Look Past-a Your Surroundings To The Wide World Of Noodles!

, , , , , | Related | March 30, 2020

(In this moment of nationwide quarantine in Italy, my dad has discovered the joys of online ordering products and getting them delivered to your house. After a long slog to get him to figure out how to use his dusty old work email for the purpose, he has started to go online and order various things from [Supermarket Chain]. I go to do something else… until he calls me back again several minutes later.)

Dad: “[My Name], come over here. I need you to order something for me; can you do it?”

Me: “Yes, I can. What is it?”

(He hands me his tablet, and I see two things: he has gone on [Big Company]’s site, and there are several pictures of pasta packages on it.)

Me: “Uh, Dad? Why are you ordering pasta on [Big Company]? They can’t have run out of pasta on [Supermarket Chain], could they?”

Dad: *annoyed* “No, look at what I’m showing you.”

(I take a better look at the packages and notice that they are all of a specific pasta format, called “castellane”… and that the labels are Indonesian.)

Me: *perplexed* “You’re trying to order castellane from Indonesia?”

Dad: “Of course, I am; I can’t find them anywhere else! Now, order them. I’m sure you can figure something out.”

Me: “But Dad, it’s gonna cost you lots of money. Are you sure?”

Dad: “Look, I have the money. I can afford it. Now do it.”

(Despite finding it silly to order pasta from half a world away while in Italy, I decide to try and figure something out. After several rounds of Google Translate and some guesswork, I manage to get myself on the page for one that works for our purposes. He tells me how many packs he wants to get and I input the number.)

Me: “All right. Do you have an account or do you want me to use mine?”

Dad: “No, try to use mine. If you use yours, it’ll get delivered to your flat.”

Me: *sighing* “Okay, can you tell me the password?”

Dad: “The password? What password? Can’t I just use my email?”

Me: “No, you can’t.” *realizing* “Wait, so you didn’t actually make an account?”

Dad: *getting agitated* “Didn’t I already make one? Why does that matter?”

Me: *resigned* “Because you put your email in [Supermarket Chain]’s database and made an account with them, not with these guys.”

Dad: *screaming* “What the f***? Who designed this stupid bulls***? F*** you and f*** your incomprehensible online things, you handicapped swine!”

(And with that, he started pouting and complaining about not getting his precious castellane. My mother suggested I just pretend to order that pasta from Indonesia and actually do nothing, since it was just “one of his personal fads,” but sometimes I wish I could tie him to a chair and make him learn basic informatics.)

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Time To Socially Distance Yourself From Such Ideas

, , , , , , , | Learning | March 30, 2020

(This is with one of my before-school music groups. The students are nine to eleven years old. Panic buying has started, even though no cases have been reported in our county yet, although other areas of Florida have had it.)

Girl #1: “You know there’s not going to be any more toilet paper or hand sanitizer.”

Girl #2: “Really?”

Me: “No, not really. Let’s get back to practice.”

Girl #1: “But they’re closing every school and store. You can’t buy anything anymore and they’re even closing factories because people can’t touch things.”

Girl #2: “Ew! I don’t want their hands touching my toilet paper!”

Boy #1: “Yeah, because they have to cut each sheet individually.”

Me: “That’s not how it works and that’s not what we’re doing right now. You can research how toilet paper is made on your computers later. But they’re not closing anything near us, so stop talking, stop trying to scare others, and let’s get back to playing. Now.”

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When Paper Towels Are Worth More Than Gold

, , , , , , | Related | March 29, 2020

Our home computer is in the kitchen/dining room area. My mom is at the computer and I am in the kitchen. I’m puttering around when I feel the need to blow my nose, so I tear off a paper towel and blow.

Nothing comes out. No snot, boogers, or mucous-like substances. Just hot air. So, now, I’m standing there with a perfectly good paper towel, wondering what to do with it, when I spot a water spill on the counter. Happy that the paper towel shall not go unused, I quickly wipe up the spill with the non-nosed side of the towel and turn to toss it.

That’s when I see my mother looking at me as though she is replaying my entire childhood in her head and wondering where exactly we went wrong with my upbringing. I explain that I’d actually failed to blow my nose, and we share a laugh, but I don’t know if she actually believed me or just thought I was covering for myself.

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A Bad Sample Of Humanity

, , , , , , | Right | March 27, 2020

Corporate has decided to ban all sampling indefinitely in lieu of all the very busy days and panic buying. I was just informed of this a few hours before this incident. I am working the counter while my manager is stocking the shelves in front of the cases. An older man comes up, smelling like alcohol, and I go to assist him. Everything he says is slightly slurred but still understandable.

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

 A customer is pointing vaguely at the hot case where everything is chicken.

Customer: “How much is this chicken?”

Me: “Which chicken?”

Customer: *louder* “The chicken!”

Me: “The fried chicken, the baked chicken, the chicken tenders?”

Customer: “Just give me a sample of your chicken salad.”

I start to grab a sample cup and spoon, but my manager, who has been watching, tells me no samples.

Me: “I’m sorry, we’re not giving samples right now.”

Customer: *Angrily* “Why not?”

Me: “Due to the viru—”

The customer completely cuts me off.

Customer: “F*** you and your mom!”

Me: *Calmly* “May you be blessed with the same kindness you show everyone else.”

I just moved on to help the next customer and my manager followed the first customer upfront and made sure that he wasn’t allowed to buy his beer.

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Has Been Masking His Chess Skills

, , , , , | Related | March 26, 2020

I am working from home and like the rest of the country, I’ve been practicing social distancing. My seven-year-old son’s school is closed so he’s been playing all day – and I see no harm in him playing in the garden. He runs up to me late in the morning.

Son: “Mum, do we have any masks?”

Me: “You mean the masks to stop getting infected like you saw on TV?”

Son: “Yeah!”

Me: “We have some, but why do you need one?”

Son: “To play in the garden!”

There is no one in the garden, but I am loath to stop my son from being enthusiastic about good health practices! I give him one of the masks I received from my office before we were all sent home and send him off to play.

I get stuck in my work and rely on my son to let me know when he’s hungry so we can stop for lunch. After finishing a rather complicated piece of work, I realise it is almost 3:00 pm and there’s no sign of my son! I head out to the garden, and see this:

Our next-door neighbour, an old woman in her late seventies, is sat by the dividing fence of our respective gardens, wearing a mask, sat in front of a chess set. My son is sat in our garden, keeping a distance of six feet from her, wearing his mask, and shouting out orders.

Son: “I’ll move my horse to where your castle is!”

Neighbor: “Well done! But look what you did for my bishop!”

She took away one of his pieces with the bishop my son had inadvertently cleared a route for. My son groaned jokingly and then laughed.

My son did not know how to play chess that morning. Our neighbor had spent four hours teaching him the rules, coming up with interesting alternative names for some of the pieces (King & Queen were Mum & Dad) and all while respecting social distancing!

They’ve been out there playing for three afternoons in a row now and I have to keep reminding him to come in for lunch!


This story is part of our Most Inspirational Of 2020 roundup! This is the last story in this roundup, but if you want to read more inspirational stories we have many more!

Read the first Most Inspirational Of 2020 roundup story!

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