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Actual Veterans Would Like To Have A Word With You

, , , | Right | May 10, 2020

I’m working the till at the supermarket and it’s the fourth week into lockdown. Bread is the Italians’ staple food and people have started to bake it at home, so yeast is in high demand.

Customer: “It’s like wartime! You’re out of yeast and sourdough! It’s such an encumbrance, having to queue at the bakery every day!”

Me: “I understand, madam. However, if your freezer is big enough, you could buy it in a batch and freeze it.”

The customer is all suddenly all stroppy and toffee-nosed.

Customer: “Oh, no, no, no. Because then it tastes off. Like it was underdone, you see.”

So, this is her idea of wartime, having to queue at the baker’s because reheated bread tastes “off”? I guess all those people who lived through actual wartime have been hyping their stories a lot, then.

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Take A Deep Breath

, , , , , | Related | May 10, 2020

This takes place before the recent disease outbreak hits the US shores but is still making big headlines all over the evening news, which my elderly mother watches religiously. She’s also an avid Facebook user and believes that anything on Facebook is true.

One afternoon, I help my mother open Amazon packages and put her new over-the-counter meds away. At the end, I gather all of the air-filled packing pillows that came in the box

Me: “Oh, boy! I have air pillows to pop!”

Mom: *Suddenly angry and anxious* “DO NOT POP THOSE IN HERE!”

Me: “Why? What’s wrong with popping the air pillows?”

Mom: “Don’t you know?! I saw it on Facebook! Those are manufactured in China! They’re filled with Chinese air! We could get that awful illness!”

I stand there for a moment, my brain trying to make sense of what she said.

Me: “Mom, these air pockets came from Amazon. They’re filled in the Amazon warehouse. I’ve seen them do it! So, these are filled with—” 

I look at the box code.

Me: “—Dallas air, not Chinese.”

She stares at me for a moment.

Mom: “Are you sure?”

Me: “I’m 100% sure, mom. Remember, I worked at the local warehouse a few years ago. They have a little machine that fills them on demand right there in the warehouse.”

Mom: “Oh. Okay. You can pop those, then.”

Of course, now, every time we get packages with the air packing pillows, I show them to my mom and jokingly ask, “Do you want some Chinese air?” She is NOT amused.

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A Blitz Of Reactions

, , , , , | Right | May 9, 2020

We are three weeks into lockdown. I am stacking shelves when a grumpy old man grumbles down the aisle.

Grumpy Old Man: “This is ridiculous! You have nothing left!”

Me: “We do have lots of supplies, sir. We are limiting the quantity customers can each purchase, and we have new stock that just arrived and we’re trying to get it all out as fast as possible. If you’re looking for something specific, I can go check the back for you.”

Grumpy Old Man: “This is all an overreaction! You young people are too scared! In the Blitz, we didn’t lock down or hide at home! We walked the streets with our heads up, proud and unafraid!”

A younger man in the same aisle speaks up.

Younger Man: “The bloody bombs weren’t contagious, you f****** eejit!”

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You Won’t Save Soap, And You’ve Got Plenty Of Time

, , , , , , , | Related | May 9, 2020

We are several months into a worldwide health crisis and my mother-in-law is currently laid off from her work. This means she’s home three extra days per week when she’d normally be working. She lives with my husband and me.

It’s just after dinner on a Sunday night and we’re getting ready to do the dishes when she turns to me.

“The soap is going down much faster than it used to,” she says. “Don’t worry about washing your hands for twenty seconds. You only have to do that if you go out and you don’t go out.”

I resist rolling my eyes visibly at her and take my container from lunch upstairs. I seriously can’t believe how dumb she’s being. First of all, we use liquid soap, so whether we wash our hands for ten seconds or twenty, the same amount is used. Secondly, does she not even think that her being at the house for an additional eight to ten hours, three days a week, for the past six weeks might make a difference?

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That’s One Fishy Piece Of Fish

, , , , | Working | May 8, 2020

I’m at grocery store number five in an attempt to get one week’s worth of groceries during the recent outbreak and subsequent outages. This is the first store I’ve visited in a week with some kind of meat or seafood available.

Because there is no chicken, I get salmon. But it goes like this.

Me: “About how many pounds is this piece of salmon?”

Clerk: “I don’t know.”

I look at her and the scale expectantly. The clerk weighs the piece and it shows just over three pounds.

Me: “I’d like to get that, and would you please cut it into ten pieces?”

Clerk: “Do you want the whole piece?”

Me: “Yes.”

The clerk takes the salmon piece away to a cutting board and cuts it up. She returns with the salmon and a troubled look on her face. I see that the pieces appear to vary widely in weight from two to eight ounces. If cut evenly, they should all have been about five ounces.

Clerk: “This salmon only had nine pieces in it. Do you want another piece?”

Me: “Um… No, thanks.”

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