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A Most Reasonable Reason For A Meltdown

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Ok-Fox-8931 | January 11, 2022

I am a hostess at a restaurant. The patio is open; it is a nice day. There is a family of five out there. A guy comes in on a mobility scooter and asks for the patio, and I seat him.

The server out there is bisexual, and it is Pride Month, so he has borrowed my bisexual flag bandana to wear. The next time I see him, he gives me back the bandana, kind of strangely.

Me: “Are you okay?”

Server: “Yeah…”

I give him the side-eye but let it go.

It’s been fifteen minutes, and every time my coworker comes in, he looks kind of upset. I get up to the hostess stand, and the mom from the family of five is standing there, PISSED. I brace myself mentally for an entitlement meltdown. Instead:

Mom: “I demand that you remove that man on a scooter! He’s been harassing our server for being bisexual. And when one of my kids told him to stop, he called my kid a ‘little s***’ and ‘probably a [slur], too’!”

We removed him and gave her family free dessert. Good on her, and shame on me for thinking the worst of her.

All Milk-Shook Up

, , , , , , | Related | January 7, 2022

My family isn’t exactly well-off, so we usually only go out to a restaurant on someone’s birthday. Today is a lucky day, because there is no special occasion.

This new restaurant offers free refills on fizzy drinks, which is unusual in the UK at the time. We’re all thinking this is a great idea, except for my youngest sister, who wants a milkshake.

Dad: “The milkshake is more expensive, and there’re no refills, so you’re only getting the one.”

Sister: “Okay.”

Dad: “The rest of us are going to be refilling our drinks; you won’t be able to refill your milkshake.”

Sister: “I know.”

Dad: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You’re not getting another. Are you sure you don’t want Fanta?”

Sister: “I’m sure.”

We order food and drinks, and after a short wait, the waiter brings a tray full of drinks. As he approaches the table and goes to put the tray down, it catches on the condiments holder. The tray tips over, the adults both reflexively grab the two drinks closest to them, and the milkshake goes spilling all over the table. Miraculously, most of it is on the table and the little one is only slightly splashed.

My sister immediately slams both elbows on the table, drops her face into her hands, and starts to tear up. The waiter is extremely apologetic and almost falls over himself trying to cheer her up. At the same time, my other sister is laughing her head off at the little one’s face and I’m attempting to help use napkins to stop any of the milkshake from falling off the table.

Every time the waiter mentions something about getting a new one right out, the little one shakes her head and cries a little harder. She’s tough as nails and doesn’t usually cry, so we’re all a little in shock still.

Waiter: “I— I’m so sorry! I’ll go get my manager!”

Before he comes back, our dad gets her to explain what’s wrong.

Sister: “But you said I’m not allowed another one!”

Dad: “Oh, [Sister]. Don’t be silly. Of course you can have another milkshake; it wasn’t you who spilled it.”

The waiter returns with his manager.

Dad: “It’s okay. She just thought I wouldn’t let her have a replacement.”

Manager: “It’s okay, sweetie. Of course we’ll replace your milkshake. I know, how about we upgrade you to the Oreo milkshake?” *To Dad* “Is that okay?”

My sister is nodding.

Dad: “That’s—”

Manager: “No extra cost, of course.”

Dad: “Do you even like Oreos, [Sister]?”

Sister: “I got to try them at school when [Friend] bringed them.”

Dad: *To the manager* “That’d be great, thanks.”

The mess is quickly cleaned up and a waitress brings over a tray with the new fancy milkshake on it. As she goes to put it down, it catches on the condiments holder. My sister looks at her milkshake in horror.

Whether due to quicker reflexes or a lighter plate, the waitress doesn’t tip the tray. We notice the condiments holder was the problem last time, and I reach over to move it to my side of the table to prevent this from happening again.

Me: “Do you think—”

Dad: “Yeah, it probably was.” *To the waitress* “Can you let the other guy know it wasn’t his fault?”

Waitress: “Huh? Oh, sure.”

My sister got to enjoy her fancy milkshake and the food was good, too. We had a good time and went back to that restaurant again a few times.

We Could All Use A Cousin Lisa In Our Lives

, , , , , | Related | January 4, 2022

In my extended family, my dad was an only child and my mother had one older sister. My Aunt Mary had two sons: one my age and one two years older than us. But in addition to Cousin George and Cousin Sam, we also had Cousin Lisa. Cousin Lisa was the daughter of George and Sam’s Uncle Fred, and she was sixteen years old when I was born.

Cousin Lisa was my favorite cousin. She was the only other girl in the family, so she got extra points by default, but because she was older, she was also just so much fun. Whenever she visited, she made sure to schedule time to take George, Sam, and me out for all sorts of fun activities no one else would take us out for. I now realise it’s because she was a single adult with a stable job and no kids and had more free money, but back then, we just thought she was the Big Kid and was letting us break all the grown-up rules by getting two snacks when we went to the movies.

When I was five, I found out that not only did Lisa visit us twice a year, but George and Sam got to travel over to visit her once a year. I was so upset that I cried for weeks. From that year, only I got to go with George and Sam every winter to Lisa’s so that we could see the snow.

When we grew older and our interests started to diverge, Lisa made sure to keep up to date, even when I was fifteen and what I liked changed weekly. Oftentimes, she’d not just take us out as a group, but she’d also schedule outings with each of us individually to do something we enjoyed. I got to go to my first-ever concert, which I’d begged my parents for, because Lisa agreed to come with me.

These last few months, I have been planning my wedding and trying to prune down the list of invites to determine who should and should not be coming.

And it is only while trying to work out this list of invitees that my parents have thought to tell me that Cousin Lisa is not my cousin at all. Lisa, George, and Sam are related on their dads’ side. George, Sam, and I are related on our mums’ side. Lisa just came to visit after George was born, took one look at baby me, as well, and declared to both sets of parents, “Both of these are mine now.”

Not once in any of the twenty-six years that I’ve been alive and telling everyone how much Lisa is my favorite cousin has anyone ever thought to tell me this — not even the time I scheduled a special trip with my fiancée to the city she lives in specifically to introduce them.

She is still invited to my wedding.

Little Old Lady Versus The Little F***ers

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Brit-Git | January 3, 2022

I recently got a job in retail at a convenience store/mini supermarket in rural New England. It’s a part-time gig just to help cover bills. It’s also my first retail job; I’m forty-nine and worked in newspapers for twenty-five years before retiring.

Among the few highlights of the job is one little old lady who comes in every day for the local paper. She’s in her seventies, all of about four-foot-one-inch tall, and a total sweetheart; she’s unfailingly polite, cheerful, and always smiling. If it’s quiet, she’ll stop for a quick chat. If it’s busy, she’ll wait patiently in line without complaint. She’s a gem.

One day, she comes up to me as I’m stocking shelves.

Customer: “Do you sell ant cups?”

I have no idea what she means, and when she starts explaining, I realise she’s asking about ant traps.

Me: “Yes, we sell them! Follow me.”

She immediately puts her arm through mine, and off we go, like some old-timey couple out for a stroll through the New England fall.

We get to the aisle, and she finds what she thinks is the right thing.

Me: “I might have to get some traps, too, as we have big carpenter ants at our house.”

Customer: “No, these are little f***ers. I usually just squish ’em, but there’s too many now.”

I’m left walking her back to the checkout, her arm through mine again, trying to stifle my laughter at this sweet little old lady just throwing out the F-bomb.

The next day, she comes in for her paper. I’m on checkout, and when she’s paid, I lean over a bit.

Me: “So, did you get them?”

She looks me dead in the eye.

Customer: “The little f***ers? They’re deader’n s***.”

Cue me retreating to the break room, closing the door, and just laughing for a solid two minutes.

You Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar, Part 2

, , , , | Right | January 3, 2022

A few months after our first child is born, my mother offers to come over for a night so my husband and I can get out for date night. We haven’t had a proper date since the baby was born, and she insists we should stay out as late as we want and not worry about hurrying back. She tells us if we get back late enough, we’ll find her asleep on the couch, but that we shouldn’t worry about getting back but rather enjoy ourselves.

We’re thrilled to take her up on this offer and head out to the local steakhouse chain we enjoy. Unfortunately, we’ve forgotten that it’s graduation weekend in our college town and the place is packed. We approach the hostess, who tells us it will be about an hour before we can get a table. Since we have carte blanche to be out, we tell her no problem, put our name in, and walk around some local stores.

As soon as we sit, our harried server comes over and immediately launches into an apology.

Server: “I’m sorry in advance for tonight, but it’s graduation weekend and three of our other servers called in sick. We’ll do our best to get everything out to you, but I wanted to make you aware up front that it might be a little slower than you were hoping for.”

Husband: “Not a problem. We have a free babysitter for the evening and are in literally no rush at all to leave. We’ll be fine.”

She thanks him, gets our drink orders, and comes back in what feels like a completely normal amount of time to take our order. Our food also comes out in what feels like a reasonable amount of time for a busy Saturday night, much less a crazy, packed Saturday night, but she continues to apologize for service being slow.

We continue to reassure her that we’re in no rush and are happy to enjoy a night out. We go so far as to order dessert. Honestly, but for the noise level and the fact that the restaurant is at capacity the entire time, nothing seems off or slow.

At the end of the night, the manager brings the bill himself.

Manager: “My server tells me you two have been so understanding and kind given the rush we’re having this evening, so I wanted to let you know dessert was on the house tonight and we hope you’ll come back soon.”

Us: “The service and food have been great, and we really didn’t notice any negative effects from the graduation rush.”

Manager: “Unfortunately, some of our other guests have… felt differently and chosen to express those views loudly and rudely, so we’re very appreciative of our understanding guests.”

When we picked up the check, not only had he taken our desserts off, but he’d snuck coupons for a free appetizer and a free dessert underneath!

You Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar