UPDATED: What's worse than old people? What's worse than snowbirds? What's worse than the ghetto trash which rolls out of the trailers and into our store on a regular meth-fueled basis? Thaaaaaaaaats riiiiiiiight Johnny! European tourists. They love the Florida. Europe. It's where the history and the whiny come from.
I've got nothing against Europeans, per se. I love Britcoms, cave paintings, reindeer, Belgian chocolate, French food, Italian wine, Sophia Loren, Swedish boys and movies with subtitles (except the ones with Roberto Begnini). But European tourists are usually everything the stereotype makes them out to be.
So I've got this old German man (two for the price of one - old AND European!) who comes up to Customer Service wheeling this cheap black Wal-Mart luggage set.
He's got paler than pale skin and wearing a usual "I'm trying to blend in, but I don't know how" tourist get-up of black shorts and this ugly gray and red striped shirt. The shoes are some ugly Continental thing - black and leathery. Note: Color is your friend!
He hefts the luggage set up on the counter and asks for a price check. I scan it and tell him. $49.92. Total rip-off. Buy your luggage elsewhere. And don't be fooled by the "American Tourister" line at Wal-Mart. It is poorly made.
Anyway. He points to a tiny mark on the cloth, which looks like chalk, and says "This mark, they will give discount because is not good?"
**SIGH** This is not a marketplace in Bavaria. I am not the rosy-cheeked granny selling apples in a market stall on Sunday morning. I do not make bargains. I do not barter. I do not trade eight peaches for a chicken. This is the Wal-Mart. Retail behemoth. Oh, wait. They can't hack it in Germany.
But I'm authorized to give a ten percent discount, no matter what, because the usual markup is about 35% on anything bigger than a lightbulb on the merchandise side of the store. I inform him of said 10% discount. "Well, what is price?" I was severely tempted to go "What is attitude?"
I work the calculator magic, and it comes out to $44.93, plus tax. "I leave here, and go look for wife." "Um, OK."
At this point, I'm like please, just leave. I stick a note on the suitcase with the new price in case I'm busy and go on about my business. Over the next hour, he wanders by at least three times. I see him with a Snickers bar and a water, once again with a book and later just wandering. Never do I see the mythical "wife." I wonder if she did a runner like in "Bagdad Cafe?"
Finally, he comes back up and pronounces "I buy suitcase now."
The final total was $47.63. So basically, he got about $2 off the price of the suitcases. He pops out an American Express card, swipes and I give him the receipt.
He rolls the suitcase and I thank my stars this episode of the Barbarian Invasions was over.
PS: Bonus points for anyone who gets the reference in the post title.
BULLETIN: I leave my regular job and go to the food court at the mega mall near the office where I work for lunch today. WHO DO I SEE? That's right. Mr. Suitcase. WEARING THE SAME BLACK ON GRAY OUTFIT. Still sans wife. PS: Bavaria. It's where donut cream comes from!
PPS: The post title is from "The Fast Show." It was also used with great effect in an episode of "The Royle Family" and parodied endlessly.