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Grandma Says, “No Orphans Left Behind”

, , , , , | Related | November 17, 2022

I’m writing this for my grandmother, who doesn’t speak a single word of English.

Grandma has lived her whole life in rural China, in one of those really backwater villages that basically remained unchanged by time, even now. The only major highlight of the village is that it runs an orphanage for the surrounding region. It came into existence to take care of unwanted and abandoned girls due to China’s One Child Policy, and it was rather communal.

Nearly every housewife in the village chipped in to help take care of the children, and Grandma in particular was essentially the manager of the place. She basically ran the orphanage for decades, refusing to retire or close shop no matter what.

Things back then weren’t so good. Girls were rarely ever adopted, and most wound up being shipped off to the cities as trophy wives. It got better over time — fewer abandoned girls, better funding and organisation, and these days, those who aren’t adopted are sent to an actual school in the cities — but back then, it was quite horrible.

One day, I found my grandmother sobbing in a corner. At first, I was worried, but she reassured me they were happy tears.

Apparently, one of the old orphans from the “Bad Old Days” had come by. She was of the few who had been adopted, so Grandma could remember who she was. 

This particular orphan was now a Canadian citizen and had a career, and after marriage, she decided to adopt a pair of girls as her way of giving back to the community.

Imagine that. She was apparently fine with adopting from any old orphanage, but her husband had painstakingly tracked down the very same orphanage she had come from, all in order to allow his wife to come full circle. This was no small feat considering she’d been adopted a quarter of a century ago, way before anything was digital.

Grandma says that running an orphanage is a thankless job, but it’s moments like these that keep her going.

From Pops To Poops

, , , , , , , | Related | November 16, 2022

While weaning my son, we had the common issue of constipation after introducing all these new solid foods after a milk-only diet. I did all the right things — butternut squash, prunes, pears, tummy massages, cycling legs, etc. — but my poor seven-month-old was just having trouble doing his business.

We were visiting my parents in the thick of our issues, and my dad was holding and playing with the baby. My son began trying to poop and, noting the particular position he was being held in and seeing it was helping, I shouted at my dad to keep holding him like that.

Amid the cries of pain and struggle coming from the baby, my dad proceeded to freak out that he was holding a pooping child — despite the fact that not only was my son wearing a nappy, but he was also fully clothed!

Sometimes I really wonder what life was like for the older generation.

From The Mouth Of Babes, Part 15

, , , , , , | Right | November 11, 2022

I work at a buffet. The owner is a crusty old Chinese man who allows us to not give any f***s when dealing with problem customers. We allow children aged four and under to eat free. A woman comes in with a child who easily looks six or seven. You pre-pay when you enter the restaurant.

Me: “One adult and one child — that’s [total].”

Customer: “Excuse me! Just one adult! My child eats free!”

Me: “That’s only for children aged four and under, ma’am.”

Customer: “My child is four!”

Not caring, I lean down to the child.

Me: “How old are you, sweetie?”

Child: *Proudly* “I’m six and a half!”

Me: *Standing back up* “I applaud your child on knowing not to lie. That will be [same total], please.”

Customer: “Well, looks like we’ll be eating elsewhere! Would you like to explain to my child why that is, too?!”

Me: *Lean down to the child again* “Because Mommy is cheap!”

From The Mouth Of Babes, Part 14
From The Mouth Of Babes, Part 13
From The Mouth Of Babes, Part 12
From The Mouth Of Babes, Part 11
From The Mouth Of Babes, Part 10

Nobody Likes A Party Pooper

, , , | Right | November 10, 2022

I host birthday parties as part of my job at a trampoline park. At one of my more recent parties, the birthday girl, age nine, was rude and entitled the whole time.

Birthday Girl: “This party sucks!”

Birthday Girl: “I want to go home!”

Birthday Girl: “I’m bored!”

It got to the point of giving me a breakdown when she threw a tantrum at the dodgeball area, all because she wanted to be able to go wherever she wanted. (Our parties are structured so that each party spends about ten minutes in a variety of areas to avoid losing kids and to spread out the number of guests at each area.)

Her best friend was also one of my Cub Scouts, and she tried putting it on by calling me by my Cub Leader name and not my real name, but I shut it down quickly.

At the end of the party, the mum said:

Mum: “Okay, everyone, say thank you to [My Name]!”

Birthday Girl: “Thank you, even though I made you cry.”

The only response I could muster was:

Me: “Happy birthday, [Birthday Girl]!”

They All Have A One-Way Ticket To The Exit

, , , | Right | November 10, 2022

I’m working in a movie theater. The box office attendees alert me about some customer who has let her friends in through a side door. I find them all in the screen; there are five friends, so six in total.

Me: “I need to see all of your tickets.”

The one girl who bought her ticket shows it to me. As soon as I see it, one of the other kids speaks up.

Kid: “If one of us has their ticket, it obviously means that we all have tickets.”

Me: “No, it does not necessarily mean that.”

Kid: “Why are you only checking black people’s tickets?! This is harassment! Our mom has our tickets, and she’s in another theater!”

Me: “You still need your tickets. I will check other people’s tickets and wait until you have them.”

After I checked three more customers (one of whom was a regular) they got up and left. I returned to the box and found out they tried to call another coworker racist, as well, before finally leaving.