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We Want To Hear The Rest Of That Woman’s Story!

, , , , , | Legal | July 18, 2021

When I was fresh out of college, I got called up for jury duty. It was actually a pretty fascinating experience and I highly recommend it. Some of the people I served with, though, were… interesting.

We’d agreed on most of the fourteen or so criminal charges in the case, including two of the three counts of child endangerment. Now, we were discussing the final of those. One of the criteria we were told for being guilty of this particular charge was that the child had to feel endangered. The child in this case was a baby. All but one of us concluded that, due to the particular circumstances, the baby had no idea what was going on and thus didn’t feel endangered and thus the person wasn’t guilty of this particular charge.

The holdout was a woman from the Caribbean — I forget where precisely. I point this out only to explain the sentence structure of her argument since English was her second language or perhaps even third. This is how the argument went, verbatim.

Woman: “When I was in my country, one day, I try to feed my baby. He wouldn’t take the breast! Wouldn’t take the breast!” *Pauses* “Lightning come down, set fire to the house!”

The Rest Of Us: “…”

Woman: “…”

The Rest Of Us: “…”

Me: *Grasping at straws* “Um…okay, so… you’re saying that babies have some kind of sixth sense about what is going on around them, so this baby knew that the man was threatening him even though the baby’s mother wasn’t really worried about the guy?”

Woman: “YES! Babies know!”

Everyone else proclaimed their disbelief.

Me: “Okay, why don’t we move on to the other charges and come back to this one later?”

Eventually, we were able to convince her that, in this case, lightning not come down, not set fire to the house, as far as this baby was concerned.


This story is part of our Best Of July 2021 roundup!

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No Shortage Of Gas Here

, , , , , , | Working | June 2, 2021

My carbonated water machine has run out of gas so I bring the cylinder in to exchange it for a full one. I see a set of boxes of the cylinders I need, but in front of them is a sign that says, “If you are exchanging cylinders, do not take one of these boxes. Please go to the checkout to exchange.” So, I do. I tell the woman at my register that I am exchanging my cylinder and she starts processing the exchange as I’m extracting my old one from my bag. Then, the cashier at the next register speaks to me.

Cashier #2: “If you are exchanging, you just come up here; you don’t get one of those boxes.” 

My cashier and I both look at her, confused.

Me: “That is literally what I am doing right now.”

Cashier #2: “Those boxes aren’t for exchanging.”

Cashier #1: “She didn’t bring a box.”

Cashier #2: “You just come up to the registers with your old cylinder. We have to give you the new ones from ones we have behind the counter.”

Me: “Again, that is exactly what I am doing. I do not have a box. I read the sign.”

Cashiers #1 & #2: “There’s a sign?”

Me: “Yes.”

I tell them what it says.

Me: “And that is why I came straight up to the registers and did not bring a box.”

My cashier is finishing up my transaction.

Cashier #2: “You don’t take the boxes—”

My cashier interrupts her to start chewing her out a bit.

Cashier #1: “Why are you telling her to do something she already did?” 

They were still discussing it as I left. Not sure what was so confusing about me doing what I was supposed to, not having the thing I wasn’t supposed to, and already being helped by someone else who wasn’t having any trouble.

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Seriously, Who Does This?

, , , , , , | Romantic | March 5, 2020

There’s a guy at my gym who sometimes tries to chat me up. I’m polite but nothing more, as I’m not interested.

One night, I’m leaving the gym just as he’s arriving. We exchange greetings for a few seconds and I set off on my walk home without a second thought.

Halfway there, I stop to wait for a traffic light and just happen to look over my shoulder.

He’s right behind me.

I scream, “Why are you following me?!”

He has the nerve to stand there smiling and ask, “Oh, did I scare you?” as if it’s perfectly normal to follow a woman late at night — or any time, for that matter.

I raise my fists into a fighting stance and scream again, “BACK OFF, MOTHERF*****!”

He takes off running. I’m so petrified that I can’t move until he’s out of sight.

I’ve never seen him again, but I’m always uneasy he’ll show up at the gym again.

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The Chaos Chorus

, , , , , , , | Working | February 13, 2020

(I’m a volunteer at a museum. The volunteers and staff carry radios so we can coordinate. We have different channels for different groups so, for example, the tour guides can coordinate tours without bothering the rest of the staff. Our radios are also always simultaneously tuned to a second channel called “general,” which is only used for announcements. The museum is closed for today while we change exhibits. Notably, a site safety staff member is also testing out the PA loudspeakers.)

Site Safety: *on general* “Heads up, loud noise coming.”

Site Safety: *on PA* “THIS IS AN AUDIO TEST OF THE— GOOD LORD, THAT’S LOUD. HOW DO I LOWER THE VOLUME?”

Site Safety: *on general* “Sorry, folks… That’s a bit louder than expected. We’re gonna look into that.”

(A few minutes pass:)

Unknown #1: *on general* “Szz fn mph… fllf.”

Supervisor: “Ah, darn it, someone’s leaning on their transmit.”

(Someone’s accidentally transmitting on general without realizing it, usually caused by leaning up against a wall and hitting the PTT button.)

Supervisor: “Hot mic on general.”

Unknown #1: “Fzz whll… mm.”

Supervisor: “Hot mic on general!”

Unknown #1: “Hll?”

Unknown #2: “Hot! Mic! On! General!”

Unknown #1: “Snzzz whrr…”

Unknown #3: “HOT MIC ON G**D*** GENERAL.”

Supervisor: “Hey, keep it professional on the radios!”

Unknown #1: “Shvvv br.”

(Pretty soon, a chorus of voices pop up, all calling in, “Hot mic on general.” Then, suddenly:)

Site Safety: *on PA* “HOT MIC ON GEN– OH, S***, WRONG BUTTON, THAT’S THE PA. SORRY, FOLKS.”

(Long pause:)

Unknown #3: “Uh… hot mic on g**d*** PA.”

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The China Syndrome

, , , , , | Right | July 2, 2019

(I work at a paint and sip bar. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I watch over the shop to answer phones, clean up, etc. I am not the owner but they trust me enough to be alone on these days, so I don’t have a set lunch break. Since they don’t take a lunch break out of my pay I usually eat at the desk and answer emails at the same time. I also sit there in case anyone comes in to ask a question. Most of the time when this happens they ask really quickly, notice my lunch, and then just take a pamphlet and leave me alone which is really nice. This happens when I am waiting for my lunch to cool off after just reheating it. Note, it is in a Tupperware container, not a take-out container.)

Customer: *as they are coming in the door* “What is it that you all do here exactly?”

Me: “Well, it’s a paint and sip bar, so we do public classes and private parties where people follow along step by step with an instructor, and there is a bar with wine and beer over there in the back.”

Customer: *eyeing my still-steaming lunch* “Uh-huh, uh-huh. Okay. Your lunch smells good. What Chinese place did you get that from?”

Me: “Oh, I made it last night; it’s leftovers from dinner.”

Customer: “You can’t just make Chinese food. You aren’t Chinese; you wouldn’t know how. You don’t have to tell me, but maybe I won’t come to your classes since you obviously aren’t helpful.” *leaves with a pamphlet still in hand*

Me: *to myself* “What? Okay.”

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