Category Archives: Misunderstanding

I Need a Mister

So the other day, I e-mailed a freelancer to see if he wanted some work. He lives in California, and thrives on impossibly hot weather. Yes, he replied, he wanted the work, but he needed a little bit more time, as he and his family were headed off on vacation in Palm Springs. “It’s going to be hot, really hot,” he wrote, “but there are lots of swimming pools and misters.”

The heat here must have gotten to me, because it took me a bit to figure out what he meant. Misters? Men make things cool? I had this picture of Venetian gondolier-like men, in their stripey outfits, rushing hither and fro, fanning the good people of Palm Springs. The image made me laugh. Then I got it. Oh. Mist. Water. It’s not stripey men—it’s water.”

I wrote back the freelancer, granting the extra time. By way of conversation, I added, “It’s hot here, too. I think I’ll need a mister.”

This is what I got back from him:

So when you said you might need a “mister,” I wasn’t sure what you meant. Was that some East Coast way of referring to a date (I need a date)? Then I realized I had said there are “misters” in Palm Springs . So I didn’t know if you were saying it would be hot in Boston, too, or you were making a play on words. In any case, it gave me five minutes of amusement, which is always nice.

Yes, amusement is nice.