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I like to write and I like to party, but mostly just the writing. Disclaimer: A lot of these stories are true ones. The memory of growing-up in and around Killybegs. When you hold a mirror up to small communities, sometimes there are those who don't like the reflection. Capote knew this only too well. If you find the refraction just a little too much and would like the angle of incidence changed in your favor, please email me at georgevial@hotmail.com and I will be happy to make a name change here or there.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dingle Berries

You’d think that after living in a country for five years or so that you’d pretty much have the language and culture down, especially if the language is English and it’s already your first language…but I continue to be amazed.

So, I was working at Pierpont’s at Union Station, down in the basement, in the private dining rooms and I’ve got this party of ten business men and all is going well, they’re spending an obscene amount of money and I’m doing what I do. Then it’s the dessert course and before I hand out the menus and do the spiel, I call on the intercom to the kitchen upstairs to find out that day’s selection of wild berries. They reply back to me just like any other day “Blackberries, Blueberries, Dingle Berries and Strawberries.” I make a note of that and head back to my party of ten.

I get some strange looks from the table as I list-off the berry selection, and I can sense that something is rotten in Denmark. Then one of them pips up “did somebody put you up to that?” They see the look of complete bewilderment on my face and another says “Dingle Berries, you don’t know what Dingle Berries are?” I tell them no and that I suppose they are something like a Marionberry or Boysenberry, and that we get many different berries with each season. Then they see the joke is on me and they all erupt in laughter, “I think someone’s having you on son.”

I get back to the microphone, completely mortified, and call up “Dingleberries, seriously!” And the kid on the cold line gets back on “Oh George, I was just kidding, I thought you knew what they were.” I tell him nope and that I just spieled a whole table. Word gets around the restaurant fast and the GM is furious with the kid, and I get so much shit from everyone. Oh and I learned what Dingle Berries are and a few days later when the GM cooled down he stuck a small plastic shovel to the wall in the basement with a note attached “Dingle Berry Scooper.” Isn’t language great, just when you think you’ve got it all down, you learn a new word. Bollocks.

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