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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Family & Kids

    Holy Smoky Mountains, Batman

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Family & Kids

    (I’m working the register of a small toy store when a family walks in with a two-year-old boy in a stroller and his older brother (who’s about eight) walking alongside it. They walk past our new “Dark Knight Rises” merchandise.)

    2-year-old Brother: *holds his arms out* “I WANNA BE BATMAN! I WANNA BE BATMAN!”

    Me: *smiling* “We all want to be Batman.”

    8-year-old Brother: “Batman’s real where I come from!”

    Me: “Oh, are you from Gotham City?”

    8-year-old Brother: “No, Tennessee!”

    All That Glitters Is Not Old

    | Florida, USA | Family & Kids, Top

    (I’m working at a face painting booth at a local park. A gentleman in his 60s comes up with two small girls. They decide to get painted and hop into the chairs.)

    Me: “Sir, the designs they chose both come with optional glitter and lipstick. Is that okay?”

    Gentleman: “Absolutely, go all out! Glitter, lips, the works. Maybe this’ll teach Grandma not to leave the kids alone with Pop-Pop!”

    Burning Ears But No Drowning Fears

    | Lexington, KY, USA | Family & Kids

    (A little girl starts to drown in the kiddie section of the pool and the lifeguard jumps in to save her. The mother of the child pays no attention while she’s sunbathing.)

    Lifeguard: *calmly* “Ma’am, your daughter was just drowning.”

    Mother: “Ugh, I told my other children to keep an eye out for her. Fine, give her to me!”

    Lifeguard: “Just try to be a little more careful, okay?”

    (Incredibly, the mother proceeds to yell at the little girl for drowning and then yells at her other small children for not watching her. The lifeguard sits back down in her chair. A random person who has seen everything walks by.)

    Random Person: “What happened? Is she okay?”

    Lifeguard: “Yeah, the mom just wasn’t paying attention.”

    Mother: *on the other side of the pool* “DON’T SAY I WASN’T PAYING ATTENTION!”

    The Age Of Petulance

    | Livingston, NJ, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids

    Customer: “Hi, my son needs a book called Ethan for his summer reading.”

    Me: “Sure! Do you mean Ethan Frome?”

    Customer: “No, it’s just Ethan.”

    Me: “Is it by Edith Wharton?”

    Customer: *looks at a piece of paper* “Um… yeah, it is, but my son just wrote down Ethan.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, he probably just didn’t write down the full title, so let’s go grab Ethan Frome.”

    Customer: “No! You aren’t listening to me! It’s not Ethan Frome, it’s just Ethan!”

    Me: “It’s really not a big deal. We’ll—”

    Customer: “It IS a big deal! You’re calling my son a liar!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to—”

    Customer: “My son is a very good student. Maybe you should have paid more attention when you were in school, or you’d know that Edith Whoever wrote a book called Ethan!”

    Me: “My apologies. Let me grab that book for you.”

    (I go grab a copy of “Ethan Frome” and hand it to the customer.)

    Customer: “No! What are you, an idiot? You’re trying to trick me by giving me Ethan Frome when I just need Ethan!”

    Me: “Ma’am, Edith Wharton never wrote a book called Ethan. She did write a book called Ethan Frome.”

    Customer: “MY SON IS NOT A LIAR!”

    (I spend the next five minutes showing the customer all of the books Edith Wharton wrote in her lifetime on the computer. “Ethan Frome” appears on every list, but there is no reference to a book called just “Ethan”.)

    Customer: “My son said it’s called Ethan, and that’s what I need! Obviously, you people just haven’t heard of it and you’re trying to make me look like an idiot. I’ll show you! I’ll call the school and get them to read me the summer reading list!”

    (She calls the school on her cell phone. The school receptionist informs her that the title in question is, in fact, “Ethan Frome.” The customer turns bright red, and eventually hangs up on the poor receptionist.)

    Customer: “None of you know what you’re talking about!” *snatches up a copy of “Ethan Frome” stalks off*

    Me: “Have a nice day!”

    Manager: “You need to take a ten minute break?”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

    Ah, Parents, Part 2

    | Everett, MA, USA | Family & Kids

    (I’m working as a seasonal cashier at a big name retail chain. A mother and her whining 4-year-old come up to my register. The child is upset because the mother won’t buy him a specific toy.)

    Mother: “I told you, Santa will bring it to you on Christmas.”

    Kid: “But I want it now!”

    Mother: “Keep whining, and you won’t get it at all.”

    Kid: “Nuh-uh! Santa knows I’ve been a good boy!”

    (The kid’s whining begins to irritate me, so some I do some quick thinking.)

    Me: *to the kid* “Are you sure? You see that up there?”

    (I point to one of our store’s eye-in-the-sky security cameras.)

    Kid: “What about it?”

    Me: “Well, that’s how Santa sees all the little boys and girls in the world. That’s how he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.”

    (The kid stops crying and doesn’t say a word for the rest of the transaction.)

    Mother: *leans in, whispering* “Thank you so much!” *slips me a $20 and leaves*

    Ah, Parents…
    Ah, Children

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