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    Armless Is Harmless

    | FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids

    (I work as a freelance airbrush face painter. I’m at an event when two small children and their mother come up. The mother’s attention is elsewhere while I talk to her kids.)

    Me: “Hey there! What design would you like?”

    Girl: *pointing out which design* “…and can I have it on my arm?”

    Me: “Sure!”

    (I put the design on her arm, and her brother comes up next, wanting his design on his arm as well. I hear this exchange as they leave.)

    Mother: “Both of you got designs on your arms instead of your faces? Man, I got some boring-a** kids.”

    He Could Also Do With Less Hot Air

    | MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I am working as a balloon artist and have a very long line. The balloons I ordered for this event weren’t in on time, so I have to buy some balloons of poor-quality at a craft store. Due to the heat of the day, the balloons are popping frequently, and I am getting super frustrated.)

    Me: *to the next kid in line, who already has at least three balloons* “And what would you like?”

    Kid: “A blue sword!”

    Me: “All right!”

    (Being one of my quicker patterns, I quickly pump it up and make it. When I give it the final twist, it pops.)

    Me: “Oh, shoot, sorry about that!”

    (I pump up another balloon, which again pops. At this point the kid’s dad has come over.)

    Kid’s Dad: “You’re putting too much air in the balloon.”

    Me: *trying to smile* “Oh, it’s not that. I’ve recently switched balloon brands, and these don’t like the sun as much.”

    (The third balloon again pops, which rarely happens.)

    Me: “Shoot, sorry about that! Third time’s the charm, right?”

    Kid’s Dad: “No, seriously. You’ve got to put less air in it, otherwise it will pop.”

    Me: “Oh, okay.”

    (Having done balloons since I was 10, and having made hundreds of swords, I of course already know this. I make the balloon, with just as much air as usual, and it doesn’t pop.)

    Me: “There you are!”

    (The kid grabs it without saying thanks.)

    Kid’s Dad: “See? I told you.”

    (The dad walked away, also without saying thanks.)

    The Art Of Telepathy

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

    (I do pet portraits for extra money to make it through college. Most of the purchases are mundane, somebody’s cat or dog, but I am eventually approached by a very strange woman carrying a stack of papers.)

    Woman: Hello. You’re the one who draws animals, yes?

    Me: Found me! So, what do you–?

    Woman: Oh, good! Because I have something I want you to do for me.

    (She digs through her papers and hands me a printed photo of a taxidermy tree kangaroo. Needless to say, I’m confused.)

    Me: Oh? Is this what you–?

    Woman: Yes, yes. I went to the Smithsonian and I love that animal. I was wanting to know if you could maybe go out of the way of what you regularly do? I know it’s not a pet, but it’s still an animal…”

    (As odd as it sounds, hearing it’s a photo from a trip made it make a little more sense. We discuss pricing and what she wants. She’s adamant that the photo is what she wants, so I work from that, but I keep her updated throughout just to make sure I’m on the right track. When I am finished, I call her to come pick up the piece.)

    Woman: “Oh.”

    Me: “Something wrong?”

    Woman: “Oh. No. Except…”

    (She fidgets, then gestures at the finished product.)

    Woman: “It’s wrong. The wrong color.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Woman: “There’s another color of tree kangaroo. I wanted the other color.”

    Me: “You gave me a photo to work from. You said that’s what you wanted.”

    Woman: “Yes, well, that was the pose I wanted.”

    Me: “You’ve been approving it every stage of the way.”

    Woman: “But this is the wrong color of tree kangaroo.”

    Me: “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted a different color?”

    Woman: *sighing heavily* I figured it was obvious.”

    Me: “I should have just… known?”

    Woman: “You’re the artist. I thought you knew those things.”

    (She did eventually pay, but informed me that I should learn to ‘sync’ with my clients better, because, as the artist, I should just ‘know’ things. To this day, I still tell all my friends about the tree kangaroo lady who was convinced I should be telepathic.)

    A Badly Drawn Request

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Health & Body, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a theme park as a caricature artist.)

    Customer: “Hey, if I get one of these done can you make me skinny?”

    Me: “Well, it’s a caricature, so you can have an exaggerated bikini body or something if you like?”

    Customer: “Oh, good! Can you make my teeth look better, too?”

    (I can see the customer has a gap in her teeth.)

    Me: “Well, if you’re sensitive about something like that you could always give me a closed mouth smile.”

    Customer: “And could you make me blonde? And maybe a smaller nose?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure you’d want a picture if I altered it that much.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “Because… it wouldn’t look like you!”

    Fine Art Comes With Age

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids

    (I’m a caricaturist working at a party. I’m 19, but because of my petite figure, I’m often mistaken for younger. I’m facing my stand, waiting for a guest.)

    Guest: “Are you doing caricatures?”

    (I turn to face the guest. She is a 10-year-old girl, who suddenly looks horrified and jumps back.)

    Guest: “Woah! HOW OLD ARE YOU?”

    Me: “Um, 19?”

    Guest: “Geez! You look like you’re 14, or something; you scared me!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Guest: “I’m used to people doing these to be like 30, or something. I was expecting an old lady.”

    Me: “Haha, sorry I’m so young?”

    Guest: “YOU SCARED ME! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE OLD!”

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