Conversations with Security Guards

[As I am departing a popular sporting goods store, the security guard sidles over to me with a friendly smile].

“Hi, where are you from?”

[racing through roster of responses:

  • blank smile as though I don’t understand English
  • tight smile as though I’m offended by the question
  • convoluted answer
  • the answer he wants – I end up choosing this option because between his accent and his inky black skin that looked almost purple, I decided to play the turnabout card]


“What?  No.  Really?  You look French.”

“Hmm, that’s the first time I’ve heard that.” [except when Gojira said the same thing a few weeks ago] “Where are you from?”

“I’m from Togo.”

[too late to end the convo abruptly and walk out of the door so I continue]

“Oh!  I have a friend who used to live there.”

“You do?!”

“Yes, he was in the Peace Corps.”

“I see!  Where were you born?”

“In Wales.”

“Like England?”

[That’s quite enough of my life story for you, sir.  Time to end the convo abruptly and walk out of the door]

“Yes.  It’s a long story.  Bye!”


2 responses to “Conversations with Security Guards

  1. there’s a shot in my stream with a couple of scooters taken right about after sunset in this resort city somewhere between here and chicago – by the water.

    older couple – both born maybe 25 mins away from the city that i was visiting. they had spent their entire lives within that one county. only twice did they step outside that radius. once to detroit (back during the 1980 gop convention) and only once to chicago (even though it was less than 2 hours from them).

    they said they didn’t like either experience (they spent long weekends on both occasions), and had decided that that was the extent of any type of travel for either of them.

    the reason that whole conversation came up – they asked where i was from, and i asked them to guess – which is what i like to do in situations like this (oh, and btw, your bullet points above are not unfamiliar to me).

    anyhow, they said – in the most sincere way…*france*.

    i did a scooby-doo disbelief-head-shake thing at the response before i ended up telling them.

    never on a plane over water, never in a car to either canayda or mexico – despite the fact that the great white north is not that far away from where they were.

    they were nice people – i enjoyed the conversation and the fact that they enjoyed me photo’ing their scooters.

  2. i remember the photo and the convo you mentioned but didn’t know they thought you were french – HA!

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