What Happens In Canada Stays In Canada

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | October 27, 2020

This happens a few years ago, before the US lifts its embargo on Cuba. My roommate has an American cousin who’s come up to Canada for the weekend. One of my other roommates is a bartender and has mixed up some drinks for us while we’re hanging out.

American Cousin: “Wow, that’s really good! What’s in it?”

[Bartender Roommate] reels off a list of ingredients, including rum.

American Cousin: “What kind of rum?”

Bartender Roommate: “Ah, my very favourite, [Brand].”

American Cousin: “Never heard of it. Is it Dominican?”

Bartender Roommate: “No, it’s Cuban.”

American Cousin: “Dude! You’ve got a hookup for Cuban rum?!”

[Bartender Roommate] laughs because she thinks he’s joking.

Bartender Roommate: “Yeah, my super-secret connection, the [Provincial Government-Run Liquor Store].”

American Cousin: “No way! Can I get in on this?”

I cut in because I can see he’s actually serious.

Me: “You can pick it up at most liquor stores here.”

American Cousin: *With a wink* “Sure, sure. So, you’ll hook me up, yeah?”

No matter how hard we tried to persuade him that it was completely legal to buy Cuban products in Canada, he kept thinking we were pulling his leg because “Cuban stuff is illegal.” Even taking him to multiple obviously legitimate liquor stores and a specialty tobacconist didn’t convince him. However, he seemed happy to go home with two or three bottles of rum and some cigars, so all’s well, I suppose.

Confidence Will Help You Go Far

, , , , , | Friendly | October 26, 2020

During the summer during the health crisis, I go for long walks or runs on a pedestrian trail near my home. One day, I hear a group of four twelve-or-so-year-old boys on bikes harassing a number of people on the trail. I mentally roll my eyes but try to ignore them until they decide to target me. Two of them pull their bikes sideways across the trail, blocking it.

Boy #1: “What’s the password?”

Me: “Move. Now.”

The boys begin moving before they’ve even thought; it’s obvious from their facial expressions a few moments later that they hadn’t made a conscious decision to obey, and now they want to save face.

Boy #2: “We just want to talk.”

Me: “No, you want to annoy people for fun. You’re bored. Find something better to do.”

Again, they start pedaling away before they even stop to think.

I’d never seen the kids before, but I am a teacher, though of college students. Voice of Command is a real thing. I may not be able to glare effectively while wearing a mask, but I can still issue instructions.

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Truckloads Of Passive-Aggressiveness

, , | Friendly | October 26, 2020

Behind my house, there’s an area reserved for garages. Plans were drawn in 1968, and only three of the eighteen allocated plots have had a garage built. The remaining have a cement base and we park there. 

As spaces are narrow (2.4m wall to wall), and brick garages are expensive. I think of having a pre-built one installed for a quarter of the cost.

A neighbour the same street sees me taking measurements.

Neighbour: “Are you putting a garage up?”

Me: “Yes.”

Neighbour: “Have you gotten planning permission?”

Me: *Confused* “No, don’t think I need it.”

It turns out I do.

Neighbour: “I will call the planning permission people after you have the garage installed, then.”

After looking into it and confirming I do need to apply for planning permission (at an extra cost) I am a bit annoyed. All I wanted was a place to use a storage, and here’s this guy being kind of passive-aggressive with his comments. The reason is actually he wants to buy some of the plots near mine but no one wants to sell them to him. 

I can be very petty. So I bought a rundown Luton van and had it parked there, sorn (Statutory Off Road Notification – basically had it declared non-drivable and moveable) and started using it as storage.

No planning permission required!

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A Piping Hot Cup Of Karma

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | October 25, 2020

Years ago, my wife and I invited a couple of married friends over for an evening of socializing. My wife was into tea — I’m more a coffee guy— and she served some licorice tea. I’m a great licorice lover. In fact, I’m eating a small piece now, which triggered the memory of this story.

My Wife: “What do you think of the tea?”

Husband Friend: “It’s delicious. I really love it.”

Now, jump forward a year or so. We’re at a restaurant with the same couple and a few other friends. We’re ordering desserts, so my wife orders tea to go with it. Immediately after, the husband speaks up:

Husband Friend: “We were once at someone’s house and they served us licorice tea. It was the most horrible thing I’d ever tasted.” *Turning to his wife* “Where was that?”

Me: “That was our house.”

I don’t recall ever seeing a guy turn quite so red. The rest of us got a good laugh.

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Everything Turns Out Peachy For This Furball

, , , | Friendly | October 24, 2020

I’ve got a laundry basket on my hip, preparing to go out the back door to the clothesline. My cats are milling about my feet. I finally get the door open and suddenly a blur of fur darts INSIDE my house and races off into the kitchen. My cats proceed to lose their minds.

I close the door, put the basket down, and follow my cats, who now have something baled up behind the fridge and are hissing and yowling at me to make it go away. I look behind the fridge and see a small ball of fur. We have a lot of strays in our area, so I assume it is one of the kittens I have seen running through the yard.

I try the tested and true kissy noises, which only seems to get my cats to headbutt me and purr. I click my fingers, and the ball of fur continues to quiver and stays jammed behind the fridge.

After about fifteen minutes of this, I decide to pray to the cat gods and reach back there to grab it. I shove my arm behind the fridge, grab the furball, pull it back out, and realise I am holding a small, very ANGRY ferret by its butt. I manage to get a grip on its scruff and hold it, dumbfounded, while it squirms and tries to get away. My cats have realised how long the furball is and have performed tactical retreats. How brave.

While I stare at this ferret and wonder what the heck I’m meant to do next, I hear a knock on my door. I gingerly carry the increasingly angry ferret with me to the door and open it to find a neighbor from up the street and his clearly distraught daughter who is around eight.

Neighbor: “Sorry, love, I was wondering if it would be okay if we went in your backyard to look for my daughter’s ferret? She’s gotten out of her cage somehow and we’ve been looking for hours.” 

I pull my right arm out from behind the door, revealing the squirming fur-tube I am currently holding.

Me: “Is this her?”

Little Girl: “PEACHES!”

As soon as I handed the creature back, it was entirely calm, laying in this little girl’s arms like a baby and wriggling happily. I told them what had happened and the dad laughed, saying the ferret scared the h*** out of his cat, too. I even got to pet the little fuzzbutt now that it was happy and back with its small human. 

The dad marveled that none of the neighborhood dogs had gotten to it and said it was lucky I only had scaredy-cats. When I started laughing, he seemed confused until I whistled. From around the side of my house, my 70-kg pitbull/lab mix stuck his head out, saw the ferret in the girl’s arms, and whined, refusing to come any closer.

At least the cats had given chase; my giant “vicious guard dog” hadn’t even barked!

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