia this weekend.

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

Mike - It could be when I'm drunk or when I'm puking.. I don't remember! :)

All right. I'll try and catch you online later tonight or sometime this week. ;)

Your cyber-stalker, snoogins.

Anonymous said...

Mike: I had to stop by before I left and to my surprise, I am Happy!!! I loved this blog also!! you are a complete mess.. I was finishing up my blog and thought to myself I need to make my way to yours before I left to make sure if you had posted or not.

I am always excited to read your thoughts and findings. I am glad your dad got situated with his modern technology. Have a great week and I will check in!!!!!!!

Shalom My Dearest friend, and you are right I have gone a lil bit crazy, but this vacation is going to do me some good, check out what I am asking H for on my blog!!!


Meghan said...

Isn't tech support grand? I worked on the receiving end of tech support for years. They make you take classes in Gibberish 101.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I am still here.. I am sensing a problem, WHY CAN;T PEOPLE BE ON TIME????????

Tequila Mockingbird said...

computers? i dont trust them there new fangled gadgets. back in my day, all we needed was an abacus, and some paper and a no. 2 pencil. goddamn greedy lazy whippersnappers!

Blogget Jones said...

Welcome to my daily life, kindred spazoid! Except it's not a store, but an IT department. And it's not my parents, it's college faculty members - who are clinging to their punch cards and slide rules for dear life.

Pray for me. Good luck with the language learning.

;o) BJ

Anonymous said...

yep still here! but leaving at 11pm some people did not have their business in order!!! But I am going i promise!!!


meleah rebeccah said...

" I'm going to learn Hindu for next time I have to go to this store. It's a great store, and I'm pretty sure learning their language would SAVE time. At least, I think it will."

Now your thinking!

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Nice to *meet* you.

Jillian said...

"Dip monga holla bana dip dooly nipple mattta bannanna fwanna drools!"


Naughty Lakota said...


Tink said...

Wait, does that mean he has a $100,000 to spare? Sounds like the ol' man is holding out on you. ;)

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that that was Hindu. I always learn so much here!

Anonymous said...

Well, actually, they're only planning to go as far as Pennsylvania this weekend, so if they end up in Virginia, you'll know they're in trouble!

Umm, Mike, the Language is HIndi, not Hindu.

Your Sister

tanninety said...

Umm, what your sister said about the language and Thank You, Come Again! :P

Hillary said...

I love old people. My parents got a Harmony remote last year. We gave it to them already programmed. Basically all they have to do is point it at the tv and press the button that says "watch tv"
I still get calls asking how to use it. It makes my head melt.

Kerstin said...

Technology always provides good fodder for the blogging world.

I'll be laughing about this for quite a while.

Iron Pugilist said...

Can't... stop... laughing...

billymac said...

you're like some sort of diplomat... i think you should be canada's next ambassador to india/pakistan/whateverstan

new york dactyl said...

nipple is a word in ANY language... clearly.

Jay Cam said...

oh man, if you don't know how to use a computer i consider you old!! oldie!

Anonymous said...

People in Pakistan speak Urdu and people in India speak tons of languages(Hindi is the main language). Good luck in learning those languages! lol