Sadly Beer-leavable

| Albany, NY, USA | Learning | September 16, 2016

(I’m a counselor at a local summer day camp. I hate coffee, and so on occasion bring in a can of whatever energy drink is available at the corner store.)

Camper: “Ms. [My Name], what are you drinking?”

Me: “It’s like coffee, but it tastes like soda.”

Camper: “Oh! I thought it was a beer.”

Me: “Why would you think I’m drinking a beer at 7:45 in the morning?”

Camper: “My dad does!”

It Runs, And Trips, In The Family

| AB, Canada | Related | September 7, 2016

(A few days before the camp where I have been working is finished for the summer I am diagnosed with a concussion, and am rather disappointed that I have to go home just before finishing. The concussion was due to someone careening off the slip and slide and taking me out. It’s also worth noting that I have developed a reputation at camp for being accident-prone.)

Me: “Hi, Mom!”

(She waves as she gets out of the car and approaches the porch where I’m standing. She attempts to step onto it, and promptly trips, sprawling across the porch rather splendidly.)

People With Me: “Oh, my word, are you okay?”

(Meanwhile, the camp director is desperately trying to stifle his laughter.)

Mom: *popping back up* “Yup!”

Me: *turning to the others and gesturing towards my mom* “Now you understand!”

Can’t Bear To Be Away From Candy

| BC, Canada | Right | September 2, 2016

(This woman is at least in her mid-twenties.)

Customer: “Are there bears here?”

Coworker: “Yes, black bears.”

Customer: “Will they eat our food?”

Coworker: “Not if you leave it in your car overnight.”

Customer: “I like to sleep with candy close to me. Is that okay?”

Keep It Next To The Striped Paint

| MN, USA | Friendly | August 29, 2016

(In scouting it is common for younger scouts to get hazed. One such jape is the old “skyhook” gag. The newest scout is tasked with getting a “skyhook” from the other troops, so the “smoke shifter” could be set. Of course, neither thing really exists. A young scout arrives from another troop.)

Young Scout: “Do you guys have a skyhook?”

Me: *knowing the joke but playing along* “Skyhook? What’s that?”

Young Scout: “A skyhook. My Scoutmaster sent me over here to get a skyhook, so we can adjust the smoke shifter, and we won’t get smoke in our eyes.”

(My dad, the Scoutmaster, is known as an avid junk collector. He had brought with him a log roller he had found at a flea market. A log roller is a stout handle with a swiveling hook on the end. Most kids born after the 1970s would have no idea what it is.)

Dad: *handing him the log roller* “Just be sure to have it back by sundown.”

(Whoever this kid was, my dad sure made his day. I could only imagine the look on the faces of the other troop when he came running back, log roller held over his head, yelling “I got one! I got one!”)

It’s A Boy/Girl Thing

| USA | Learning | August 19, 2016

(I was volunteering for a camp for little kids. I am genderfluid, but around this time, I am still trying to figure out my gender and am presenting as male. I am having a lot of fun messing with the kids.)

Kid #1: “Are you a boy or a girl?”

Kid #2: “I think she’s a boy.”

Me: “SHE’S a BOY?”

Kid #1: “But your socks are pink!”

Me: “The color of my socks have nothing to do with whether I’m a boy or a girl.”

Kid #3: “No, he’s a boy. His name is [My Gender-Neutral Name]. That’s a boy’s name.”

Me: “That can be a name for a boy or a girl.”

Kid #4: “I have a friend with that name and she’s a girl.”

Kid #1: “So you’re a girl!”

Me: “I never said that.”

(Later, the two kids who are still debating my gender bring it up again.)

Kid #1: “Why won’t you tell us whether you’re a girl or a boy?”

Kid #2: “Yeah, tell us!”

Kid #1: “Wait, are you one of those people who’s born a boy and feels like a girl? Or born a girl and feels like a boy?”

Me: *stunned* “Yeah, that’s me.”

Kid #1: “Are you going to get surgery so you can be who you are inside?”

Me: “Yeah, I… don’t really think I’m ready for that.

Kid #1: “Okay!”

(They stopped asking whether I was a boy or a girl and I passed as a guy for the rest of my time at that camp. Kids know a lot more than people give them credit for, although I’m definitely not planning on getting surgery!)

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