May I please have my clean shits? (sheets)
I was still at the College of Wooster trying to improve my English day by day. Along with my courses my scholarship also covered my bed linen. So every week I’d bring my dirty sheets and get clean ones from the college laundry. Whenever I would arrive I would ask the worker: “May I get my clean shits, please?” He would hand them in to me very upset and I would ask him: “Did I say anything wrong?” I did not get an answer from him. I kept going once again for my clean sheets and I got the same angry look over and over again. Then I decided to ask one of my professors to hear my enunciation: “May I please have my clean shits?” He burst out laughing and told me “You’re asking for your shit” and this is the reason you’re getting those murderous looks. Try to repeat “Sheets.” For a Hispanic speaker it is very hard to hear the difference between sheets and shit since we don’t have these sounds in Spanish. To play it safe at the laundry room I asked him for a synonym and he immediately gave one: linen. Wow, linen was the magic word.
Next day I arrived to the laundry pronouncing my magic word and asking to the worker with a big smile: “May I please have my linen?” “Certainly”, he replied with a smile. I left so happy from the laundry room that I solved the murderous looks. To all this I have to add that I don’t mix the words chair and share, or the forecast for four cats, or cold cuts for cold cats. The last time I turned red at the cashier it was when I asked her: “Miss, I need a penis, please.” She laughed telling me ”I think you need a penny and not a penis. “ Yes, I told her very ashamed.