Kicking it baby-style

We’re back in the States now, and I realize I nearly forgot to mention the time I came this close to getting into a fist fight with a Belgian chocolatier. We were buying truffles and, having already bought a bag of ten or so, I asked her if I could buy two more. “That’s not the baby-style chocolates,” she said, with what I thought was a pretty haughty tone.
“Are you kidding me?” I thought. And, “Who are you calling a purchaser of baby-style chocolates?” Against my will, I started to tighten my left fist (or “Mjolnir,” as I like to call it) into a hammer-like ball of pride-protecting thunder.
Fortunately, my lizard brain kicked in right about then and re-processed what she’d said, which turned out to be “That’s not the way we sell chocolates.” (They sell them in 100 gram increments, or so she claimed.)
OK. More reasonable. Or at least less flat-out insulting. I relaxed Mjolnir until it was more like a hand-type thing again, and I went outside to cool off with a heavily sugared pastry treat and some mayonnaise.
Anyways, for the rest of the trip, that became the phrase we used for everything that was a little different than the way we roll state-side. For example:
Baby-style: Can I have my espresso to-go?
Euro-style: Cool your jets, you big baby. No paper cups. Take a seat. Or are you too much of a baby to have your espresso here?
Baby-style: Soda with ice, please.
Euro-style: This drink is cold enough. Who needs ice? What, are you afraid you might actually taste something, Mr. Baby Man?
Baby-style: Um, would you mind not tailgating me at 140 kmh?
Euro-style: I will tailgate you across three countries if that’s what it takes to get you to get out of my way, you gigantic American baby person.

3 comments for “Kicking it baby-style

  1. So-Called Bill
    July 24, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Great band name: The Baby-Style Chocolates. Or the Chocolate-Style Babies. Either one works.

  2. July 27, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I rarely laugh when I’m reading things online, but the baby man thing, that got me – of course it probably helps that my dad’s family is french..

  3. Itto Ogami
    August 6, 2007 at 10:40 am

    i understand that many european airports now issue free ‘usa size’ containers (can be recycled but americans are encouraged to dispose of them on any public green space) to all incoming americans. so, when an american wishes to purchase a meal, instead of a ‘normal’ euro portion (4-6oz protein, side vegetable, 8oz liquid, small yet flavorful dessert), the american can avail him/herself of 2 pounds of meat/poultry, baseball mit size of carb, 128oz of pure corn syrup, and a crate of fried lard chips.
    the american tourist association issued a press release: “americans often feel alienated and unwelcome in euro cities, but this wonderful overture by our friends overseas shows they really care.”

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