The Alphabet

Alphabet by Tony Clough“Hi, I’d like to get a season ticket for my car,” I said as cheerfully as I ever say anything to people behind counters in car parking ticket offices.

“Registration please,” said the young woman on the other side of the glass, without looking up from the little booklet she was thumbing through.

“Aitch… Vee…,” I started.

“Kay Bee,” she repeated back. Okay, repeated isn’t the right word there.

“No, aitch,” I said,”and vee.”

“Jay Pee?” she asked, brow furrowing, but head still not raising.

“Aitch!” I said with perhaps a little too much force. Her head lifted and her puzzled face with its confused grimace and perplexed eyes finally pointed in my direction.

“Aitch,” I said, mouthing the word slowly for her benefit.

“Oh,” she said (thankfully, not the letter), “haitch!”

“No, aitch, you poorly-educated, cloth-eared bint,” I replied. In my mind. I’m far too reserved to speak my innermost thoughts.

I nodded with a forced smile and then drew the letter in the air with my finger while saying “vee” to her.

“Hi, I’d like to get a season ticket for my car,” said a man who had just come in and glided up to the counter next to me and Miss Deafy McThick. “It’s for Charlie Alpha Fiver Niner X-Ray Whiskey Foxtrot,” he rattled off.

My would-be ticket-issuer and I shared a glance with a hidden meaning. It might have been “see, we wouldn’t have had all this trouble if you’d said Hotel Victor from the start” but I choose to believe it was actually “I’ll just bet that tool using the phonetic alphabet drives an Audi.”

Mere minutes later I left clutching my ticket.

Author: Mark

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