Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sometimes, Dumb Things are Endearing

Just a little over a year ago, I was in London, during the annual "Poppy Appeal." For any non-British people reading this, the Poppy Appeal is the fund-raising campaign for veterans, and, all over the country, vendors sell paper poppies for the nation's collective lapel. Every year, there's a big deal in the media over the white poppies, which are the pacifist version, and the traditional red poppies, with the spokespeople for the latter maintaining that there is no connotation of being pro-war in a red poppy. Oh well, it gives the pacifists something to argue about.

At the train station as I left for Gatwick airport, I spent the last of my cash buying a poppy. Five pounds, now that I think of it, which is a lot for a paper flower -- they should have given me an entire lei for that price. So, considering that my sizable donation ought to roll over, I wore it again this year, and, of course, no Americans know what it means.

As I stood in line at the cash register at Trader Joe's, I heard the cashier say, "I like your bustier." I'm always eager to see lingerie worn in public, so I looked around, but it became apparent that she was addressing me. I gave her a puzzled look, and then suddenly twigged that she meant my "boutonniere."

To her credit, when I laughed and explained it to her, she laughed too.


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