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What Happens In Canada Stays In Canada

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | October 27, 2020

This happens a few years ago, before the US lifts its embargo on Cuba. My roommate has an American cousin who’s come up to Canada for the weekend. One of my other roommates is a bartender and has mixed up some drinks for us while we’re hanging out.

American Cousin: “Wow, that’s really good! What’s in it?”

[Bartender Roommate] reels off a list of ingredients, including rum.

American Cousin: “What kind of rum?”

Bartender Roommate: “Ah, my very favourite, [Brand].”

American Cousin: “Never heard of it. Is it Dominican?”

Bartender Roommate: “No, it’s Cuban.”

American Cousin: “Dude! You’ve got a hookup for Cuban rum?!”

[Bartender Roommate] laughs because she thinks he’s joking.

Bartender Roommate: “Yeah, my super-secret connection, the [Provincial Government-Run Liquor Store].”

American Cousin: “No way! Can I get in on this?”

I cut in because I can see he’s actually serious.

Me: “You can pick it up at most liquor stores here.”

American Cousin: *With a wink* “Sure, sure. So, you’ll hook me up, yeah?”

No matter how hard we tried to persuade him that it was completely legal to buy Cuban products in Canada, he kept thinking we were pulling his leg because “Cuban stuff is illegal.” Even taking him to multiple obviously legitimate liquor stores and a specialty tobacconist didn’t convince him. However, he seemed happy to go home with two or three bottles of rum and some cigars, so all’s well, I suppose.

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here: The T-Shirt!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Maleficent-the-Great | October 27, 2020

Every time I go out with my cousin he gets mistaken as an employee at least once while we’re out. Seriously, every time. For my cousin’s birthday last month, I got him a shirt with, “No, I Don’t Work Here!” written on the front and back. We laughed and moved on.

A little while ago he and I go out to a grocery store together to get stuff and he wears the shirt. He is helping my short self get some stuff off a shelf, passing me stuff as he grabs it when I hear a huffing sound. I look around and on my cousin’s other side is a scowling woman. 

Woman: “When you’re done helping her I need you to come help me.”

My cousin looks at her, looks back at me, turns to face her, and then gestures to his shirt. She turns visibly red before huffing a bit more. 

Woman: “That is entirely inappropriate to wear while you’re on the clock. I’ll speak to your manager about this.”

She shuffles off muttering about being rude. I burst out laughing as my cousin just looks totally defeated. My theory is she knew she was wrong but didn’t want to admit it. No manager came looking for us so I don’t know if she ever actually complained about him.

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 35

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 34
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 33
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 32
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 31

How Do You Translate Incoherent Rage?

, , , | Related | September 19, 2020

I immigrate from the Netherlands to Canada when I am sixteen. I marry a Canadian several years later, and quite a few years after that, we go to visit my extended family in the Netherlands. My husband does not speak Dutch and my family is too shy to speak English, so I do a lot of translating.

One day, my uncle and cousin take us for a scenic drive. My cousin speaks almost non-stop, giving a World War II history lesson. I’m getting more and more frustrated about having to try and translate the torrent of information. At one point, we stop at a local fast food restaurant, and he continues talking. I finally say:

Me: “Okay, I am not translating anything for the next thirty minutes. I need some time to relax and maybe have my own thoughts in my head, so stop! No more!”

He turns around and looks at me.

Cousin: “That’s okay. I will just continue in English.”

And he did. Apparently, he had lived in London for some time and spoke English just fine.

She’s Always Listening. Always.

, , , , , , | Related | September 17, 2020

I frequently stay with my cousin’s children for days on end so they’re not alone at night while my cousin picks up shifts in the ER. On this particular occasion, it’s been a few months since I’ve been over, due to moving across the country with my own parents; I’ve just recently come back to the state. As such, the kids have grown some, and my cousin has made some new and unexpected additions to the house.

Typically, when I watch the kids, I let them do their own thing — they’re very self-sufficient due to their family situation — and spend the time doing my own work from their living room. This time, I’ve got Hulu playing in the background while I write. My cousin’s subscription is the tier that includes occasional ads in the video, which isn’t a problem… usually.

On this day, it’s nearly 11:00 pm, and I’m halfway through an extensive and mind-consuming writing contract. The show I’m watching in the background cuts to a commercial, and as it ends, I vaguely hear the ad.

Ad: “Alexa, play Disney Hits Radio.”

Cue the Alexa I was unaware my cousin had installed behind me.


Bad Grammar Is Incredibly Offensive!

, , , , , | Related | June 22, 2020

When I am a kid, my extended family gets together to watch sporting events on TV. One night, we’re watching a basketball game when the officiating crew makes a terrible call. My cousin, age eight, is irate.

Cousin: “Them b******s!”

There is a collective gasp at hearing a kid swear so loudly. My aunt opens her mouth to chastise him, but my grandmother beats her to it.

Grandmother: “[Cousin]! How dare you?! You know better than that!”

Cousin: “I’m sorry!”

Grandmother: “How many times am I going to have to tell you? It’s not ‘THEM B******S,’ it’s ‘THOSE B******S’!”

Ladies and gentlemen, my grandma, the English teacher.