Yes, I will accept you

I was at the McDonald’s drive thru the other day, very early in the morning, and my friend ordered a hot chocolate. The woman taking our order sounded dead-tired and like she didn’t love her job, and when she said to us, “Would you accept a medium?” another friend in the car heard, “Will you accept-a me?” It was said in such an apathetic voice it made the misheard dialogue even funnier.

Charles Baxter has a great essay in his book The Art of Subtext where he talks a lot about how what we hear is much more important than what is said, and how not listening is something we should consider in our fiction if we’re to be honest about the way characters interact. The whole book is brilliant and you should read all of it, which is another way for me to mis-say I don’t remember which essay it is in exactly.

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