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O, Canaduh, Part 13

, , , , , , , | Related | October 13, 2021

My family is Canadian, but my brother moved to the States for work and has an American girlfriend. Everyone in the family likes her very much, but she sometimes gives the impression that she’s worried about fitting in and getting along with us.

It’s a couple of days after the 2021 Canadian federal election. I’m on a video call with my brother, and I tell him a joke. His girlfriend hears him laughing and comes in.

Girlfriend: “What’s so funny?”

Me: “Oh, just a stupid joke about the election.”

Girlfriend: “Oh? Can I hear it?”

Brother: “It’s, uh, very Canadian. I don’t know if you’d think it was funny.”

Girlfriend: “Oh, come on. I wanna hear it! I bet it’s great!”

Me: “Um, okay. What’s the difference between [Politician] and a toilet?”

Girlfriend: “I don’t know.”

Me: “A toilet has a seat.”

Girlfriend: “I… Oh. Um.”

Me: “Because, uh, [Politician] is a real scumbag and he’s a party leader, but he didn’t get elected in his riding, so he doesn’t have a seat in the House of Commons.”

[Girlfriend] is wearing the expression of someone desperately pretending that she both understands and cares.

Me: “Anyway, it’s a very silly joke. How are you, [Girlfriend]?”

I hope my brother later told her she doesn’t have to pretend to care about Canadian politics to impress anyone, since if she’s not interested, I can’t think of a bigger waste of her time.

O, Canaduh, Part 12
O, Canaduh, Part 11
O, Canaduh, Part 10
O, Canaduh, Part 9
O, Canaduh, Part 8

Every Swirl Remembers Their First Time

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2021

Unemployed and bored, I head to a movie theatre for an afternoon matinee. The place is very quiet as I walk up to the theatre’s frozen yogurt counter where there is a rather nervous teenage girl at the till and an older man back there near her.

Me: “Hi there. Can I get [regular swirl]?”

Cashier: “Certainly.”

She carefully pecks at the till, then tells me my total, takes my money, and turns to the man.

Cashier: “She wants a [regular swirl].”

Man: “Okay.”

He looks at her expectantly.

Cashier: “I’m not ready!”

She wails and the man looks at me.

Man: “Sorry, it’s her first real day here.”

He grabs for the cup and I call out.

Me: “No! I want her to do it.”

They both look at me in a bit of fear because I am a bit emphatic, but I continue. I look at the trainee.

Me: “Listen, you’re going to have to start doing this at some point.”

The fear in her eyes is adorable.

Me: “Why not start now?”

Cashier: “I don’t know how.”

I look over at the man.

Man: *Encouragingly* “Come on. Yes, you do.”

Me: “Come on. Whatever you manage, I’ll take it; no complaints. You gotta do it sometime.”

There was unbridled terror as she took the cup from the man and held it under the spout. The creation took forever and came out like a mangled pyramid, but it was what I wanted — if not a bit more than I wanted. She turned with embarrassment at her offering, but I took it, thanked her, and headed into my movie.

Everyone has a first day, and I figured she’d have to get into the meat of the job sooner rather than later. It’s probably best with someone more accepting and forgiving than most I see on NAR.

Reaching A Compromise Is Gray-t

, , , , , | Romantic | September 27, 2021

My girlfriend badly needs a new couch and I have recommended she just lurk on used websites until she sees something she likes. On the other hand, it is right in the middle of the first lockdown, and her mother has decided she would rather pay for a brand new couch than risk her daughter getting a [health crisis] couch.

We end up at a local store that is a big name in the community, looking at couches that cost more than we make in two months. And my girlfriend is really excited that she can get her couch in whatever colour she wants, as she is a very stylish woman who loves big, bold colours. She also loves that this store has the option to “build your own” couch, being able to take any design model and customize it to any shape.

She does keep in mind that there is going to be a bill that her mom will need to pay, so she gravitates toward the less expensive models. At one point, she locks eyes on a very heavily discounted couch and starts to get excited. It is not in any way, shape, or form, anything even approaching what she wanted, but for that price, she figures she can deal with it. I check the tag.

Me: “Umm, this price is for this couch.”

Girlfriend: “Yes! It’s not a terrible couch. It’ll work!”

Me: “No, I mean this exact couch.”

Girlfriend:  “Yeah, I don’t really like its shape that much, either, but it would save my mom a lot of money.”

Me: “No, I mean, this specific couch, in this colour.”

Girlfriend: *Recoiling* “Oh.”

It was a grey floor model — not even an interesting textured grey, just plain flat solid grey. Fortunately, her mother completely understood, agreed that a grey couch simply would not suit her, and was not upset to pay more for a better couch she actually liked.

My girlfriend currently has a cobalt blue velvet sectional. I’m slightly disappointed that she didn’t go for crimson like her last one, but I’m just glad I was able to talk her out of bright purple.

Use Your Words, Especially When There Are Knives Involved!

, , , , , , , | Related | September 22, 2021

I’m at a large family reunion at a cabin owned by some extended family. Obviously, not everyone there knows everyone else well, since the relationships go back to my great-grandparents’ generation.

[Cousin #1], her brother [Cousin #2], and I are in the kitchen. [Cousin #1] has deputized her brother and me to squeeze limes and chop garlic; she herself is working steadily through a large pile of avocados, taking the pits out by slicing a knife into them and twisting them. 

One of my aunts from another branch of the family, who doesn’t know my cousins, is a notorious busybody. She can never resist telling everyone exactly what she thinks without asking herself if that’s a good idea. She comes in, sees the situation, and makes a beeline right for us just as [Cousin #1] is moving the knife toward an avocado pit.

[Aunt] grabs [Cousin #1] suddenly and jerks her arm.

Aunt: “Stop!”

Cousin #1: “Aaaagh!”

She drops the knife — luckily onto the counter — and grabs at her left hand; I see blood. She whirls on [Aunt]. [Cousin #1] is about five-foot-nothing and has a bit of a babyface, but she has an extremely loud voice.

Cousin #1: “Jesus Christ, what the f***?!”

It’s the first time I’ve seen [Aunt] speechless even for a second.

Cousin #1: “What is wrong with you?! Do not sneak up like that! I could have cut my g**d*** fingers off, you idiot!”

Aunt: “I was trying to tell you not to cut the avocados like that. You could have hurt yourself!”

Cousin #1: “So, you decided to grab me from behind while I was moving a knife?! Yeah, that’s really safe! Whatever happened to ‘excuse me,’ huh? Get out of my way. I need a bandaid — if I don’t need stitches. [Cousin #2], finish the guacamole. And you, dumba**, out of my kitchen!”

She storms past us towards the bathroom. [Aunt], of course, doesn’t leave.

Aunt: “There’s no reason to be rude! I was just trying to help.”

Cousin #2: “That was pretty mild for [Cousin #1].”

Me: “Yeah, I think she only used the F word once. And she doesn’t need your help. She’s a professional chef; she knows what she’s doing.”

Aunt: “I would never let one of my children do that.”

Cousin #2: “She’s not a child; she’s twenty-eight.”

Realizing she wasn’t going to get any sympathy from either of us, [Aunt] finally left. I later found out that she tracked down my cousins’ father and complained to him about his daughter’s behaviour… and then learned where exactly [Cousin #1] had learned not to suffer fools as he bellowed at [Aunt] that it was her fault his precious jewel got hurt. 

I don’t know if [Aunt] has learned to stop butting in all over the place, but she may have learned to choose her targets better.

The Kinda Blind Leading The Totally Blind

, , , , | Right | September 10, 2021

I work at a well-known Canadian automotive and hardware chain store. Some of the larger locations can have over a hundred aisles. Our particular location, however, is quite small: only thirty-two aisles. Consequently, while I am hired to work in Hardware, this basically encompasses most departments: Hardware, Housewares, Sports, Seasonal, and Garden — essentially everything EXCEPT Automotive.

I’m working in the plumbing aisle when a woman comes up and asks for help with Automotive. I start to tell her she needs to go ask for help at the Automotive desk, but a quick glance shows me that there are already six or seven people lined up there, waiting for help.

Me: “Well, it’s not really my department, but I can see if I might be able to help you. What were you looking for?

Customer: “I need new wiper blades for my car.”

Me: “Great! I’m not very familiar, but I know there’s a book there that lists which wiper blades work with which vehicles. Let’s go have a look.”

We walk over to the windshield wiper blades, and I open the book. It all looks pretty straightforward, and I think I’ll be able to help her out, no problem. I turn to the customer.

Me: “All right, so, what kind of car do you have?”

Customer: “It’s a blue one.”

Me: *Blinks slowly several times* “Yeah… I think you’ll need to go line up at the Automotive desk and get someone from there to help you.”