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Once A Marine, Always A Marine

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 11, 2009

(I am a bookseller working toward a teaching credential. While I am not exactly poor, my pay is not stellar, and it is occasionally a stretch for me to manage loans and bills. While walking home from work, I see a middle-aged man asking for money on the corner. He appears to be a veteran. I scrounge around in my purse for change and only find a penny, but I walk up to him, anyway.)

Me: “Hey. I’m one of those jerks who doesn’t carry a lot of cash. So, this is all I have. I hope it helps.”

(I press the penny into the palm of the veteran’s hand. He looks at me. When he speaks, I can tell that he’s not all there, but he sounds genuine.)

Veteran: “You know what? If that’s all you have, then take this.”

(To my amazement, he presses a one-dollar bill into my palm. I shake my head and try to give it back to him.)

Me: “No. You need it more than I do.”

Veteran: “You know what? Take it. I was in the Marines. And my job was to protect this country. And help poor people.”

(Overcome with emotion, I impulsively salute at the veteran. He immediately snaps into a military salute in response. I thank him and start walking again, and he calls after me.)

Veteran: “Hey! Don’t you be spending that on alcohol, now!”

Me: “I won’t, sir!”

(True to my word, I converted the dollar into quarters for laundry, which I desperately needed to do. It really goes to show how some people, even in their greatest hours of need, will still go out of their way to help others out. Wherever you are now, sir, thank you – and to everyone else, please remember to support your troops, since many of them, after the fight, will need all the love they can get.)


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He’ll Be In The Afterlife After The Birth

, , , , | Healthy | October 31, 2009

(It is Halloween. The hospital staff have put up decorations, but they’re minimal. I’m trying to wheel a patient who is in labor to the room she was assigned, along with her husband.)

Patient’s Husband: “We should put her in the room with the witch hanging over the door.”

Me: “I’m sorry. That room’s actually a different size. I’m supposed to take you to room 79.”

Patient’s Husband: “But that room has a ghost. She wants a witch.”

Me: “The only room we have with that decoration is half the size of this one, and doesn’t have all the same equipment in it. This is the room you paid for.”

Patient’s Husband: “It has to be a witch. She’s been real nasty all week.”

(As she hears her husband say this, the wife is looking less and less pleased. She is a week overdue, and has been in for false labor pains the past two weeks.)

Me: “That’s interesting, but there aren’t any decorations inside the room anyway. What is inside this room is a much wider space for the doctor and nurses to provide her with better care.”

Patient’s Husband: “She wants a witch, so put her in the room with the witch.”

(Finally, the patient has had enough and speaks up.)

Patient: “Shut up. I want to get this kid out in whatever room the people who know what they’re doing think is best, you dumb troll!”

I Find Your Lack Of T-shirts Disturbing

, , , , , , | Right | July 29, 2009

(I’m selling t-shirts at Comic-Con in San Diego. Two men are dressed as Star Wars characters come to my booth.)

Jedi #1: “Man, these shirts are all great. I don’t know how I’ll pick.”

Coworker: “Well, they are two for $35, so you can get any two you like.”

Jedi #2: “Is there any deal for three?”

Coworker: “Nope, just by twos.”

(Suddenly, the second Jedi activates his light-up lightsaber and speaks in an angry, menacing tone.)

Jedi #2: “How about now?!”


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Goodbye Fighting, Hello Kitty

, , , , , | Right | May 13, 2009

(The bar I am at has a reputation for lots of fighting, and they are trying to change that. One of their methods is to enforce a dress code after nine. I’m at the bar the day their new dress code starts. There is a guy drinking with a cap with the logo of a sports team.)

Bouncer #1: “Hey, man, new rule: no sports hats after nine.”

Guy: “What?! Since when? Why?”

Bouncer #1: “Since today, because last week alone we had sixteen different fights start because some guy got drunk and told somebody else the team on their hat sucked.”

Guy: “So I have to leave?”

Bouncer #1: “Not if you take off the hat.”

Guy: “Yeah, sure, fine.” *takes off hat*

(Ten minutes later, the guy puts the hat back on his head.)

Bouncer #2: “Hey, man, no sports hats after nine.”

Guy: “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” *takes hat off again*

(Ten minutes later, hat goes back on head.)

Bouncer #2: “Really, man, again?”

Guy: “I don’t like drinking without a hat on, so what are you going to do about it?”

([Bouncer #2] leaves and comes back with the bar owner.)

Owner: “Okay, look, man. I don’t want any more trouble, so the way I see it, you have three options: one, you and your hat walk out that door and don’t come back; two, your hat goes behind the bar, and you get it back as you leave.”

Guy: “Not going to do either of those.”

Owner: “Option three it is, then.”

(The owner pulls out a roll of Hello Kitty-print duct tape, rips off a piece, and uses it to cover the logo on the hat.)

Owner: “You now support the Pretty Kitties. I don’t know what sport they play, and I don’t care, but they don’t have any rival teams, so there is no fighting about who is better, got it? You can take the tape off when you leave.”

(Now, every night at the bar I see several Pretty Kitty supporters, and the amount of fights has decreased dramatically.)


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And Miles To Go Before I Seek New Employment

, , , , , , | Right | March 6, 2009

Agent: “I sent in the paperwork over a week ago. Why hasn’t this been processed?”

Me: *looking up record* “I don’t see that we’ve received it. What address did you send it to?”

(The agent gives an address in Los Angeles of a company with a similar name we are not affiliated with.)

Me: “Our office is located in San Francisco. We’re not actually affiliated with the company in L.A.”

Agent: “Well, what do we do now?”

Me: “It’s possible that they’ll forward it to our address which is printed on the paperwork, but the fastest way would be for you to submit a new form.”

Agent: “Can’t you just drive over there and get it?”

Me: “Well, no, sir. It’s in L.A. and we’re in San Francisco.”

Agent: “So?”

Me: “It’s at the opposite end of the state.”

Agent: “You can’t just go get it?”

Me: “San Francisco is not near L.A.”

Agent: *angrily* “Well, how far is it?”

Me: “About 400 miles.”

Agent: “…”

Me: “It would take about nine hours in each direction.”

Agent: “You aren’t being very helpful.”