Its funny that all the posts seem to reference the slang used or 1984. I think in a longer story, when we have more of a chance to be accustomed to a certain speech mode or slang, its easier to get past it and into the characters' lives. In a short story rife with slong, its just a bit hard to get a grip on what is going on.
I was more reminded of Dicken's Oliver Twist and a little bit Gibson's Neuromancer for some reason. Perhaps I'd better dust off 1984 to see what y'all are talkin' about.
My family always uses the saying, "If it was a snake, then you'd be dead." (Describing an object close at hand that the other person can't find) I really never realized how unusual it was until I said it one day at work.