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It Depends On The Context, Actually

, , , , , | Related | August 9, 2020

My sister is an English major in her junior year in college, while I am in grad school for engineering. I am ranting about the annoyingly exacting specifications for writing a graduate thesis.

Me: “They want everything in this one particular reference style, which is, of course, different from what the rest of the world uses.”

Sister: “That sounds annoying.”

Me: “And they nitpick the headings and all that, as well. I mean, does ‘anal retentive’ have a hyphen?”

My sister pauses to think about this for a long time.

Sister: “Arrgh! Don’t do that! Now I have to look up ‘anal retentive’!”

Me: “Sorry, didn’t mean to break the English major!”

Teachers Aren’t The Only Ones Teaching Lessons

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 5, 2020

I was in an advanced class in high school; we were supposed to be the “smart” guys.

The new teacher had the habit of stomping into the classroom for every lesson. He would noisily stomp onto the short podium and forcefully throw his books on the teacher’s desk. I assume he did that to assure he got our attention.

The class quickly became fed up with the teacher’s repeated displays. Some of the students moved the teacher’s desk so the front legs were just barely on the front portion of the podium.

When the teacher next arrived, he did his usual attention-getter, making plenty of noise and throwing his books on the desk. The front of the desk fell off the podium, and the angle caused his books to slide off to the floor. None of the students laughed. All stared at the teacher.

The expression on the teacher’s face was priceless. He looked at the staring faces and shouted, “Who did that?”

There was no answer, just more stares. He then raised the desk back to its proper position and went on with the lesson. He never tried the stomping and throwing again.

There Is No Difference In The Answer

, , , , | Right | July 24, 2020

Me: “Would you like white bread or wheat bread?”

Customer: “What’s the difference?”


Customer: “I’ll have a Coke.”

Me: “In a can or bottle?”

Customer: “What’s the difference?”

That’s… Not How Restaurants Work

, , , , | Right | July 22, 2020

We are a sit-down restaurant and I am the host. A teenage boy, aged seventeen to nineteen, walks in and asks for a table for one. Shortly after sitting down and getting his water, he suddenly gets up and walks out the door without speaking to his server, myself, or anyone else. 

I watch him to see if he is smoking, but instead, he quickly walks down the sidewalk and to the parking lot. He never comes back, so we clean his table, cancel his order, and seat the table with new guests.

Thirty minutes later, the same teenage guest walks quickly into the restaurant and starts to make a beeline for his table when I cut him off.

Me: “Um, sir, you left for a while — about thirty minutes — so we gave your table to other guests.”

He looks at me as if I’m stupid and should have known he was coming back.

Me: “Did you still want to sit down? I can get you a new table, but I apologize; your old table is not available.”

Customer: “Yes.”

I walk him to a new booth.

Me: “Did you want the same food still?”

He is still looking at me like I’m stupid.

Customer: “…Yes.”

Me: “I will let your server know. Again, I apologize. We thought you left since it had been thirty minutes, but by chance, did you let your server know you were leaving?”

Customer: “No, I ordered salmon and it takes twenty to thirty minutes to make!”

He is looking at me now like I’m a complete idiot for not knowing this. I stare at him in disbelief for a good five seconds before stammering out:

Me: “Right. I’ll get your server now.”

Thankfully, it was a slow night and we were able to make his food — a glazed salmon salad — within minutes. The guest later told the server that the food was great.

Some Ice Cream For Your Bruises

, , , , , , | Right | June 23, 2020

My favorite ice cream parlor is just about a twenty-minute walk from my house out of the residential neighborhood into a commercial area where two very busy streets intersect. Because of these streets, lots of drivers forget about the number of pedestrians in this area and just speed through.

On this particular day, I have just reached the parking lot of the ice cream store and am crossing it, totally legally. A car comes speeding across the parking lot and screeches to a halt — not before knocking me off my feet and onto the hood, however.


Me: *Bewildered* “I’m sorry! I—”

Driver: “F*** YOU!”

I limp away as quickly as I can with my bruised hip, before promptly realizing how dumb I was not taking his plate numbers. Feeling pretty down, I enter the parlor, where I’m a regular.

Employee #1: “[My Name]! Hey!”

Employee #2: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I got hit by a car on the way in!”

Employee #1: “Oh, my God! Where?”

Me: “In the parking lot.”

Employee #2: “I’m going to go ask [Boss] for the security tapes.”

Me: “Oh, no, it’s really okay—”

Employee #1: “And I’m going to sit you down and make you your usual. On the house.”

The boss was just as kind and concerned as the employees had been and ended up giving me two quarts of ice cream on the house. As it turned out, the guy who hit me had just stopped into the ice cream parlor himself! We couldn’t get his plates, but the employees assured me they would tell me if he came in again. I wouldn’t want to be that guy if they recognized him!