When Language Throws You To The Dogs

, , , , , | Friendly | June 10, 2018

(I’m about 16, and regularly chatting with a high school friend through an instant messenger. He logs on one day and this is the first thing he writes. It should be noted that Spanish is a common second language where I live, but I do not speak or understand it at all.)

Friend: “Mi perro es muerto.”

Me: “C’mon, man, you know I don’t speak Spanish. And I don’t feel like having to run this conversation through a translator, so can you use English?”

Friend: “My dog is dead.”

Me: *feeling suddenly guilty and somewhat ashamed* “Well… s***.”

(Thankfully, it didn’t ruin the friendship.)

There’s Something About That Substitute

, , , , , | Learning | June 8, 2018

(My classmates and I are about ten or eleven years old. Our band teacher is absent for the day, so we have a substitute, a young guy somewhere in his twenties. The classroom has a TV and DVD player that the teacher uses to show us music performances. The sub offers to let us vote on a movie to watch, which he brought with him. The majority chooses “There’s Something About Mary,” a film I hadn’t even heard of. Being naive and rather innocent, all of the adult and raunchy humor flies right over my head, leaving me mostly confused. At the end of the day I go my mom’s office; she works at the school.)

Mom: *working at the computer* “So, did anything interesting happen today?”

Me: “Not really. We got to watch a movie in band, since the teacher was sick.”

Mom: “Oh? What did you watch?”

Me: “It was weird; its name was something about Mary.”

Mom: *pauses in her work and turns to look at me*There’s Something About Mary?”

Me: “Yeah, that sounds right. I didn’t get what was happening, but the other boys thought it was funny.”

Mom: *fuming* “Do you know the substitute’s name?”

Me: *feeling her anger, and getting nervous* “Uh, no. I don’t remember his name. He was young, long hair, glasses…”

(She stood up and stormed out of the room, directly to the principal’s office. Apparently, I got the guy fired and banned from being hired by the district as a sub. Even today, I feel kind of bad for costing the guy his job. I swear, I was not intentionally tattling!)

Unable To Read Sign Language

, , , , | Right | April 6, 2018

(I am a customer. As I am walking into my local store, I notice a giant, hand-written sign on their door, all highlighted. Apparently, the card readers on their pumps are down, customers need to prepay inside, and they are sorry for the inconvenience. There are also notices on all the pumps. I am in line when I hear this exchange:)

Customer: *to cashier* “Are your pumps broken, or what?!”

Cashier: “No, sir. They just can’t take payments at the moment. I’ll be glad to prepay for your gas here.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine. You really should put signs up, though.”

Me: *chortles to myself*

Customer: “What?!”

Me: “Um, there’s a huge sign on the door saying that.”

Customer: “Nobody reads those! There should be signs on the pumps!”

Me: “Sir, I didn’t even buy gas and I noticed the signs on the pumps.”

Customer: “Shut up.” *followed by the evil-eye and silence*

(I don’t know how the staff can keep it together like they do and keep from slapping the stupid out of people.)

Smells Like Teenage Dispirit

, , , , , , | Right | December 12, 2017

(I am a customer in a supermarket. There’s a group of five obnoxious teenagers — three girls and two boys — with a middle-aged woman at the checkout. They are being rowdy, and while staying somewhat close to the woman, they’re wandering around the aisle that connects all the checkouts, getting in people’s way, and shooting superior glares and smirks at the people they’re blocking. Most other customers aren’t even TRYING to get past the teenagers, and instead, are going all the way down an aisle and coming up another aisle that takes them closer to a checkout that’s away from the teenagers. The woman the teenagers are with isn’t scolding them, but she looks as though she’s been trying to make them behave but finally decided to stop wasting her breath. She looks very annoyed and VERY embarrassed by their behavior. I place my items on the conveyor belt, then bend down to place my hand-basket in the stack under the overhang of the conveyor belt. Someone had dropped a basket on the floor earlier on, so while I’m putting my basket away, I pick up the other basket, upright it, fold the handles down, then add it to the stack of baskets, as well. One of the teenage girls addresses me.)

Teenage Girl: “Why’d you do that?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Teenage Girl: “Why’d you put it away? It wasn’t your basket.”

Me: “Because I did?”

Teenage Girl: “But why?”

Me: “Because it didn’t take any effort and it was the right thing to do.”

Mother: *loudly*That is how I raised you to be! I don’t know what the f*** happened!” *she waves her hands in exasperation*

Cashiers: *giggling*

(All of the teenagers suddenly looked mortified, shut up, stopped meandering into other people’s way, and stood calmly around the woman they were with.)

That’s How You Were Bread To Eat

, , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2017

(I’m sitting in one of my classes. One of my classmates is a bit of a jokester and brings up how he ate an entire loaf of French bread for lunch last week.)

Classmate: “Yeah, my parents got kind of mad about that.”

Teacher: “Well, that’s because it doesn’t seem very healthy.”

Classmate: “They weren’t mad at first when I told them. The reason they got mad was because later that day I made a whole bunch of croissants and ate the whole batch.”

(The whole class laughs, including the teacher.)

Teacher: “You need to get some protein into your diet.”

Classmate: “Yeah, I know. That’s why, for lunch today, I ate an entire package of salami.”