Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"I'll Buy if You Fly"

Before the ordeal of Sunday I experienced an episode like The Banana Boat of Canada on Saturday. As confused as I was last year I once again experienced several moments of sheer confusion.

Saturday morning at the track was nothing short of miserable. A bone chilling wind was in the air, crisp temperatures, and an annoying rain were the conditions. This had us in a holding pattern and the only thing there was to do was to watch it rain.

While sitting in the trailer waiting for the rain to stop one of the other staff asked me where I got my hot chocolate I was drinking. I said that it was from the concession trailer and then he mentioned he wanted one and said, "I'll buy if you fly."

Instantly I was confused. I tried to look as if I knew what was going on but I was as lost as an ice cube in the Sahara desert. I tried to piece the sentence together, but all I could think about was where I was going to fly to. I mean, I've got a plane ticket to New York City next week so I was wondering why he was going to buy my ticket when I already had one.

Usually, if I've heard a non-literal saying before I am good at knowing exactly what it means. However, when I've never heard it, I get confused and I was in a state of confusion. I repeated back his sentence in a form of a question trying to understand it still thinking about plane trips to far off places when our grid official said, "Aaron, that means he's paying for it, but you gotta go get it."

After hearing the real meaning I lost all respect for the saying. There were no plane trips involved, not fun excursions through airport security, but rather me walking through the rain and mud to get him his hot chocolate. In the end I walked to the concession stand with him and got myself some food, and while walking I still had trouble shaking the literal interpretation from that line in my head.

I'm sure this won't be the last time I come across a non-literal saying. The grid official in that trailer, I think, could see the utter state of confusion I was in trying to deduce the meaning. It's fitting this happened last weekend as I gave a police presentation this morning and in those presentations I talk about some of the disasters of miscommunication that can happen between a person on the spectrum and a non-literal saying. Thankfully, there was no disaster this time; just a walk in the rain and mud to the concession trailer and the knowledge of if I hear, "I'll buy if you fly" again I know, if I agree, I'm about to have to go somewhere.


  1. Hihi, banana boats, people asking you to fly... I love these weird expressions. xD Keep bringing them! They crack me up! xD

  2. My daughter laughs at herself when that happens...but that may be from all the years of me accidentally laughing at her blank face. We do find ourselves cracking up laughing at some of the ways her brain works. Not so funny when she gets into angry mode though.