I’ll Keep Doodling; You Keep Projecting

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I like to draw. I’m not very good but I enjoy doodling, mostly landscapes. If the weather is miserable, sometimes I take my break at my desk and draw.

Out of the blue, my boss and another manager approach my desk. They don’t look happy.

Boss: “Can we see your book?”

Me: “Err, no. It’s my property.”

Other Manager: *Sternly* “Come with us.”

They march me into an office. My boss motions for me to sit down. The other manager seems to be trying to be intimidating, but it’s not really working.

Boss: “A coworker has made a complaint about your drawing; they say you have been making fun of them.”

Other Manager: “That counts as bullying and we won’t stand for it.”

Me: “I just doodle; I don’t draw people.”

Boss: “Okay, but we cannot prove that without your book. We can’t force you to show it, but we might need to investigate, and that might mean suspension.”

Me: “Fine, whatever. Here, take the book.”

They search the book and find nothing, of course.

Other Manager: “He might have ripped out the page.”

Me: “Count them if you like; there should be 300 pages.”

They look at me, I guess to see if I’m being serious.

Me: “Go on. I haven’t taken any pages out; you can check.”

Other Manager: “I need to take this.”

Me: “No, that’s my personal property. If you want to count the pages, you can, but you do it in front of me.”

Boss: “I told you [My Name] wouldn’t do it. You can count the pages if you like but I’m getting a coffee. [My Name], you want one?”

I drink a coffee with my boss while the other manager sits and counts the pages. He finally finishes.

Other Manager: “Okay, 300. He was telling the truth.”

Me: “Look, I don’t know who complained, but it could have gotten me suspended. What are you going to do to them?”

Other Manager: “I guess I can have a chat with them.”

Boss: “No, you wanted to interrogate [My Name], so we do the same to them. After all, [My Name] might want to make a complaint, too.”

Other Manager: “Yeah, I suppose you’re right. We can do it now.”

I had a good idea who complained anyway, but it was confirmed when they took the office busybody away into a room. I couldn’t hear what was said, but it looked like a loud conversation.

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We Can Only Draw One Conclusion: SHE’S A WITCH!

, , , , , , | Learning | April 21, 2021

My two best friends and I are in sixth grade — age twelve — and have a mandatory art class. We are spending a week drawing houses. Our first assignment is to draw our own house.

[Friend #1] draws her house, but she forgets to draw one of her parents’ bedroom windows. That night, it storms very badly, and a tree falls in such a way that the window she forgot to draw is broken by a tree branch crashing through it.

The next day, we are supposed to draw a house that exists and that we wished we lived in. [Friend #1] draws [Friend #2]’s house, but she forgets to draw the garage. The previous night’s storm had affected the soil of the hill beside that house, and [Friend #2] comes home to find that a tree has fallen on the (empty!) garage. 

The next day, we are supposed to draw the house of a friend. 

Friend #1: “I guess I’ll draw your house, [My Name].”

Me: “Nope! Not allowed! No, thank you, please! I like my house perfectly intact and how it is, thank you very much!”

Friend #1: “But I already drew [Friend #2’s] house!”

Friend #2: “Yeah, and look what happened to it! And what happened to your house! If you forget to draw anything at [My Name’s] house, we won’t be able to go to her sleepover this weekend.”

Me: “Hey, weren’t you friends with [Former Classmate] before she moved?”

Friend #1: “Yeah, why?”

Me: “My mom’s coworker bought it, and Mom said they’re tearing it down so they can build their dream house! So if you mess it up with your weird drawing power, it won’t matter!”

Friend #1: “I don’t think I had anything to do with the garage or the windows, but fine, whatever.”

[Friend #1] draws [Former Classmate]’s house, forgetting to draw the sizable front deck. That house is on a very busy road, right across from a T-intersection. As my mom picks me up from school, she tells me we are taking a different way home than usual.

Mom: “Yeah, it’s a good thing [Former Classmate] moved! Someone crashed into her house and destroyed the deck.”

I call [Friend #1] when I get home and relay the information. 

Friend #1: “Okay, you know what? Fine. I thought you and [Friend #2] were just being weird about all this, but I guess I have to believe you. I’m drawing made-up houses the rest of the week.”

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It’s A Dragon! It’s A Kangaroo! No, It’s… Actually, It IS A Dragon!

, , , , , | Learning | April 17, 2021

My Japanese teacher, who I’ll call Sensei, quite likes origami. I have a tendency to start speaking in English during speaking tasks due to nerves. She helps me overcome this by building up my confidence, and she gifts me with a pack of origami paper the first time I succeed.

During a lesson, a friend and I are chatting, and I offhandedly mention the origami prank I played earlier. Sensei jokingly interjects.

Sensei: “I hope I won’t find rabbits all over my desk, [My Name]!”

I laugh and we move to another topic.  

When I get home, I examine the pack of origami paper I was given and realize just how many pieces of paper there are in the pack. That’s when I get ideas.  

I carefully extricate one piece of each color and fold them all into dragons. I spend the next few days with a pocket full of paper dragons, waiting for an opportunity where I can get to Sensei’s desk.

A week or so later, that opportunity comes. I dash right in and get to work placing the dragons. Once I am done, I run back outside to find Sensei.

Me: “Sensei, Sensei, come quick! There’s an army of miniature dragons invading your desk!” 

Sensei: “Miniature dragons?”

Me: “Yeah, miniature dragons!” 

We walked back to the staffroom where her desk was located. As soon as she opened the door and spotted her desk, she started laughing.  

True to my word, there were eight miniature dragons in various comical positions on her desk. There was one tapping at her keyboard curiously, one climbing up the side of her desktop monitor, one on top of her monitor entirely, one swinging from the cord for the vertical blinds by its forelimbs and holding on for dear life, one running on her tape roll mounted in the desktop tape dispenser, and three more sitting around on her desk, watching the show.  

Judging by how the eight origami dragons are now carefully lined up on her desk, I think this prank counts as a success.

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Not Painting A Pretty Picture Of Themselves

, , , | Right | February 18, 2021

I am selling two types of hand-painted products at a craft fair. A customer can purchase a pre-made item or a custom one that they can order and come back for in a few hours. I require half the payment before starting, unless they want a name on it. If they want a name, I require the full payment, because it’s harder to resell if they walk away.

[Product #1]’s colors tend to be more pastel, while [Product #2]’s colors are darker. I cannot use [Product #1]’s colors on [Product #2], and vice versa. I tried to get the same rainbow for [Product #1] and [Product #2], but they are off, especially the warm colors. To prevent confusion, I make separate pricing charts and color samplers for both products. I’ve had some customers get upset at the limitations on their color choices, but this was a new one.

Customer: “I love your stuff! I want a custom [Product #2].”

Me: “Thank you! What colors would you like?”

Customer: “Hmm… this light red, the dark pink, and the bright orange!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the red and orange can only be used on [Product #1]. Is it okay if I use the darker red and orange?”

Customer: “But it’s all paint.”

Me: “Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.”

Customer: “Yes, it does. Paint is paint is paint!”

Me: “Actually, no.”

I explain the different materials and drying times.

Customer: *Scoffs* “Just do it anyway!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s not going to look right, and it definitely won’t last.”

Customer: “I don’t care. Do it anyway!”

Me: “Okay. But I would like to be paid up front in full.”

Customer: “What?! Your sign says that I only have to pay half up front on designs without names!”

Me: “Yes, but you’re asking me to use the wrong paint. I can’t resell it.”

Customer: “But it doesn’t have a name!”

Me: “Sorry. I need you to pay in full or no sale.”

Customer: *Smugly* “I can call the cops on you for violating a written agreement. Wouldn’t like that, would you?”

Me: *Shrugs* “You’re welcome to call them.”

The customer just stormed off, defeated.

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There’s Nothing Comic About Racism

, , , , | Friendly | February 17, 2021

When I am a teenager, around the year 2000, I start a story and share it through a forum. People love it and say I should make a comic out of it. Alas, I can’t draw digitally and don’t have a scanner, but someone offers to draw the comic for me.

I ask him to draw the main character, an energetic black girl. He draws her in black and white lineart. Using MS Paint, I add colour (very terribly). He then draws her again, using most of my colours.

This all takes place through forum posts.

Me: “She looks great! She does look very pale, though.”

Artist: “Oh, I thought that was a mistake. I thought she was this colour, because she was based on you?”

Me: “No, she’s not. I wish I was as cool as her! But if you could darken her skin, that would be great.”

He darkens her skin to a more olive tint.

Me: “Can you please darken it more?”

Artist: “This is as dark as I can go.” 

Me: “Really? I looked online, and your software should be able to use hex codes, right? Could you use something like [hex code of dark brown]?”

Artist: “No, my software won’t allow me.”

Me: “But you are using [Software], right? It says on this site that you can add hex codes. Maybe if you swap palettes? This tutorial tells you how.”

Artist: “No, not my software.”

At that point, people were calling his BS. I was just confused about why his software didn’t allow him— naive me. Eventually, he lashed out, saying that black people scared him and he flat-out refused to colour her in the colours specified. He was promptly banned from the forum, and rightly so! I was very confused about this — again, naive me — because he showed pictures of himself and he was Hispanic and had dark skin. 

The comic never happened, and looking back at it, it was a terribly thin story. Still, I taught myself how to draw, and now I can draw her myself, making sure she has the right skin tone every time.

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