Drew Out The Truth

| NE, USA | Working | November 14, 2016

(During college, I used to work at a summer camp. About 3/4 of the staff usually choose “camp names” to go by. I have been going by Smitty since I was a camper. One of my favorite “camp name” stories happens my first summer on staff. I am the office person, so since I sort the mail, I am one of the few that know everyone’s real name. Drew (aka Drewlaboomkins) was the Assistant Program Director. One afternoon he radios me up from the lower office:)

Drew: “Hey, Smitty?”

Me: “Yes, Drew?”

Drew: “You know everyone’s real name, right?”

Me: “Yeah, Drew.”

Drew: “Who the h*** is [Name] Smith?”

Me: “That’s me, Drew.”

Drew: “Oh… okay… Thank you very much…”

He’s Cat-atonic

| NSW, Australia | Learning | November 9, 2016

(I am one of the youth leaders of a group of 11 teens at a church youth camp that has about 150 teens total. I am attempting to get to know the teens a little better as I haven’t had much time to get to know them. I found out some of the girls have cats like I do and I jump on it as a chance to bond. While sharing stories about our cats antics and this is the weird conversation that happened because of that.)

Head Youth Leader: “Yeah, [My Name], it was odd because I have never had an allergic reaction to anything until I met your new cat. I was itchy and hay feverish after I left your house the other day.”

Me: *confused* “Oh, that strange… She is half Russian Blue… and they are known to have hypoallergenic qualities. My sister-in-law, who is allergic to cats, isn’t allergic to her.”

(The head youth leader shrugs, then the youngest teen in our group — a male, 13-year-old who is a farm kid — joins in rather loudly.)

Teen: “What on earth is a Russian Blue?!”

Me: “Oh, it’s a breed of cat. It’s one of my favourites behind Maine Coon.”

Teen: “There isn’t any such thing as cat breeds… Cats are cats.”

Me: *confused again* “Yes, there is… Just like dogs, German Shepherds and Beagles… Horses Arabs and thoroughbred… Cattle, Angus and poll Herefords.”

Teen: *getting annoyed* “No, there ISN’T!”

Me & Another Teen: “Yes, there is.”

(This leads to a 20-minute conversation where I ask him for a breed of cattle and I would answer with a breed of cat. At the end of it he still is not convinced.)

Me: “Okay, why do you think that there isn’t? I’m not going to keep going like this; I’m obviously not changing your mind.”

Teen: *condescendingly*  “Well, there isn’t a society for cats. There is no need for them to have breeds.”

Me: “Um. Yes, there is? My friend who gave me my youngest kitten has pure bred Russian Blues… She shows them for a living. It’s a rather lucrative business.”

Teen: “What do you mean? What’s the point of that?!”

Me: “What’s the point of showing horses and cattle?”

Teen: “BECAUSE!”

Me: *frustrated and amused at the same time* “Well… You let me know when you have a proper answer to that question and you will understand. But I assure you… There is more to cats than just… cats…”

An Accentuated Impediment

| VT, USA | Friendly | November 8, 2016

(I have a speech impediment, and I do not pronounce certain letters correctly. However, people often mistake it for an accent. Sometimes I do get comments, but never something as outrageous as this.)

Me: *waiting in line*

Stranger: “Oh, hello? I’ve never seen you in this line before. What’s your name?”

Me: *pleasantly surprised* “Oh, hello! I’m [My Name]! What about you?”

Stranger: *gets angry and adopts a lame French accent* “Oui? Por speak Francis? *snickers* “Don’t try to put on a fake accent if you want to impress guys,. You end up making a fool out of yourself.”

Me: “It’s a speech impediment, not an accent, you a**!”

Stranger: *goes pale*

This Same Old Song

| VIC, Australia | Friendly | November 4, 2016

(My friend and I are on a two-month-long school camp together at the school’s farm (large private school), and we’re playing a game of Go Fish together in our room. She’s listening to her music on her laptop using headphones.)

Me: “Why don’t you play it through the speakers?”

Friend: “Because I’m not sure you’d like it…”

Me: “I don’t really care, just do it”

(She pauses her music and unplugs her headphones, I can’t see her screen but i can tell that she’s trying to find a song that ‘won’t annoy me.’ Note: I hadn’t heard her music before. She starts the song — I can’t remember exactly what; I think it was some form of metal — and I’m sitting there waiting for her to take her turn with a mostly blank face.)

Friend: “This is one of their worse songs.”

Me: *knowing what she’s doing* “That moment when you have someone listen to one of your favourite songs, and you’re worried they don’t like it so they say it’s one of their worst.”

Friend: “FOR F***’S SAKE!”

Me: “What?!”

Friend: “You f****** caught me… d*** it…”

(What can I say? I know what people do…)

You’re His Puppet

| CT, USA | Right | October 10, 2016

(I am on line duty at the cafeteria at an arts camp. Since the wait can be a long time, I try to entertain the kids by talking to them. Note that the campers are given a lot of freedom and there are very few rules. The kid in this story is nine or ten.)

Me: “What did you do today?”

Camper: “Well, I got thrown out of Puppetry.”

Me: “You did? How did that happen?”

Camper: “I don’t know. I didn’t know they could do that. I don’t think counselors should be allowed to kick us out.”

Me: “Well, they can, if you’re being disruptive to the other kids.”

Camper: “Yeah, but I still don’t think it should be allowed, because campers are more important than counselors. You know why? One, because we’re kids, and two, because without us, you wouldn’t have jobs.”

(I wish I had told him that without counselors he wouldn’t have a camp, but I was so dumbfounded I just stared. I later talked to my friend who worked in Puppetry, and she told me they had to kick him out almost every day because he was so disruptive.)

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