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National Lampoons: The Christmas Customer

, , , , , , , | Right | December 25, 2021

My family’s rescue ranch is a very big attraction in the area, acting as a pseudo-theme park of sorts. We have just opened up after a three-week transition from our Halloween attraction to our Winter attraction, which boasts carnival rides, meet and greets with the jolly man himself, holiday shopping, a craft market, etc.

Usually, I am in charge of the carnival area, which is called the “Winter Wonderland”. This night, however, just happens to be my father’s birthday, and my brother and I have taken over for our parents while they enjoy a night off together.

I am dealing with a flooding issue in our “Main Street” area when I hear security calling for my brother or me to head to the pathway between the illuminated forest attraction and the carnival attraction. My brother responds that he will go, as I am dealing with flood issues and will be busy for a while.

All is well and quiet until I hear this over the radio.

Brother: “Attention team members working the Illuminated Trail and Winter Wonderland: be advised that we have a ‘Cousin Eddie’ at the rest area.”

Perplexed and finished with the flood issue, I hop on my ATV and head up to the rest area in question. It takes me some time, but when I get there, I see my brother hanging an “Out Of Order” sign on the washrooms.

Me: “Hey, [Brother], what exactly is going on?” *Leans in* “What the heck is a ‘Cousin Eddie’?”

Brother: “Well, when you think of Cousin Eddie, from that Christmas movie, what do you think?”

I blink before my eyes go wide.

Me: “No.”

Brother: “Yes.”

I still have no clue why, but I unlock the door and take a peek. It is the stench that hits me first — I still smell it now — before the sight makes my eyes water. Out of the three toilet stalls, two of them have been covered in feces. It is everywhere — toilet, wall, door, everywhere. The sinks are covered in poopy handprints, and that is all I see before I shut the door and lock it. I turn to my brother.

Me: “How about we just burn it down?”

Brother: “Mom and Dad will never know what a s***ty situation we got ourselves in tonight.”

Nothing Says It’s The Holidays Like A Length Of Plywood

, , , , , | Right | December 24, 2021

It is 1991. I am working on Christmas Eve. There are eight of us, including the owners, and we are closing at 5:00 pm to have a little celebration.

At 4:55 pm, this lady comes through the door, upset and in disarray. Keep in mind, this being Christmas Eve, the counters are fairly bare, and this is a hardware store, after all.

Customer: “I need you to stay open late so that I can get Christmas presents for my kids!”

She looks around for ten minutes and has an absolute fit about us not having any child-friendly toys. Then, she exclaims:

Customer: “You’ve ruined it for me! I’ll have to go to a gas station!”

Owner: “Lady, did you not know that Christmas has been coming for the last year?”

She went red and slunk out of the store. I love the owner; he doesn’t put up with bulls***.

No One Wants To Play That Game With You

, , , , , , | Working | December 23, 2021

A former acquaintance of mine was always very hard up for cash, despite earning a good living. He was constantly trying to get me to lend him money until payday, promising that he’d pay me back with “10% interest”. I always politely refused, saying (with complete honesty) that I never lend people money.

One day, he was in very good spirits. Our city was going to host the Grey Cup (Canada’s version of the Super Bowl), and getting tickets to this event was like finding gold dust. His workplace had a free draw for two tickets to the game, and he’d won! 

Me: “Wow, that’s so lucky! I hope you have a great time.”

Acquaintance: “Oh, I’m not going to go. I don’t even like football.”

Me: “Huh?”

Acquaintance: “I only entered the draw on the off chance that I’d win free tickets. Do you have any idea how much I can get for these? I’ll make bank!”

Me: “That’s kinda shabby, dude. There are probably people in your company who’d hoped to win so that they could, y’know, attend the game.”

Acquaintance: “Yeah, so? They can still attend the game if they offer me the highest bid.”

Me: “You’re going to auction the tickets to your colleagues? Don’t you think they’ll resent you for that?”

Acquaintance: “Hey, they’re my tickets. I can do whatever I want with them.”

And off he went, convinced that he was going to make a fortune. Two days later, I ran into him again, and this time he was very glum.

Acquaintance: “Turns out you were right. My coworkers were really pissed that I was auctioning off the tickets.”

Me: “So, what are you going to do?”

Acquaintance: “They pretty much shamed me into giving them back, and they did a redraw. It’s not fair.”

Me: “I think you did the right thing, though.”

Acquaintance: “Whatever. Say, payday isn’t for a couple more days… any chance that you could—?”

Me: “Gotta go.”

A Whole Plant Full Of Upstanding Citizens

, , , , , | Working | December 23, 2021

Back in the 1970s, I worked in a plywood plant with a crew of 300 men and women. The lunchroom had a few vending machines for soda pop. One day, the vending machine guy didn’t lock the machine properly and so people could get into it. Sometimes people didn’t have change, so we would see someone throw a $5 bill in and take change and their drink.

This went on for a while until all the drinks were gone.

A little while later, the vending machine guy came in. I happened to be in the lunchroom at the time. He realized the machine was not locked and went pale. He opened the machine and discovered that the coin box was full of money, tens and twenties even. He counted the money that was there. Everything was fully paid for and no money missing.

He looked at me, dumbfounded.

Me: “It made it easier to make change with the machine unlocked.”

He never failed to lock it properly after that.

If You’re Going To Use Your Heart, You Also Have To Use Your Head

, , , , , | Romantic | December 23, 2021

My ex-boyfriend lived in Vancouver, Canada, and I had a long-distance relationship with him. On my first visit, my ex decided that we would go from the suburbs where he lived into the main city to spend the day.

We planned well in advance, we brought cash for spending money, we and took public transport. I did enjoy seeing the sights, visiting the CF Pacific Centre (the largest mall), and wandering. But I kept a sharp eye on my money, tucking away the change so that it could be put toward train tickets back to his house. Since the ticket systems didn’t give change, it was wisest to save all the coins to try to get exact change for a ticket, or else we’d lose out on whatever wasn’t perfect.

At the end of the day, we were done and headed back toward the train station. It was at this point that a man approached to beg for change. 

My ex, in a stroke of too much generosity, delved into his pockets and gave the beggar all of his change. After we moved on:

Me: “What were you thinking?!”

He went on a monologue about needing to be generous and to help those in need.

Me: “I don’t mind helping those in need, but we were supposed to be using that change to get home. The change I have is perfect for a single ticket. The rest of what I have is in tens and twenties; we’ll lose money if we use them.”

My ex blew it off with a lot of dismissive hand-waving, shoved his hand into his pockets, and realized how badly he had just messed up. Muttering a lot of uh-ohs and oopses, he proceeded to delve into each and every one of his pockets, until he realized that he had no money left at all! He had spent the last of his cash on dinner, and he had just given away all of his Toonies ($2 coin), Loonies ($1 coin), and change to the beggar.

Now we were stuck in a big city, tired, and all the banks were closed for the day.

In the end, we had to go to a fast food chain and ask if they were willing to break one of my bigger bills. Thankfully, they were willing, so I bought something small so the register would open and got us the change we needed.

My ex was very subdued on the trip home.