The Boy, The Octopus, And The Strawberry

, , , , | Right | August 12, 2019

(I work for tips as a balloon artist at a local arts market.)

Boy: “Excuse me. How much is a balloon?”

Me: “I work for tips.”

Boy: *looks confused*

Me: “That means you pay whatever you want.”

Boy: “Okay!” *runs off, returns a few minutes later* “Can you make me an octopus?”

Me: “Sure!” *makes balloon* “Here you go, sweetie.”

Boy: “Thank you! Here’s your tip!” *pulls out a huge, bigger-than-his-hand strawberry* “I don’t have any money, so I chose the biggest, bestest strawberry! Bye!” *runs off with octopus balloon*

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The Alone Ranger

, , , | Friendly | August 12, 2019

(My sister and I are attending church with our mother. Our brother usually comes with his four-year-old, but they’re not with us this time. About halfway through the service, our nephew’s friend abruptly jumps out of his pew, scurries down the aisle, and climbs into our mother’s lap. His mother trails behind him at a more church-friendly pace. After the service, we finally get a chance to talk.)

Mom: “[Friend] must have been disappointed to get all the way back here and see [Nephew] wasn’t with us today.”

Friend’s Mom: “No, that’s why he came back. He told me you must be very lonely without [Nephew], so we had to keep you company.”

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Seriously Flipped Out

, , , , , , | Learning | August 7, 2019

As a child, I was fairly quiet, a bit of a dreamer, and fairly easy to upset. Thus, when my first-grade teacher asked to speak to my mum one day after school, Mum figured I’d probably just had a run-in with a more brash child, or skinned a knee, or something like that.

Not quite.

In class, we’d been discussing what we wanted to be when we “grew up.” The usual occupations were brought up and discussed — teacher, firefighter, policeman, ambulance driver — and then my teacher made the mistake of asking me.

I said I wanted to be a dolphin.

“Oh, you mean a dolphin trainer?” my teacher asked.

Nope. I wanted to be a dolphin. 

When I was informed that I couldn’t actually be a dolphin, I started crying. Attempts to persuade me that I could work with dolphins or by dolphins were to no avail; I was determined to be a dolphin and only a dolphin, and nothing else would suffice.

While mum admitted — years later — that neither she nor the teacher could keep a straight face when discussing “the dolphin incident,” she — and the rest of my family — still take great delight in bringing up my early career choices at every opportunity.

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Orange Is The New Black

, , , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2019

(I’ve been a swim coach for the past ten years, and every summer I get at least one moment that reminds me of how nine-year-olds always keep you on your toes. The swimmer is this story is a nine-year-old girl with a rainbow swimsuit and a pink glittery swim cap. Just a little bundle of bubbly girl power.)

Swimmer: “Coach, coach, I know what car is yours!”

Me: “Oh? What car?”

Swimmer: “The orange one, because orange is your favorite color.”

Me: *looking down and realizing I’m in my bright orange swimsuit and sunglasses today* “Yeah, I guess it is.”

Swimmer: “Why is orange your favorite color?”

Me: “Because it’s a happy color.”

Swimmer: “I like black.”

(Before I can ask why black is her favorite color, the nine-year-old swimmer flexes her arms and squats down as she scream-growls:)

Swimmer: “BECAUSE I’M METAL!”

(The swimmer proceeded to stand up, giggle, and run over to the pool to dive in like nothing had happened and leaving me to burst into fits of shocked laughter.)

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The Cutest Little Signature

, , , , , | Right | July 24, 2019

(My coworker is cashing out a little boy, about ten or so, who is picking up his mom’s order that she called in. Because the order was over $25, we have to have a signature on the receipt, but having him sign it isn’t a problem, so my coworker hands the receipt and a pen to him.)

Coworker: “All right, I just need your signature on this copy, okay?”

Little Kid: “Um… Can I just write my name? I don’t think I have a signature.”

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