Is This Where I Punch You in the Arm?

by mathhbratt

I encountered somebody more awkward than myself yesterday.

A detail you will need to know is I drive a Volkswagen Beetle. Where I grew up they were often referred to as “Slug Bugs.” But where I live now they are called “Punch Buggies.” Most phraseology differences here bother me.

Don’t get me wrong. I do prefer “soda” over the “pop” I grew up with. It sounds more sophisticated and mature. But all of the other differences? They call suckers “lollipops,” tennis shoes “sneakers,” shopping carts “carriages,” purses “pocketbooks,” and the list goes on. I have lived here five years, and I am noticing some terms changing in my vocabulary, but I refuse to use any on the list I’ve mentioned here. And, I absolutely refuse to refer to my beautiful car as a Punch Buggy.


Me with my friend’s son going for a ride in my car (NOT my “punch buggy!”)

So back to the story at hand…

I pulled into CVS yesterday to pick up something on the way home. This CVS is in not the best area, and it fits in quite well if you know what I mean. (Most of the junkies that hang out there are harmless, though.) As I got out of my car, a guy standing in front of the store smoking a cigarette greeted me. I returned the greeting as I tried to quickly walk into the store. Then he asked with a smile on his face, “Is this the part where I come lightly punch you in the arm for driving a punch buggy?”

Let that soak in for a minute. A male stranger just asked me if he could punch me. And he was smiling about it.

Of course I said “No,” and I am sure my voice and face (who both always betray me from hiding anything) conveyed how incredibly annoyed, bewildered, and concerned I was. My husband (whom I left sitting in the car, but was not very visible due to the headrests and how I parked) said as I walked in it sounded like the guy said, “well then I’ll just have to go punch her instead.” Hubs assumed he heard the guy wrong, because who would say something like that? More on that in a minute…

In the store, I couldn’t find what I needed. As I started to leave, I discovered that this guy who wanted to punch me was a CVS employee! He noticed I wasn’t buying anything and asked if I needed help finding something. From this point, I talked to him the same way I would any other employee, but in the back of my mind I was thinking of how incredibly unprofessional he was and wondering how the store manager would feel about him wanting to punch customers.

I had texted my husband while in the store:


He uses Speak to Text and never edits. This translates to, “So weird and violent.”

When I got to the car, Hubs told me it was good I told him the “punch buggy” part, because he was getting ready to get out of the car to see who he needed to punch. I cannot imagine him ever being violent with anybody, but his size would be sufficient in scaring away any culprits. This is when we got to have a real conversation versus texting. That is when he pieced together the “Well then I’ll just go have to punch her instead” statement to mean the guy was referring to my passenger. Can you imagine the guy’s surprise had he decided to go talk to the “her” waiting in my car? lol. I sort of wish he had, but it’s probably best that he didn’t. haha.

In our conversation we determined the poor guy was trying to flirt. (I still had my sunglasses on, so he probably had no idea he was hitting on a grandma.) The poor CVS smoker dude was trying to make conversation and be funny. Perhaps nobody told him most women do not want to be punched (especially those who were previously victims of domestic violence).

But yeah, this guy was trying to be funny and make conversation, and in the end, I felt a little sorry for him, because he was far more awkward than myself. This should make me feel a little better about my constant foot-in-mouth interactions, but it doesn’t.

*I’ve spent ten minutes right here trying to come up with a way to close this blog. Wrapping things up is always the hardest part for me. I should probably close with something about him being more awkward than me, because my first sentence led with that or about him wanting to punch me, because that is in the title, but I got nothing. So here is what I will go with:

If you work at a CVS (or anywhere for that matter), do not stand out front smoking and asking customers if you can punch them. They don’t like that, and they will write blogs about you later.