We'll Need to Move the White House

There are two of us in the sales department, our territories are divided somewhere around the Mason-Dixon line. Bubbles has the South and a few big stocking suppliers, I have the North, Canada and all other foreign countries.. and our one big customer. The standard rule of thumb is "If you can't understand them or they talk funny, just give them to Mahala."

It's Louise's job to operate the switchboard, although she and Thelma share an office and sometimes it becomes a group project. The following conversation was overheard there recently and this is one time that I assure you, I'm not exaggerating nor adding to the exchange at all, this is as it happened:

Louise, on the telephone: "Yes, hold one moment please." She places the caller on hold and begins examining the territory map. "Thelma, whar's Columbia?"

Thelma: "Columbia??? You mean like.. South America or somewhar?"

Louise: "Well, he don't sound like he's from down yonder, but thats wut he said."

Thelma: "I guess give him to Mahala.. but no.. ask him again where he's from, maybe you heard him wrong."

Louise, to the person on the telephone: "Yes.. hello.. kin you tell me whar you're callin' from?... Ok.. hold one moment please." She puts the caller back on hold, then turns to Thelma, "He says he's callin' from the District of Columbia."

Thelma: "Oh.. that's in Canada. Give him to Mahala." In the meantime, Louise is searching all over the territory map looking for the District of Columbia in Canada.

I swear.

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

It was around this time that I wandered into the room. "The District of Columbia is Washington D.C. ya'll. That's in Bubbles territory."

Thelma: "It iiiiisssssss nooooooot. Why would he say that if he meant Washington D.C.?"

Me: "Because that's what D.C. stands for.. District of Columbia."

Louise: "Now Mahala, even though I can't find it on this map, I know that's in Canada. You're just trying to get out of taking this phone call." She was starting to get angry, "We ain't stupid. I know Washington D.C. ain't in Canada. That wouldn't make no sense."

In the meantime, this poor customer is sitting on hold while the entire office staff debates the location of the District of Columbia. I finally gave in.

Me: "You know what, you're absolutely right. I stand corrected. Just transfer him to my phone and I'll take care of him."

As Louise transfers the call to my cubicle and I turn to leave, I hear Thelma muttering, "I knowed we wuz right. The president don't live in Canada!!"