I would like a couple of hamburgers.

Last October (2013), I made a trip down to the Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa area of Florida.  I had never been there before.  I was coming in on Hwy. 19 (I think.) which is the old route.  At some point in Florida, I started to have an upset stomach.  I passed by a Hardees Restaurant, and turned around a short distance and came back.  I figured that I could use the bathroom, and even though I wasn’t really hungry, I could order a couple of hamburgers.

I went to the bathroom and then headed back up to the counter to place my order.

There was a young man, probably in his late teens or twenties behind the counter.  He asked me how he could assist me, and I said, “I would like a couple of hamburgers.”  His reply, “Will that be two or three sir?”

I stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds, and probably cocked my head to one side as I pondered my reply.  I probably said, “A couple.”  I’m not sure how our communication completed successfully, because I did not expound further upon what a “couple” meant, but I did get the two hamburgers.  I went outside, and around back, where I had parked, and ate the two hamburgers.  They were good.

What an odd reply to my request.  Who doesn’t know what a couple of anything means?  I didn’t ask for a few, or some hamburgers, I asked for a couple.  In the world from which I come, a couple means two.

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