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Giving Mom Some Pretty Strong Smoke Signals

, , , , , , , | Related | February 26, 2018

For his whole childhood, my dad’s mother smoked cigarettes in the car, in the house, and anywhere else you could smoke. He always complained about it to her, and she would tell him that when he had his own house, he could make the rules.

When he was old enough, my dad worked and saved his money to buy a car while in high school. He was really proud of that car, and did his best to keep it in good order. One day, it had been raining and he was told to drive his mom someplace. They hit the road, and as he got on a highway, his mom lit up in his car. My dad rolled his window down, quick as a flash, snatched the cigarette from her mouth, and threw it out the window. He said she yelled at him for doing that, and he calmly pointed out that it was his car, his rules. He always ended the story with two points:

1) It was one of the best days of his minor life, being able to put his mom in her place.

2) He only threw it out the window because he knew it was too wet to burn. Don’t start grass fires, kids.

Cause For Actual Pregnant Pause

, , , , , | Healthy | January 30, 2018

(I am a doctor at a local clinic. I read the file for my next patient, a 21-year-old woman, complaining about stomach cramps, sickness, and “private” concerns. People are often shy and refuse to share their symptoms with the nurse. I go into the room and start talking to the patient.)

Me: “Hello, I am Dr. [My Name]. What seems to be the problem?”

Patient: “I keep getting stomach cramps, and I threw up this morning. It was really gross… and, um… ah…”

(The patient is acting uncomfortable.)

Patient: “I haven’t had my period in three months! It’s always been irregular, but I haven’t ever gone this long! I must be really sick! Please help me.”

(Utilizing my $50,000 education and 14 years of experience, I make the first suggestion that comes to mind.)

Me: “Is there any chance that you might be pregnant?”

(The patient looks disgusted by this.)

Patient: “Oh, so, if a woman is sick it means that she must be pregnant. No, she can’t be dying or anything; she must be a slut. You men are all the same!”

Me: “Ma’am, it is just procedure. I have to check things off the list to find out what is wrong. Can you please answer my question?”

Patient: “No. I want a woman doctor. Get me your woman doctor or I am leaving!”

Me: “There are only me and three male PAs.”

Patient: “Humph!”

(The patient walked out of the examination room and out of the office, complaining of sexism and “unprofessional behavior” to everybody in the waiting room. Six months later, I got another patient file for a woman wanting a prenatal exam. Now, guess who it could possibly be? The lesson here is that there are a lot of things that share symptoms with pregnancy, but pregnancy is FAR more common than most of them. When a doctor asks you if you are pregnant, it is not an accusation; it is an important diagnostic tool.)

My Mother, The Lizard Woman

, , , , , , , | Right | November 27, 2017

(I am working the floor at a large pet store. A young man, about 16 years old, comes in and says that he is thinking of buying some lizards and wants to know what he will need. I explain to him that these lizards will need an aquarium, a lid, a heat source, places to hide, a special lamp — especially as there is little sunlight in winter in Alaska — and a few other items. I also talk to him about what kinds of lizards would be good for him, and which ones will be relatively inexpensive. At no point do I try to sell him anything, since I figure he is just getting a feel for what he’ll need. While I am talking to him his mother comes in:)

Mother: “What are you doing?”

Son: “I’m thinking of buying some lizards, and I want to know what I need.”

Mother: “What did this guy tell you?”

Son: “Well, I need an aquarium, a lid, a heater, a special light, and some other things.”

Mother: “Why are you trying to sell my son this stuff that he doesn’t need?”

Me: “He asked me what he needs to keep lizards.”

Mother: “Don’t lie to me. You people are always trying to sell other people things they don’t need. You do not need a heater or a light. There is no way we are buying things from a liar like you.”

(The son looks absolutely mortified at this point.)

Son:Mom! I asked him about this. He was just answering my question.”

Mother: “We are leaving, and if you can’t recognize liars who want to steal your money for things you don’t need, then you can’t go into any more stores.”

(The mother then physically dragged her son away while loudly complaining about liars, and her son just looked back at me with a horribly embarrassed expression on his face.)

A Totally Reasonable Reaction

, , , , , | Related | October 16, 2017

(I am staying at my grandfather’s house in rural Alaska for a summer. One day, I notice several pockmarks that look like birdshot in the bedroom wall.)

Me: “Grandpa, why did you shoot the wall in my bedroom?”

Grandpa: “There was a spider.”

Me: “You used a shotgun to kill a spider?”

Grandpa: “It was a really big spider.”

Me: “Did you at least get it?”

Grandpa: *sadly* “No.”

No Cable Makes You A Cry-Baby(sitter)

, , , | Related | September 20, 2017

(A customer has a bad signal issue that we have to dispatch a technician for during a busy part of the year.)

Me: “We have an opening in two days.”

Customer: “Two days?! No cable for two days? Well, who’s gonna watch my kids?!”