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Comedians and Bastards

When we buy a new car, I have to haul the old man out to the Ford factory to “authenticate the body” as he subtly puts it.  I also have to produce my birth certificate so that I can prove I’m not a bastard and so qualify for the employee discount on new cars.

Dad worked at Ford in Geelong for 25 years after emigrating from England and children of current or former employees can get a discount on the purchase of a vehicle too.  When we bought our Focus last year, he said it would probably be our last discount but we’ve proved him wrong!

The guy in the office was chatting to dad while he filled out the forms that I had to present to Rex Gorell Ford later.  Dad has a very blinkered view of multiculturalism and still yearns for the British Empire in it’s “glory” and was regaling the form filler about how the driver of every taxi he travels in now has a turban.

With the forms filled, the guy winked at me and told dad he would order him a taxi.  Before dad could tell him I was driving, he was shouting down the phone, “ABDUL, A PICK UP AT FORD PLEASE!”.

I was in stitches and even the old man could see the funny side of this guys subtle joke.

MP and I headed into the city today for some shopping and then arranged to meet at Gloria Jeans for a coffee.  The young lady took my order and the register display said, “2 REG LATTES”, and the REG obviously stood for “regular”.  

They ask you for a name so they can call you out when it’s ready so I said, “The same name on your screen there”.  As quick as a flash and with an impish smile, she said, “Are you a Gloria or a Jean?”.  I’d forgotten about the company logo on the screen!

I think I need to dedicate a post to those wonderful people who constitute the service industry in this country. With very few exceptions, the people behind those counters do it pleasantly, efficiently and with a smile while having to tolerate grumpy old bastards all the time.  And they don’t expect a tip either.

By the way, I’m a reformed grumpy old bastard.

I’d better check that Birth Certificate again!

  1. AZ
    June 6, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Hard to think of you as a “child,” but any discount on a vehicle is good! As for turban wearing taxi drivers, we very rarely see them in Arizona, we are a state filled with people who drive their own vehicles, but walk into a Church’s Chicken in my community and they all owned by the same Sikh family.

    AZ – Yes, hard to imagine I was once a child. Maybe I should have used “sibling”. Discount this time was $1300 but it depends on the vehicle but we got $3000 when we bought the Focus.

  2. june in florida
    June 6, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Even though we can’t see i bet you were wearing short pants.Your Dad is a riot, how about a few more stories about him.Are you keeping the Focus?

    June – I only wear short pants in winter if I was meter reading. No, we traded the Focus and Fiesta in as we don’t really need two cars now.

  3. June 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    When we lived in USA, we sometimes ate at a place with the same arrangement – give your name when ordering, and the staff broadcast when your meal is ready. This caused confusion if your name was common, like Joe or Mike, so I quickly learned to use something different.

    I’d give the staff my distinctive name, then sit all tense and coiled – like a death adder made of steel springs – and when the speaker crackled juuust before my name was announced, I’d leap up with outstretched arms, ready for the crowd who adored “Elvis”.

    RS – You could have scored well with tips after that!

  4. june in florida
    June 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Meant short pants in school pic in AZ reply.


  5. June 7, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I hope you remembered to ask for the ‘Seniors Discount’ at Gloria Jean

    muscat55 – On this occasion I forgot because I was laughing so much. But I flash that card all the time.

  6. June 7, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Nice to get a discount on a new car. I worked at a natural gas distribution company for 35 years but I don’t get any discounts on my heating fuel! But I used to get a discount on purchasing a stove or a fridge or a furnace but they did away with that option many years ago.
    About the restaurant…. many years ago went to one that required a name, my husband at the time said “Hitler”… uhoh, I was so embarrassed. (He’s not around any more.)

    shammy – As you may have worked out, BIT is a power wholesaler and I worked for them for 25 years on and off. They used to sell electrical goods from a showroom until that was abolished years back and employees could get appliances on discount and with very low interest free repayments which we called “The Drip”. The unions negotiated for it to continue when the organisation was restructured and I believe it still continues today through selected stores.

    Maybe Muppet’s Mum can confirm that.

    • June 7, 2009 at 11:37 pm

      …. and neither is Hitler 🙂

      I think some people don’t know when to draw the line.

      I use Genghis Khan myself. 🙂

  7. Scott from Oregon
    June 8, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I used to get discounts when Pops flew Pan Am. La to Sydney was 35 US dollars. (You didn’t think I’d fly to Melbourne full fare did you?)

    But my car discount was always because the bloody thing was old…

    Scott – It costs you about the same to fly from Melbourne to Sydney now. You didn’t exactly follow in your old man’s footsteps. Or is it sky steps?

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