The Cat Is Gone In A Creampuff

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | January 13, 2019

(I am a volunteer at a no-kill pet shelter. A few weeks ago, a couple came in with the angriest cat we had ever seen. Along with a severe case of mange, he was also missing his right eye. The couple explained that their neighbors had moved and left the cat locked inside a junker car parked behind their house. Even with every volunteer working to rehabilitate him, “One-Eyed Willy” proves to be a difficult case; he bites and scratches, yowls constantly, and does not get along with other male cats. We resign to having him as a permanent resident. One week, I arrive to find that One-Eyed Willy is missing from the cat room. A fellow volunteer explains that he’s been adopted over the weekend. The general consensus is that he has been taken in as a charity case and will be returned when the new owner finds him too difficult to handle. Terrified that whoever this person is will ruin a month of hard work, I can do nothing but wait until they return for his neutering appointment in two weeks. I am working the front desk when a young woman approaches me. She does not have a kennel, but has a cat tucked into her jacket.)

Woman: “Hi! I’m here to drop off Creampuff for his appointment?”

(As any adopted cats are referred to by their new names, it takes me a second to realize that she’s holding One-Eyed Willy! He is purring up a storm, curled up in her arms like a baby. While we go over the paperwork, I notice that he is wearing a hand-knit vest to cover his mange spots. With my heart already melting, I get talking to her.)

Me: “So, has he been behaving himself?”

Woman: “Oh, he’s the best cat in the world! I have a teensy bit of trouble sometimes when I need to go to the store, though.”

(She unzips her jacket and sets One-Eyed Willy on the counter. Immediately, he begins to whine like a baby. She picks him up and he stops.)

Woman: *while giggling and smothering him in kisses* “It’s a good thing I work from home, or I’d be evicted!”

(It isn’t easy working at a shelter, but times like this make it all worth it!)

What A Bloody Jerk

, , , , | Right | January 3, 2019

(The blood test department in this hospital has a queue management system, not unlike those in a deli: you take a ticket at the desk, and enter the room when your number comes up on the monitor. In the room there are six or seven nurses each with their own button, so the number on the monitor can “jump” pretty quickly. The monitor is currently showing 33. I have ticket number 34 and I’m in front of the door. The monitor shows 34, then 35 in quick succession. I enter the room looking for a free nurse when someone grabs me by the arm and shoves me aside. I recognize the old man who was in the queue behind me.)

Man: *angrily* “Why did you enter? What are you playing at? I have 35; it’s my turn!”

Me: “‘Yeah? It called two numbers at once. I was right before you the whole time and here is my ticket: number 34.”

Man: “Well, it’s showing 35 and it’s my turn!”

Me: *getting angry* “Can’t you see 34 comes before 35, you old—“

Head Nurse: “PIPE DOWN AND GET A CHAIR BEFORE I DECIDE THAT I NEED A LITER OF BLOOD FROM EACH ONE OF YOU!”

(The man muted immediately. I sat at the first available station and didn’t even dare to mutter, “Good morning,” to the nurse!)

Suddenly Passed With Flying Colors

, , , , , | Learning | December 26, 2018

(My family immigrates to the US and I attend ESOL classes in the local school. Many of the other ESOL students are refugees from poorer countries than the US or my birth country, so they are going through major culture shock as well as learning English. One particular student struggles with very simple concepts, such as colors. No one understands why he can’t progress, especially since he studies so hard. One day, I come into class and he is wearing glasses.)

Me: “Oh, you have glasses? You need glasses?”

Student: “Yes, the teacher give to me these glasses!”

Me: “You could not see before?”

Student: “No, I could not. The teacher, she give to me these glasses, and now I see the colors!”

Me: “See the colors?”

Student: “Yes, I am what is called colorblind!”

(It turns out, there are many countries that, for various reasons, do not recognize or test for colorblindness. He steadily improved and caught up with the rest of us. A friend of mine whose younger sister is still going to that school told me the ESOL administration now regularly tests for colorblindness and other learning barriers in the ESOL students to help them integrate and learn English better.)

As You Please

, , , , , | Right | December 19, 2018

(I am driving through the drive-thru of a popular fast food chain, when I reach the order speaker.)

Me: “Hello! Can I please get two frozen [Soda]s?”

Cashier: “You sure can!”

Me: “And can I please get two frozen lemon, lime, and bitters?”

Cashier: “I dunno…”

Me: “Pleeeaaasse?”

Cashier: “All right, but only because you said ‘please’!”

(At the payment window.)

Cashier: “That’s $4, thanks, and only because you said ‘please’!”

Me: “Well, my mother always told me manners would get me far in life. She wasn’t wrong!”

Found Out Water Been Saying

, , , , , | Learning | December 19, 2018

(I am a substitute teacher. I am working as a teacher’s assistant with a classroom of students who have high-functioning autism, grades three to five. We go outside for recess. I’m standing with one of the other teacher’s assistants by the fence when a boy approaches us.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “Oh, boy, here comes [Student]. He always tries to get us to let him climb the fence. When we tell him no, he’ll start cursing in another language.”

Student: “May I please go climb the fence? I want to climb the fence.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “No, [Student], you are not allowed to climb the fence.”

Student: *starts speaking in a foreign language, making angry gestures*

Me: *calmly replies in the same language*

(The student and TA both stare at me before the student flees. The TA is astonished.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “What? You can understand him?! What was he saying?!”

Me: “Oh, that was Farsi. I learned basic conversational words and commands when I was deployed. Also, I think he hears the language at home but doesn’t understand it, because he just keeps saying, ‘I want to drink water,’ over and over again.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “But what did you say to him?”

Me: “I asked if he wanted a cup.”

(The student came and left by a special daycare van, and the parents never came to the school, so we don’t know the full story. But I’m told by the Teacher’s Assistant that whenever he tries to pull that stunt, someone calmly walks him over to the water fountain. I’ve been back a few times, and when he sees me, the student runs away.)

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