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    He Got Burned

    | England, UK | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, School, Top

    (I am appointed as a volunteer marshal at college. The college hosts a book launch, and the fire alarm goes off. Most people follow directions to the fire exits, but one guest is sat there drinking his free champagne.)

    Me: “You can bring your drink if you like, sir, but we have to go outside and wait for the fire brigade to tell us it’s safe to re-enter.”

    Guest: “No, I shall stay here. It’ll be a false alarm.”

    Me: “I have no way of knowing if it’s a real fire or a false alarm, so please come with me to the assembly point, sir.”

    Guest: “I’m not taking instructions from you! Who do you think you are?”

    Me: “Just a voluntary fire marshal, sir.”

    Guest: “Just a student, then.”

    Me: “Yes, I’m a student here. Sorry about this, sir, but there’s a formality I have to conduct.”

    (I take out my phone and start the video camera. I point it at him.)

    Me: “It’s 12:57 pm. The fire alarm is sounding. I’m instructing you to follow me to the fire exit.”

    Guest: “Pathetic. And I’m refusing. What’s the point of that little charade? To show it to your friends on Youtube?”

    Me: “No, sir. If it proves necessary, to show it to the coroner at your inquest.”

    (I turn and leave. The guest waits until I’m turning the corner, and then follows.)

    Translation Kollaboration

    | NY, USA | Language & Words, School

    (Campus security has stopped a lost visitor, and is trying to work out where he wants to go. The visitor speaks very poor English, but the officer is trying his best.)

    Visitor: “I want go, skink labatree.”

    Security: “You wanna go where?”

    Visitor: “A skink labatree.”

    Security: “Oh, that’s, like, a little lizard. Reptile lab? Lizards? Snakes?”

    Visitor: “No, no, a skink labatree. Kell skinky.”

    Security: “Kill? Like, animal disposal?”

    Visitor: “No, no! I want call my daughter, but…”

    (The visitor holds up a cell phone.)

    Visitor: “No battery!”

    Security: “Ahh, okay. Wanna try mine?”

    (Security offers the visitor his phone.)

    Visitor: “No, no, I don’t know she kell. No battery my kell.”

    Security: “Hold up a sec.”

    (Security points to his cell phone.)

    Visitor: “Kell phone, no battery!”

    Security: “Kell laboratory?”

    Visitor: “Kell labatree!”

    Security: *scribbling on a piece of paper* “Skink?”

    Visitor: *overjoyed* “Yes! Skink labatree!”

    Security: “Okay, let’s go!”

    (On the paper: “SCIENCE.” I later learned that the visitor had taught himself English almost entirely by reading, and assumed all ‘C’s were hard ‘K’s.)

    Ink And You’ll Miss It

    | Gainesville, FL, USA | Rude & Risque, School

    (Our university has been around for a while. As such our mascot, Albert, has changed a bit over the years. I overhear an amusing conversation at a register next to me, the Sunday after a big win. Customer #1 is buying a shirt with the old-style Albert on it.)

    Customer #2: “Man! The old style Albert is so lame looking!”

    Customer #1: “Dude, what about the one on your butt?!”

    Customer #2: “Oh, yeah!”

    Coworker: *laughing* “Yeah, right.”

    Customer #2: “Nope!”

    (Customer #2 pulls down his pants just a bit, but at this time I can’t see it.)

    Coworker: “I thought you were joking!”

    (Customer #2 laughs and moves over to my register, as I’m now free.)

    Coworker: “Wait, can I see that tattoo again?”

    Customer #2: “Sure!”

    (He pulls his pants down a bit again, and this time I can see the ‘old style’ Albert indeed tattooed on his butt.)

    Customer #2: “Yeah, never get a tattoo while drunk.”

    Not Exactly A Bright Spark

    | CA, USA | Extra Stupid

    (Through my high school years I had worked as a contractor. When I go to college I help pay my way through by being a maintenance worker in the dormitories. It is my very first week of work, and I receive a work order that the power is out in the wall opposite the entry door. I arrive at the apartment and the resident lets me in before returning to her room. I proceed to check every outlet in the room and find they are all working perfectly.)

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, which wall was it that has no power? There seems to be a mix up in the description I received.”

    Tenant: “Oh, it’s this one right here.”

    (The tenant points to the wall that was described and tested first.)

    Me: “Well, what kind of problems are you having with it? I tested it and the outlet on this wall seems to be working just fine.”

    Tenant: “No, the outlet is not working. There is no power. See, look!”

    (She flips the switch to the lamp that is plugged in up and down a few times.)

    Tenant: “There’s no power!”

    (I bend down to check under the lamp shade and see a clearly blackened bulb. Upon unscrewing it, it makes the distinctive rattle.)

    Me: “Well, here is your problem: the bulb is dead.”

    Tenant: “What do you mean it’s dead?!”

    Me: “Well, the bulb is burnt out. I can get you a new one; it’s no problem.”

    Tenant: “Well, how can you even tell?!”

    Let’s Hope He’s All Talk And No Trousers

    | MI, USA | Rude & Risque

    (At my job, we plan and host events for a small private college community. I am manning the phones, and I get a call from a retired professor trying to order tickets to a popular event that had sold out the week before.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry, sir, but tickets sold out last week. If you like, I can put you on a waiting list in case someone cancels their reservation.”

    Retired Professor: “Sure, sweetheart, let’s do that. We can always cross our fingers and hope that someone dies.”

    Me: “…That, too.”

    Retired Professor: “So, if I get a call from you, I’ll put pants on and bring the check over to the office?”

    Me: “Okay…”

    Retired Professor: “Or, maybe I’ll forget the pants. At my age, pants are optional.”

    Me: “I envy you.”

    Retired Professor: *has a wheezing laugh attack* “I hope I cheered you up on this rainy Monday, sweetheart! Have a nice day!” *click*

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