I’m A Loser, Baby

, , , , | Working | March 23, 2021

I’m unlucky in games and lotteries. I once participated in a board game where everyone else finished and I never went beyond square fifteen, if I reached that one at all. Somehow, I managed to land on the “return to start” field, and when I skipped it, I was thrown back so I could try again. My nieces and nephews loved playing games with me when they were little. Whereas my brother had to cheat massively to lose a game or at least barely win it, they were almost assured the win when playing with me.

One day, I’m at a fair and a man with a lottery type of game approaches me with the “always win” slogan. The cheapest option has you drawing three tickets.

Me: “So every number wins?”

Seller: “No, ma’am, I couldn’t do that, but every draw has at least one winning ticket. Only numbers ending in [three different numbers, each with increasingly more valuable prizes] are winning.”

Me: “Not interested, thank you.”

Seller: “But ma’am, look at the fine prizes you can win.”

Me: “Not interested. Besides, I would be throwing money away since I’m not going to win anyway.”

Seller: “That won’t be happening; people never leave without at least one prize.”

Me: “People might. I won’t.”

He keeps insisting until I cave.

Me: “Okay, I will prove it to you. Give me three tickets and I’ll show you that I ain’t winning a thing.”

The man happily sold me the tickets. I drew three envelopes. First one: nothing. Second one: nothing. His jaw dropped as I showed him the final number: nope. To his credit, he awarded me the pick of one of the least valuable prizes. It wasn’t needed, but it was appreciated, so I guess I won after all.

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Way To Keep Your Cool, Daddy-O

, , , , | Related | March 4, 2021

I’m a known sperm donor. I’ve donated sperm for a few individuals who needed help. I make it clear that, while I’m always happy to help, I always prefer if I can meet the children I donated for, and luckily, a few parents have allowed me that opportunity. In particular, the parents of two kids have made me an “honorary uncle” for their kids. I often visit and play with them, and these two kids in particular have also become close friends and playmates with each other.

My “nephew” is around three and my “niece” is closer to four. The niece’s mother has been very open about explaining how I donated sperm for her. Meanwhile, my nephew’s parents haven’t chosen to explain my donation for him.  

There is an annual fair that I always attend with my niece happening this day, and we invite my nephew, as well. His parents are both busy with moving to a new home on that day, so we offered to take him with us to the fair as a way to keep him out of their hands while moving.

Nephew: “Daddy, can we… Oh.”

Me: “I’m not your daddy!”

This was clearly just a slip-up on my nephew’s part; he forgot who he was talking to for a second. Unfortunately, despite knowing better, I was foolish enough to comment on it. My nephew decides that this is funny and proceeds to call me Daddy over and over as a joke. The problem is that my nephew already has a wonderful dad, even if that dad wasn’t able to produce sperm for him, and as a donor, I am quite aware of how important it is that he not call me daddy, even as a joke.

Me: “[Nephew], you shouldn’t call me that. I’m not your daddy.”

Niece: “Well, actually, you gave his mommy sperm, so…”

Now I’m freaked out. I was aware that my niece knew I donated sperm, but I honestly didn’t think she had connected “gave Mommy sperm so she could have me” with the concept of “father” yet. I absolutely did not expect her to interrupt my attempt to distract him with this little speech.

I rush to cut her off.

Me: “Which makes me a donor, but that’s all I am!” *To my nephew* “I really don’t like being called Daddy; it makes me feel bad. How about we think up some better names to call me? Like ‘The Amazing Uncle’ or ‘Sir Awesome McCoolName’?”

Thankfully, my nephew was easily distracted enough at that age that he didn’t appear to have registered or understood my niece’s statement at all and was quickly distracted with funny names to call his uncle.

Later, when I could catch her in private, I spoke with my niece about how some parents weren’t as open as her mother was and that it was important to respect parents’ wishes when it came to what to tell their kids. She promised not to tell any of the other donor siblings about my donating to them unless an adult told her she could, and she has been very careful about not doing so ever since. Luckily, she is one of the few kids you can trust to actually keep a secret when asked! And so, I barely scraped by our fair visit without any upset parents!

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Not Painting A Pretty Picture Of Themselves

, , , | Right | February 18, 2021

I am selling two types of hand-painted products at a craft fair. A customer can purchase a pre-made item or a custom one that they can order and come back for in a few hours. I require half the payment before starting, unless they want a name on it. If they want a name, I require the full payment, because it’s harder to resell if they walk away.

[Product #1]’s colors tend to be more pastel, while [Product #2]’s colors are darker. I cannot use [Product #1]’s colors on [Product #2], and vice versa. I tried to get the same rainbow for [Product #1] and [Product #2], but they are off, especially the warm colors. To prevent confusion, I make separate pricing charts and color samplers for both products. I’ve had some customers get upset at the limitations on their color choices, but this was a new one.

Customer: “I love your stuff! I want a custom [Product #2].”

Me: “Thank you! What colors would you like?”

Customer: “Hmm… this light red, the dark pink, and the bright orange!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the red and orange can only be used on [Product #1]. Is it okay if I use the darker red and orange?”

Customer: “But it’s all paint.”

Me: “Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.”

Customer: “Yes, it does. Paint is paint is paint!”

Me: “Actually, no.”

I explain the different materials and drying times.

Customer: *Scoffs* “Just do it anyway!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s not going to look right, and it definitely won’t last.”

Customer: “I don’t care. Do it anyway!”

Me: “Okay. But I would like to be paid up front in full.”

Customer: “What?! Your sign says that I only have to pay half up front on designs without names!”

Me: “Yes, but you’re asking me to use the wrong paint. I can’t resell it.”

Customer: “But it doesn’t have a name!”

Me: “Sorry. I need you to pay in full or no sale.”

Customer: *Smugly* “I can call the cops on you for violating a written agreement. Wouldn’t like that, would you?”

Me: *Shrugs* “You’re welcome to call them.”

The customer just stormed off, defeated.

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Time To Change Your Methods

, , , , | Legal | December 17, 2020

I am at an agricultural show buying food from one of the food outlets. I pay with a fifty-dollar note but only get change back from a twenty.

Me: “Excuse me, I gave you a fifty.”

Vendor: “No, you’re mistaken; it was a twenty.”

Me: “It was definitely a fifty, because I just got money out of the ATM behind me and all it gave me was fifty-dollar notes.”

Vendor: “Well, I’m positive it was a twenty.”

Me: “Okay, then, can you call someone to count your cash drawer?”

Vendor: “I don’t know who I can call?”

Me: “How about [Food Venues Manager]?”

This manager just happens to be my uncle.

Vendor: “You know what? I’m just going to take you at your word and give you the thirty dollars because I trust you.” 

A couple of days later, I mention what happened to my cousin, who also works at the venue.

Cousin: “Was this at [stall] next to the stadium?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Cousin: “Dad put me there because he noticed the takings were lower than they should have been. As soon as I walked in, I caught the woman doing just what you mentioned; she shortchanged a customer and then put the change and a couple of fifties out of the till into her pocket. When she saw that I had seen it, she threatened me with violence if I told on her, and then she told me that she was friends with [Uncle] and he would believe her over a teenage skank like me.”

Me: “And there I was thinking she had made an honest mistake.”

Cousin: “Yeah, no. I gave Dad a quick call and he turned up a couple of minutes later with the police. You should have seen her face when I called him Dad.” *Laughs* “They found about $500 in her apron pocket. I smiled at her as she was led away in cuffs.”

This story is part of our Best Of December 2020 roundup! This is the last story in this roundup, but if you’d like to read more of our favorite stories, you can always check out November’s roundup next!

Read the next Best Of December 2020 roundup story!

Read the Best Of December 2020 roundup!

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She’s Probably Been This Way Since The Time Of The Dinosaurs

, , , , | Right | November 25, 2020

I’m at our annual county fair working in a booth belonging to a friend of my mom’s. It’s a temporary job selling handmade items such as jewelry and glass animals. I am finishing with another customer when an older woman waves me over from across the booth. She has a scowl.

Older Woman: “Come here!”

I am confused, as I saw her get helped already, but I make my way over.

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Did you have a question?”

She speaks rather aggressively, still scowling.

Older Woman: “Dinosaur!”

I am a little taken aback by said blunt aggression.

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Older Woman: *Even more aggressively* “Dinosaur!”

Me: “Okay. What kind of dino—”

Older Woman: “DINOSAUR!”

Me: *Internally screaming.* “I understand, ma’am. But what kind were you looking for? We have glass and beaded.”

Older Woman: “DINOSAUR!”

She jabs her finger towards my mom’s friend who is helping another set of customers on the opposite side of the booth, almost shoving her hand straight into the display of wine glasses.

Older Woman: “That lady told me you have dinosaurs that glow in the dark!”

Me: “All right. I’ll grab you one.”

I go to my boss and ask her about the glass dinosaurs since I’ve done the display before and don’t recall seeing them. She hands me a new one from the box and I take it back to the woman. It should be noted my boss is very giving with discounts. I hand it to her carefully.

Me: “This is the dinosaur we have.”

She snatches it from me with one hand, practically waving it around in circles to look it over.

Older Woman: “And how much is it?!”

Me: “It’s originally [price already far below retail], but she’ll let you have it for [even lower price].”

She stared at and kept waving it around in an angry, tight grip, mumbling and swearing under her breath about expensiveness and other gibberish before reaching over all the wine glasses towards me.

She refused to hand it over if I reached for or made any gesture to take it from her until she shoved it into my hands on her own terms. Thankfully, not she didn’t break anything as she pulled back and stormed away, still muttering to herself with an almost cartoon-sized scowl on her face.

Luckily, she never came back.

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