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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Nailed It!

, , , , | Right | July 18, 2019

I was in line behind a man and a boy who looked about five.

The cashier was a young man with fingernails painted dark green.

The customer eyed the cashier’s nails and said to his son, “Some men wear nail polish. Do you know what that makes them?”

The son looked between the painted fingernails and the cashier’s face for a moment before hazarding a guess, “Happy?”

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The Real Superheroes

, , , , , , , | Right | July 17, 2019

(I am cashiering at my store on an early Friday morning, the line is ridiculously long, and I only have one other cashier beside me. There isn’t another manager currently in the store besides the stockroom manager; I rarely bother him because I know there is a lot going on it the stockroom. I end up checking out a customer with a small child, and the interaction with him makes my early day completely worth it.) 

Me: “Hi, how are y’all today?” 

(The mother lets her young boy answer.) 

Child: “We are great! My favorite superhero is Spider-Man!” 

Me: “Really?! That’s my favorite too! I would love to shoot webs and swing through the city!” 

(As I continue to ring up their items, he continues to talk to me.) 

Child: “I also like Captain America and Iron Man!” 

Me: “They are awesome! I love Captain America’s shield! And Iron Man’s armor!” 

Child: “I want to be a superhero when I grow up!” 

Me: “You already are, kid; don’t ever forget that.” 

(His mom started tearing up and told me her husband had recently passed and he had always said the same thing to their child. She ended up hugging me and the little boy followed her and hugged me, too. I now see them every couple of weeks and try to keep superhero stickers on me to give to the little boy.)

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When Being Chatty Saves People

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 15, 2019

(I’m walking to the library with my four-year-old. She’s skipping alongside me, chattering happily, waving frantically, and yelling, “HI!” at everyone we pass and every car that goes past. Nothing unusual. About a block from the library, she waves and says, “Hi!” into what I think is just an empty laneway, but as we step forward, I realise there’s an elderly man standing there in his pajamas, in the middle of the lane, with a small dog running in circles around his feet.)

Man: “Why, hello, young lady! Out for a walk, are we?”

Daughter: “Yep! We’re going to the library!”

(The old man looks confusedly at us for a moment. At first, I think it’s because my daughter’s speech impediment means she pronounces it as, “yiberry,” but as we pause, I realise that he has no shoes on and his pajama pants are covered in mud. I can also see that his feet are bleeding in a few places, like he’s been stepping on prickles. It’s INCREDIBLY cold today and I finally realise how cold he must be, and his dog isn’t on a lead but seems to be getting more and more worked up.)

Me: “Yep, off to the library. Where are you off to today, mate?”

Man: “Ah… I’m a bit late for work! I work down at the ice works but, well, bit embarrassing but I seem to have gotten turned around.”

(The ice works in our town is now a historical site. It hasn’t been operational in almost forty years at this point.)

Me: “Happens to the best of us, mate. I know the way, though; how about you come with us?”

(After a bit of convincing and my daughter excitedly yelling about her new friend coming along, I convince him to come out onto the footpath and stand on the grass instead of the asphalt. Trying to give him my jacket doesn’t work — he staunchly refuses to take “a young lass’s jacket on a cold day” — and he is getting more agitated but never angry or violent. I stand there wondering what the heck to do next when suddenly a car screeches to a stop at the kerb. A middle-aged man leaps out of the car and hurtles towards us.)

Younger Man: “DAD! Dad, Jesus Christ, I’ve been looking for you everywhere! What the h*** are you doing?”

(The guy honestly looks like he’s about to cry, as does his dad, who seems even more confused at this point.)

Older Man: “No time to play right now, [Younger Man]. I’m late for work, mate. I gotta go.”

(The younger guy tries for a few minutes to convince his dad to get in the car, to no avail, when my daughter pipes up from behind us.)

Daughter: “Excuse me! Maybe it’s warm in the car, and you can go home and get your shoes for work!” 

(The older man seemed to accept this, after checking his feet and realising he did, indeed, have no shoes on. After the older guy and his dog were safely stowed away, his son informed me that they live CLEAR across town, and the guy had been missing for FIVE HOURS in the freezing cold. His little dog had seen him take off and obviously decided that his human shouldn’t go alone, and they’d been at large for most of the day. The younger man thanked me profusely, even though I barely did anything, and I’ve never been so thankful that my daughter wants to talk to everyone she meets.)

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