When I worked as a Controller in the auto industry, I went to lunch with clients, bank reps and my managers. One day I took my service manager and a customer to lunch. We just ran over to Eat ‘n Park, which was fine because they have a decent salad bar and I love rabbit food (lettuce).
This customer was yakking away when I stood and told them that I was going to the salad bar and asked if either wanted anything. The customer, whom I had just met that day, said, “Yes, bring me back a kumquat.”
I stood there for a second or two while my mind screamed, Why would you say that to me! What kind of depraved sex manic are you? But I didn’t say it out loud…thank goodness! I turned and headed for the salad bar and while I filled my plate I couldn’t get the word kumquat out of my mind or stop wondering why the customer would say such a disgusting thing to me. When I sat back down I couldn’t concentrate on the conversation because I thought I was sitting with a pervert.
Once I got back to the dealership, I called my secretary and told her I had an important question to ask. So, as diplomatically as I could, considering what I thought were dire circumstances, I whispered into the phone, “What’s a kumquat?”
She calmly answered, “A fruit.”
“A fruit!” I squealed, “I thought it was some disgusting nic-name for a womanly body part!” I heard giggling on the other end of the phone and knew my secretary was in hysterics. I couldn’t blame her— it did sound quite silly…now.
I quickly told her what had transpired at lunch, but didn’t tell her what I had almost said to the guy! Which, by the way, I was so glad I hadn’t.
Can you just imagine the look on his face if I had shrieked, “You pervert! If you want a kumquat go get your own! I’m not that kind of girl!”