Appearances Can’t Be Decieving

, , , , , , | Legal | December 10, 2018

In the late 80s, my uncle looked like a big, hairy biker guy, despite being a very big teddy bear. He had the ZZ-Top beard and long hair, and perpetually wore a bandana like a headband.

He was pulled over for speeding or some minor infraction and decided he wanted to go to court to fight it. He decided nobody would give the time of day to a dirty, biker-looking guy, and went and cut off his hair and beard, which hadn’t been cut in the better part of a decade. My mother didn’t even recognize him clean shaven, it had been so long.

He showed up in court — my mom and I, a child, tagged along for some reason — in a suit, with short hair, clean shaven….

Only to find out the judge assigned the case was blind.

And nobody in our family has let him live that down!

Mom Needs To Move From The Mouse House To The Funny Farm

, , , , , | Related | December 10, 2018

(I have recently passed my 48th birthday. My mother has been demanding that we do something to celebrate. I am very low-key and like to keep to myself; my mother prefers to draw attention to herself and “embarrass” me by behaving outlandishly or telling strangers stories about me, and she is disappointed that my personality is not more like hers. For these reasons, I have been reluctant to celebrate with her. This occurs shortly after my birthday when I am helping her run errands.)

Mom: “I have something to tell you and you’re not going to like it.”

Me: “Okay…”

Mom: *launches into a long story about how Disneyworld is putting on a big celebration for Mickey Mouse’s birthday this year* “And Mickey Mouse’s birthday is the same day as yours!”

Me: “Oh. Hm. Okay.”

(As we are out and about, my mother manages to slip into conversation with several total strangers that I recently had a birthday and was upset that it was the same day as Mickey Mouse’s birthday. Some people wish me happy birthday, but all seem as confused as I am about why I would be mad about Mickey Mouse. Later, we are out for lunch with a neighbor, and my mother, of course, tells this story both to the neighbor and our server. During a lull in conversation…)

Mom: “So, how old are you, little girl?”

Me: “What?!”

(I heard her, but I am surprised that she would publicly ask me my age, and that she called me “little girl.”)

Neighbor: “I was always told that you can ask a lady what day she was born, and what month, but never what year.”

Me: “Thank you, [Neighbor]; that was my understanding, too.”

Mom: “But we have to ask you, so you can be reminded that Mickey Mouse has the same birthday!”

(I am just tired of hearing about Mickey Mouse, so I Google his birthday on my phone.)

Me: “Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18. My birthday is [date that is NOT November 18].”

(My mother went silent for a moment then, but a few times as we conversed, she interrupted me by belting out, “M-I-C! K-E-Y! M-O-U-S-E!” She is still annoyed with me that I didn’t celebrate my birthday with her.)

Your Unwillingness Is On Good Form

, , , , , | Legal Right | December 4, 2018

(I am an employee at a small shop located in a heavily-cultural enclave which, in addition to selling books and religious items, also offers to the neighborhood services such as notary public, copies, computer printouts, etc. for the sake of convenience and at low rates. This means that, in addition to the manager here, I am also a commissioned notary public in this state. One day, as I am working the front counter and my manager is doing some paperwork at a computer within earshot, three young men come in.)

Young Guy #1: “Hey, man. We have this form we need notarized.”

Me: “Sure. Can I please inspect the document first?”

Young Guy #2: “Yeah, here it is.” *pulls a sheet out of his backpack and hands it to me*

(I look over the page and it appears to be some sort of a boilerplate rental agreement which is supposed to be filled out, signed, and certified by a notary public. Thus far, nothing appears out of the ordinary.)

Me: “Please complete the form with your personal information and leave the signatures blank for the time being. Each of you will sign when I direct you.”

Young Guy #3: “Okay. Can we sit at this table here?” *points to a vacant table*

Me: “Sure, take your time.”

(The group huddles at the desk and starts talking about the form. Meanwhile, other customers are entering and leaving. Five minutes later, one of them approaches me:)

Young Guy #2: “We are trying to get this document accepted as a proof when applying for a professional license, and the rule is that this agreement should be at minimum one year old.”

(Now I realize what they want me to do is sign and certify the document and back date it to twelve months ago, a move that will cost me my commission (and possibly a nasty fine) if I am busted. Compounding this is the fact that we keep notary document records in a log book, and a signing dated 2015 in a sea of 2016 signatures would stand out like a sore thumb. Now, given these circumstances, we have very little to lose by telling them to f*** off. However, rather than flat-out refuse and have them all pissed off at me, I try to placidly explain my encumbrance. Italics show the vocal emphasis in my speaking:)

Me: “Well, if you need this to be a year old as of now, this document should have been filled out and certified twelve months before, or in December 2015. That way, it could have been used when applying for this license now. Of course, I am more than willing to go ahead and take your signatures on this now, but that means the form is not acceptable for use in this kind of scenario until December 2017. Do you understand?”

(The guys all glance at one another bewilderingly and start muttering to one another in a low voice. Finally:)

Young Guy #2: “You know what? Forget about this form.”

Young Guy #1: “Yeah, guess we’re gonna have to go about this some other way.”

(They take the document back, say good-bye, and the group leaves the premises as calmly as they entered. When they are gone, my manager, who was listening to the conversation, turns to me:)

Manager: “[My Name], you understand what these guys were trying to do, right?”

Me: “Seems like they were trying to get me to lie on a certified document. No sense in doing that, really. [Manager], why the h*** do people like these have such an aversion to following the law, anyways?”

Manager: “Probably just an easy shortcut they think will help. They have no qualms about lying under oath; they could find some other poor sap who might help them.”

Me: *switching to a very sarcastic tone* “S***, I should have told them I would do it if they gave me a hundred bucks for my trouble.”

Manager: *in an equally-deadpan tone* “And they would’ve gladly paid it, as long as it got them out of whatever mess they’re in.”

(We’ve had to deal with many incidents of people trying to get us to “help” them get documents notarized, but this was one of the more inane of such events by far. It’s amusing that people would never dare pull this kind of crap at a bank or currency exchange, but a specialty store is open season. Of course, it should come as no surprise to any reader that we even began including in our log book fingerprints of everybody who gets anything notarized right from the beginning, when we found out at least one of the initial clients used somebody else’s ID to get a form stamped!)

Confused On The Cob

, , , , , , | Related | November 22, 2018

Dad: “…ah, yes, the first Thanksgiving. I remember learning in school how the colonists sailed the ocean to America. And then we invited those Native Americans to eat with us, and we showed them how to grow corn.”

Me: “Uh, Dad? Pretty sure they taught us how to grow corn.”

Dad: “Nope, we taught them.”

Sodium So Dum

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 20, 2018

(I go to a Catholic high school, and we have a couple of awesome priests who are science teachers. These teachers have some sodium metal — which explodes on contact with water — for demonstration purposes, but decide that it is probably getting too old to keep around, so they decide to get rid of it. One night it is absolutely pouring rain, and there are some huge puddles in the parking lot, which is under reconstruction. This seems like the perfect opportunity, and so the two of them have a marvelous time chucking pieces of sodium into the puddles and listening to the boom. Unfortunately, someone nearby hears the boom and thinks someone is doing something unsavory, and calls the police. When they realize the police are heading to them, one of them goes in and quickly puts on his priest collar. When they greet the cops, the following exchange occurs.)

Cop: “Sorry to disturb you Father, but the neighbors reported hearing something like an explosion over here. Have you heard anything?”

Priest: “We didn’t hear anything unexpected, officer!”

Cop: “Okay, sorry to bother you. Must be a false alarm.”

(The priests thanked them for stopping by and somehow kept straight faces through it all. It was totally the truth, though; they completely expected to hear explosions!)

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