Coyote Ugly Parenting

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 28, 2018

(My mail arrives late on this summer day, somewhere around 6:00 pm. I haven’t taken more than three steps when I hear an unfamiliar sound. Part of it reminds me of a tree snapping, but it sounds too metallic. Also, there is something like a patter mixed in, along with something like heavy breathing. Curiosity gets the better of me, so I follow it next door. Less than a second after I walk past my fence, I am looking straight into the answer’s eyes, and I run back to my door. The tree and metal snapping sounds are my neighbor’s fence being torn away. The patter is digging. And the heavy breathing is coming from the coyote doing it. However, I probably look like a fool, since that thing decides to ignore me as soon as I am gone, and goes back to digging. Once I am back inside and have ensured that my dog is, as well, I go to the back of my house to try and figure out why the coyote is so determined to get in my neighbor’s backyard. That takes all of two seconds. The moment I peek out the blinds, I see my neighbor sticking her head out the window, checking on her five-year-old daughter playing in the backyard. I quickly stick my head out the window, too.)

Me: “[Neighbor]! Bring your kid in! There’s a coyote trying to get into your yard!”

Neighbor: “No, no. It’s just someone’s dog. It’s fine. We don’t have vicious dogs around here.”

Me: “Lady, I looked right at it! It’s a coyote! Get your kid out of there before it tears down your fence!”

Neighbor: “It’s not going to hurt anyone! It just wants to play nice!”

Me: “Tell that to your fence!”

Neighbor: *sighs* “Fine! [DAUGHTER]! COME INSIDE AND WASH UP!”

(Thankfully, her daughter comes right in. A few minutes later, the noises stop. I poke my head out again and see the coyote running around her backyard.)

Neighbor: “THAT’S A F****** COYOTE!”

(It went away before the police or animal control could arrive. Neither my dog nor my neighbor’s daughter were left outside unattended for a long while after that, though we’ve yet to see another coyote or any evidence of one.)

Buttering The Truth

, , , , , , | Related | November 23, 2018

(Due to a series of misfortunes, my brother-in-law lives in my basement for a time. When it comes to the fridge, we have an open-fridge policy since we each buy for the other every so often. I take care of the cooking, as the best cook in the house, and his diet generally follows three rules. First, no butter. When he was very young, he went out for pancakes with his mother, and they dolloped the butter on top with a scooper. He thought it was ice cream and ate the whole thing. Obviously he got sick, and has since sworn off butter. Second, no livestock or poultry. Around the time I started dating his sister, he had already developed a bit of a belly. His solution was exercise and pescetarianism, and to his credit, it worked. Third, no garlic. I don’t if there’s a story behind that one. So, in the time I have to cook for him, I follow this diet for him. However, it turns out these rules aren’t as simple or finite as I thought. While I do most of the cooking, my wife isn’t shy around the kitchen or the barbecue. When she finds her brother eating prepackaged, frozen salmon burgers, she decides to try making some herself. They are one of her best dishes. One day while I’m out with some friends at a baseball game, she invites her friends over for dinner. As it’s summer, she fires up the barbecue for summer staples, and chooses to include her salmon burgers. When her friends leave, she still has a few salmon burgers left. She gives them to her brother, who finishes them off just as I come home.)

Brother-In-Law: “Those were great! Best salmon burgers you’ve made yet! Did you do something different?”

Wife: “No. Same recipe.”

(Hours later, as we’re getting ready for bed, she bolts up.)

Wife: “Oh, s***! I put garlic in the salmon burgers! I always made his without!”

(Given that he’s never yet complained, she continues making them with garlic. And we still haven’t told him. One night, my wife and some of her friends from work go out to an Italian restaurant. I don’t remember precisely what she got, but I remember it was a pasta dish that was loaded with garlic. I remember this, because after just two hours of storing the leftovers in the fridge, the only smell emanating from it is garlic. The following day, I open the fridge to reheat her dish for her while I’m making my lunch, and can’t find the box. At that time, [Brother-In-Law] walks up the stairs.)

Me: “Hey, [Brother-In-Law], did you see a box with pasta in the fridge?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, I ate it last night.”

Me: “You ate it?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah. It was delicious.”

Me: “It had garlic in it.”

Brother-In-Law: “It did?”

Me: “What did you think was causing the smell in the fridge?”

Brother-In-Law: “What smell?”

Me: “Never mind.”

(Thankfully, my wife doesn’t care that it’s gone. On a cold night, I make some chicken soup. As my wife isn’t too hungry, two or three bowls of soup remain in the pot, so I throw it in a bowl and leave it in the fridge. Two nights later, it is cold enough for soup again, so I go in the fridge to reheat the soup. Once again, I can’t find it.)

Me: “[Brother-In-Law], you see a bowl of soup?”

Brother-In-Law: “The thing [Wife] made for me the other day?”

Me: “No. She made you a stir-fry on Monday that I threw away on Thursday. The soup has only been in here since Friday.”

Brother-In-Law: “Oh, I thought she made me soup.”

Me: “You ate the soup?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah! It was great!”

Me: “It was chicken soup!”

Brother-In-Law: *horrified* “I thought those things were broccoli.”

Me: “Broccoli? Was it green?”

Brother-In-Law: “No. I didn’t know what it was. I just felt it and knew it was different.”

Me: “So… broccoli?”

(My wife and I went apple picking last weekend, and brought home a few things besides apples. Curious to see if he’d like some of it, I make an English muffin.)

Me: “Hey, [Brother-In-Law], I want you to try this English muffin.”

Brother-In-Law: “What’s on it?”

Me: “Just try it.”

Brother-In-Law: *takes a bite, then devours it* “That was really good. What was that?”

Me: “It was an English muffin with apple butter.”

Brother-In-Law: “EW!” *begins spitting everywhere*

Me: “[Brother-In-Law], you just told me you liked it!”

Brother-In-Law: “It’s butter!”

Me: “No, it’s just apples and cider.”

Brother-In-Law: “It’s butter! It has ‘butter’ in the name!”

Me: “So does peanut butter, and I’ve seen you eat that.”

Brother-In-Law: “There’s no butter in peanut butter!”

Me: “There’s no butter in apple butter, either!”

Brother-In-Law: “It’s BUTTER!”

(I give up. He still won’t go near the apple butter. However, this story doesn’t end until the following Christmas, when I recount the story for my sister-in-law, this time opening on the fact that I thought he might like it since apple butter has no butter and has the same ingredients as apple sauce.)

Sister-In-Law: “Of course he wouldn’t eat that! It’s butter!”

(And I had the same conversation with her.)

He Can Take(r) A Hike

, , , , , | Working | November 21, 2018

(I buy a train ticket.)

Ticket Taker: “Do you need help getting the suitcase on the train?”

Me: “No, I’ve got it.”

Ticket Taker: “I’m going to laugh really hard at you when you fall on your face with it.”

Me: “Um, that’s not very nice of you.”

Ticket Taker: “I mean, when a gentleman offers you help, you take it. I don’t do that for just anyone.”

Me: *gets on the train just fine*

I Eat Up Counselors Like You For Lunch

, , , , , , , , | Learning | November 21, 2018

(I often go to a day camp in the summer. I am a very thin child. When my parents pack me a lunch for the day, I typically get a sandwich, a snack — usually strawberries or grapes — and money for either one or two drinks. All of these things, from the plastic baggies holding each item to the brown paper bag they were stored in, have my full name on them. One of the female counselors sees me stashing the remaining half of my sandwich.)

Counselor: “[My Name]! Don’t waste food!”

Me: “I’m not.”

Counselor: “I saw you throw that sandwich away!”

Me: “It’s in my backpack. I’m full now. I’ll eat it later.”

Counselor: “You’re just going to throw it in the trash!”

(She grabs my bag, rips it open, pulls outs the brown paper bag with my lunch, drops the plastic baggie with my sandwich in her hand, shreds the plastic, and hovers it over my mouth.)

Counselor: “EAT!”

Me: “I’m not hungry!”

(This loops a few times, and the other counselor is just as useless. With no one in my corner, I get worn down and start eating the sandwich. Surprise, surprise, “I’m full,” means, “Don’t put any more food in my belly right now or I’ll vomit!” The good news is I don’t see her for the rest of the day as she is too horrified by what I’ve done to her sneakers. The bad news is what she says as she leaves.)

Counselor: “Don’t let him do anything for the rest of the day! He made himself vomit just to be a jerk!”

(The following day, come lunch time, before I even have a chance to put the bag down and open my soda, she’s already on me and takes my lunch out of my hand. She tosses my sandwich onto my lap and then holds up my grapes.)

Counselor: “You can have the grapes back when the sandwich is gone!”

(Remember when I mentioned my brain always tells me “Stop eating!” in this circumstance? Yeah, that happens again here. So for the rest of the week, I don’t get my snack. At all. During the first activity after lunch each day, starting today, I get to see her pull my snack out of her bag and hear the same line.)

Counselor: “Since you didn’t want these at lunch, they’re my snack now.”

(I figure I need to talk to the director of the camp about this, but I am not allowed to directly approach him, so I devise a plan. After yet another day of this counselor’s lunch ritual, just as I start racking my brain for ideas, I see an odd bulge from the tree not too far from the lunch area that wasn’t there when I started camp this year. I go to examine it, and I notice it’s a hive. We have some fresh wasps! By itself, the hive isn’t a problem. At a lunch area, with sugary sodas lying all over, now we have some intruders. A splash of soda here, a few little cream filling there, and they are all over my area.)

Me: “OH, MY GOD!”

(I bolt from the table, my lunch in hand.)

Counselor: “It’s not going to hurt you! Go eat!”

Me: “NO! I’M ALLERGIC!”

(I’m not really.)

Counselor: *mumbling* “You big baby.”

(She takes me by the hand into the visitor’s center and directly into the director’s office.)

Counselor: “[Director], we have a nest of wasps near the lunch area. [My Full Name] is claiming he’s allergic to wasps. Could you pull his allergy warnings and get someone to clear the nest?”

(One scan of the cabinet later…)

Director: “Nothing about wasps. [My Name], are you sure you’re allergic?”

Me: “No, I just needed to talk to you, and this was the only way [Counselor] would let me do it.”

Director: “Oh?”

Me: “She’s been stealing parts of my lunch every day since I started here this year.”

Director: “Excuse me?”

Counselor: “He’s full of it! I’ve never even touched his food!”

Me: “Then empty your bag.”

Counselor: “NO! Why should I?”

Director: “Because I’m your boss and I told you to.”

(Amazingly, it never crossed her mind to take my snack out of the plastic baggie with my overtly male and distinctly not-hers name on it.)

Director: “[Counselor], wait here until I get back. [My Name], get your grapes and I’ll walk you back to lunch.”

(The following day, my group had two new counselors.)

Unfiltered Story #127475

, , , | Unfiltered | November 17, 2018

*I’m in my mid-20s and look younger than I am, so I’m used to comments on my age. Today I’m wearing a shirt with “Irish” printed across it.*

Customer: “You must be Irish!”
Me: “No, I actually went to college at Notre Dame, and their mascot is the Fighting Irish.”
Customer: “Ah, are you planning on going to school there?”
Me: “Nope, I’m all done with college.”
Customer: “……Aren’t you, like 14 or 15?”
Me: *feeling uncomfortable with giving out my age* “No.”
Customer: “16?”
Me: “No.”
Customer: “Well, you CAN’T be more than a teenager. You shouldn’t have a job like this during school hours!”

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