Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Money than Sense

"Mr. Fixit, Captain M, and Mr. Susan Storm: You are to go across the Nile to convene with the Bureaucrat. He is expecting me and me alone and is working deeply undercover. He will be shocked at your arrival, so Mr. Fixit--you'll have to manage him."

"I can handle the Bureaucrat."

"Good. Meanwhile, Lieutenant O and I will meet at the Apple store to acquire classified documents. We'll reconvene here at the hotel in a few hours to make PDFs of the next several months editorial assignments on our laptops."

Everyone had brought their chargers but there was only one power outlet, so we were later reduced to "I only have four seconds left, plug me in, quick!"

The team hopped into a taxi to go across the NIle, while I got my own taxi to go to Mohandeseen and meet the lieutenant. In we went to the computer store to meet with the sales rep.

"Just pretend we're here to buy more Macs. I'll handle getting the papers we need at the end."

How to keep the sales rep talking to where he is so engrossed he just hands over anything to get our business?

He showed us some tower Macs.

"Is that one more powerful than what we have now? O, what do we have now? But it looks the same. Why would I pay so much more? We already have that kind. How much were our old ones? Can I see the specs on them?"

"Yes, yes, of course. But first, look at these new ones..."

"They are very pretty but I don't see the difference between these and the old ones? What did we have before, O? Do you have the paper on those? Can't we just look at the receipts so you can explain the difference to me?"

"We'll get it, ma'am."

"Would that Mac Mini work for our purposes? It's really cute."

"Not powerful enough, Ma'am. You will need the tower."

"But I like laptops. Can't laptops do the same thing?"

"Look, here are the specs." The sales manager showed me the specs. I had started to relish my role, which was obviously "rich American with more money than sense."

"Specs? I don't know what those numbers mean. I rely heavily on O here for all my information about computers. Do they all have USB ports? Can they all go on the internet?"

The salesman still hadn't even winced. I guess I was pushing him to see if he'd laugh or smirk, but he was cool. Lieutenant O was smooth too, not batting an eye at my declaration of ignorance. Maybe enjoying the moment, since I'd outPhotoshopped him in record time last night.

"What about Wacom Tablets? How much are those?"

He went off to get the Wacom Tablets. I was starting to lose interest in the game, so we left shortly after. We got in the taxi to reconvene with the team.

Lieutenant O is a mild, kind fellow. When he teases, he does it with respect and a smile. He sat in the front seat in the taxi, and then turned around to face me with a grin as he mimicked me in the meeting with the Mac salesman.

"I like pink. Do you have any pink computers?"

I reddened. Perhaps I'd played the role too well.


Linda said...

Well played. Did you lower your chin and look up, batting your eyelashes?

And are blondes considered dumb in Cairo too?

Marie Javins said...

I think we're just considered strange, along with other foreigners.