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National Lampoons: The Christmas Customer

, , , , , , , | Right | December 25, 2021

My family’s rescue ranch is a very big attraction in the area, acting as a pseudo-theme park of sorts. We have just opened up after a three-week transition from our Halloween attraction to our Winter attraction, which boasts carnival rides, meet and greets with the jolly man himself, holiday shopping, a craft market, etc.

Usually, I am in charge of the carnival area, which is called the “Winter Wonderland”. This night, however, just happens to be my father’s birthday, and my brother and I have taken over for our parents while they enjoy a night off together.

I am dealing with a flooding issue in our “Main Street” area when I hear security calling for my brother or me to head to the pathway between the illuminated forest attraction and the carnival attraction. My brother responds that he will go, as I am dealing with flood issues and will be busy for a while.

All is well and quiet until I hear this over the radio.

Brother: “Attention team members working the Illuminated Trail and Winter Wonderland: be advised that we have a ‘Cousin Eddie’ at the rest area.”

Perplexed and finished with the flood issue, I hop on my ATV and head up to the rest area in question. It takes me some time, but when I get there, I see my brother hanging an “Out Of Order” sign on the washrooms.

Me: “Hey, [Brother], what exactly is going on?” *Leans in* “What the heck is a ‘Cousin Eddie’?”

Brother: “Well, when you think of Cousin Eddie, from that Christmas movie, what do you think?”

I blink before my eyes go wide.

Me: “No.”

Brother: “Yes.”

I still have no clue why, but I unlock the door and take a peek. It is the stench that hits me first — I still smell it now — before the sight makes my eyes water. Out of the three toilet stalls, two of them have been covered in feces. It is everywhere — toilet, wall, door, everywhere. The sinks are covered in poopy handprints, and that is all I see before I shut the door and lock it. I turn to my brother.

Me: “How about we just burn it down?”

Brother: “Mom and Dad will never know what a s***ty situation we got ourselves in tonight.”

Thanks, Rafiki!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2021

When I was about five years old, my parents took my three siblings and me to the state fair. At some point, I slipped away from the group. My mom noticed almost immediately but couldn’t find me. Cue panicked yelling of my name, and my dad asking a vendor to get security immediately.

Earlier in the day, my mom had bought us Disney pennants with our names on them. A man heard the yelling, looked down, and spotted a hysterically crying child holding a pennant with the name being called.

He crouched down and asked me to lift my flag as high as I could. I did so, and he picked me up and lifted me over the crowd.

Man: “[My Name]’s mom! [My Name]’s dad!”

The crowd cleared the way to my parents, some of them joining the call. My parents spun around and saw me now half-giggling, half-crying, being held like Simba, and ran to me. My parents thanked the man profusely, and those pennants were packed anytime we went to an outdoor event.

Shopping Follows The Circle Of Life

Accident Prone People Should Rethink Being Jugglers

, , , , | Working | November 8, 2021

I’m watching a juggler on stage at an outdoor fair. He’s doing some very impressive tricks, never missing once.

Juggler: “I hope I don’t screw this next part up. After all, I just had laser eye surgery this week and I can’t see very well.”

The audience laughs. The juggler then proceeds to build a rickety tower out of chairs and other objects, precariously balancing while still juggling.

Juggler: “I hope I don’t slip. I spilled hot cooking oil on my feet yesterday and they still really hurt!”

The audience laughs again.

After he’s done, I stay on my bench, waiting for the next musical act. Most of the audience leaves, and then other people start arriving. I’m surprised to see the juggler sit down next to me. He takes out a bottle of eye drops and begins treating himself.

Juggler: “Excuse me for doing this here, but I just had laser surgery this week.”

A few minutes later, he removes his shoes. His feet are swathed in bandages.

Juggler: “I hope you don’t mind. I spilled some hot cooking oil on myself yesterday and my feet really hurt.”

I thought he’d just been kidding around with the audience, but apparently, he really was pushing through the pain!

We Hope This Wasn’t Memorable For Either Kid

, , , , | Friendly | October 21, 2021

After nearly two years cooped up due to the recent global health crisis, after finally getting vaccinated, we’ve decided to mask up and go to the county fair out near my mother’s house. My four-year-old has never been to a fair — that he’s old enough to remember — and today is his very first day on the rides.

This happens just as I’m placing my son onto the mini dragon coaster, intending to ride with him since I’m rather short, he doesn’t want to be alone, and it’s our first big family outing with him as a big boy.

A random grandma shoves in front of me just as I’m getting him settled in his seat.

Grandma: “Here, baby! Ride with him; there’s plenty of room!”

She promptly TOSSES her tiny barely-three-year-old granddaughter into the seat next to my son, just as I’m putting my leg into the cart. The girl CLEARLY wants nothing to do with the ride.

Me: “Uh… I was just about to—”

Grandma: “This boy looks nice! Ride with him, dearie!”

She proceeds to shove me out of the way. Given that I’m arthritic and left my cane down at the walkway with my wife, I nearly fall over.

Grandma: “Watch where you’re going, fata**!”

I choose to ignore the insult.

Me: “I was going to ride with my son on his first roller coaster.”

Grandma: “Ohhhhhhh, you were going to ride with him? I didn’t know they’d let you on the ride! Well, thanks for the seat! I’m sure they’ll be friends!”

She proceeded to body-check me out of the way by crowding so closely that I was forced to back up away from my now distinctly worried child or risk falling onto the track.

The ride operator, not hearing the exchange, was pissed at this point and demanded we both leave the platform so he could get going. I was forced to wait at the exit gate while the random grandma wandered off for a smoke and the ride operator glared at me.

Thanks to that grandma, her granddaughter spent the entire time screaming in terror in my son’s face and flailing her arms around to smack anyone within reach, which had my son crying for Daddy halfway through the ride. He climbed over the little girl to get out as soon as the ride stopped, sobbing his eyes out and demanding to go home.

Thirty dollars were wasted on unlimited ride wristbands, only three rides were ridden, and we drove straight home so my poor kid could hide under his weighted blanket and ask me why I didn’t ride with him.

So much for a memorable first fair with my kid.

Pure Howling Entitlement

, , , , | Right | August 5, 2021

I volunteer with a non-profit wolf hybrid rescue. We have wolfdogs of varying degrees, from low-content wolf to high-content wolf. About half the facility houses the adoptable animals in separate pens.

We have a permanent group of wolfdogs that we can never allow to be adopted. They live together as a pack. If wolfdogs were continually coming in and out of the pack, it would be traumatic for them.

These wolfdogs also act as ambassadors for the rescue, helping to raise money to keep the rescue going. On weekends, for a fee, people can visit with the pack inside the pens and interact with the wolfdogs — under close supervision, of course.

Some of the pack will travel to events like county fairs. We set up a chain-link caged-in area with three wolfdogs. People can pay a fee to enter the pen, pet the animals for a few minutes, and have their pictures taken with them. There are always two volunteers in the pen for safety reasons. While the wolfdogs are mostly domesticated and well-behaved, they are still, after all, part wolf! We have to be careful that their tails will not get stepped on, etc., and generally make sure that the humans are behaving appropriately. We also have a few volunteers outside the enclosure selling merchandise, answering questions, and making sure safety protocols are followed.

Me: “Ma’am, please don’t allow your child to put his fingers through the fencing into the enclosure. Fingers look suspiciously like hot dogs to a wolfdog.”

Lady: “Oh, okay, then.”

Not two minutes later:

Me: “Ma’am! Do not put your fingers inside the enclosure, either! They look suspiciously like even bigger hot dogs to a wolfdog!”

Later, I’m tasked with a wolfdog for a walk — on leash, of course. We give each animal a break to stretch its legs. It is customary for people to stare and ask questions. The top two questions are, “Can I pet him?” and, “Can I give him something to eat?” The answers to those questions are, respectively, “Of course!” and “Absolutely not!”

Man: “Wow, is that one of those wolfdogs?”

Me: “Yes, it is. This is [Wolfdog].”

Man: “He’s huge. Can I pet him? Can my daughter pet him?”

I notice his three- or four-year-old daughter eating ice cream.

Me: “Of course, you both can. He loves a good scratch between the ears. But your daughter is eating an ice cream cone. She can’t have that in her hands when she approaches [Wolfdog]. He will try to eat it and that’s a food that he cannot have.”

The man goes to his daughter and takes the ice cream cone from her hands. The little girl approaches. I kneel down next to [Wolfdog] so I can greet the girl and show her how to properly pet him. While my attention is on [Wolfdog] and the girl, the father comes up out of my vision line and suddenly thrusts the ice cream cone in front of the wolfdog, who promptly scoffs it down before I can do anything.

Me: “He is not supposed to have food like that! I told you! Why on earth would you do that?”

Man: “I wanted to show my daughter what it looks like when a wolf eats. It’s just an ice cream cone. My dog eats them all the time. It’s no big deal.”

Me: “Yes, it is a big deal. He’s a high-content wolf. He eats 100% raw meat only. That’s it. Nothing else. You have fed him something that he’s never had in his life, and we have no idea how it might affect him.”

Man: *Backing off with his daughter* “I just… wanted to show her… not a big deal.”

I stood and walked in the other direction. When I returned to the wolfdog exhibit, I let the leader of the rescue know what happened. He told me it would be okay, that one ice cream cone certainly would not do any harm. But if we let every person who approached feed the wolfdogs junk? That would be unhealthy.