Joining Rivers

| Related | January 16, 2014

(I’m a graduate student, but I work nights and weekends as a children’s entertainer. I am painting a little girl’s face at a Christmas festival as her parents stand behind me.)

Me: *to the girl* “So, what’s your name?”

Girl: “River!”

Me: “Oh, what a pretty name! I have one, no, two favorite TV characters named River!”

(Her father raises his eyebrows.)

Dad: “Which two?”

Me: “Oh, River Tam from Firefly and River Song from Doctor Who.”

(The father laughs and points at his daughter.)

Dad: “That’s who she was named after, River Tam.”

(At this point, I’ve finished the little girl’s face paint, which has glitter in it. She is admiring herself in my mirror.)

Dad: *to the girl* “Now, what do you say?”

Girl: “Shiny! Let’s be bad guys!”

(Parenting, you’re doing it right!)

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Feeding The Baby And The Trolls

| Right | December 13, 2013

(I work at a renaissance festival every year for the past 11 years. My son is about 6 months old. As there is no spot designated for breastfeeding, I just find somewhere quiet and out of the way. Two patrons notice me.)

Patron #1: “Oh, my God. What are you doing!?”

Me: “Beg your pardon? Are you talking to me?”

Patron #1: “Yes, of course! That is so nasty. You should be ashamed. That is absolutely disgusting, and sinful, and child abuse.”

Me: “Oh, please. I do not want to hear it. I’m feeding my son. There is nothing wrong with it and it’s my right to do it wherever I want.”

Patron #2: “He’s right. You can’t do that here. Take that nasty s*** where it belongs. Get a f****** bottle.”

Me: “Leave me alone, please. I have a right by Kansas law to feed my son anywhere I want.”

Patron #1: “Feed him with a bottle. That’s nasty and unsanitary. You’re abusing him by making him do that. Why you feminist b****es want to do that is beyond me. You’re so gross.”

Me: “Okay. I’m not going to defend myself to you. So, just keep moving guys.”

(One of my fellow festival participants comes along.)

Participant: “Excuse me, gentlemen. Is there something I can do to help you?”

Patron #2: “Yeah. You can make her leave. No one wants to see that!”

Patron #1: “You guys shouldn’t allow that in your festival. You’re promoting child abuse.”

Participant: “She actually has every right to be here as she’s a member of the faire, as is her baby. She has to feed him, gentlemen. If it bothers you, please feel free to look away from her.”

Patron #1: “No. I want to sit on that bench right there and watch the gypsy’s dance. She needs to move.”

Me: “I’m not moving. If you want to watch the show and don’t want to sit by me, go sit somewhere else.”

(All the participants carry a walkie-talkie to contact security. This participant calls them.)

Patron #1: “That’s right. You get someone here to make her leave.”

(I move my son to burp him and switch sides. One of the patrons grabs my arm and attempts to remove me himself. I have my hands full with my son. I spot a group of yeomen (royal guards) walking by and immediately start yelling for them.)

Me: “Insuth! Insuth!”

(This is a way to alert other performers that I am NOT acting, and that I am in actual danger. The yeomen run over and one of them draws his sword, which is very real.)

Yeoman: “I’d suggest you let the lady go. It appears she does not wish to accompany you.”

Patron #2: “This little b**** needs to get the f*** out and we’re going to help show her the way.”

(The other three yeomen draw their swords as well.)

Yeoman: “I’m really thinking that is not going to happen. As it is, you gentlemen will be the ones leaving the grounds.”

Patron #1: *sarcastically* “Oh, yeah. You and your fake weapons are gonna make us, right?”

(One of the yeomen steps up to the tree that is next to him and takes a swing at it. The sword embeds several inches before he pulls it back out to show it is very real and sharp.)

Yeoman: “Is that demonstration enough for you, sir? Would you like another?”

(Finally, security arrives and holds the patrons until two state troopers come and arrest them. The yeoman who helped me was given a pin of achievement, as he had not broken character during the entire ordeal. I made them muffins every morning for the rest of the festival and have done so every year since.)

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A Police Response

| Related | November 17, 2013

(I am at a Halloween festival with my five-year-old son and a lady friend. I am a nurse at an E.R., and I run into a guy I oftentimes see at work, but haven’t really gotten to know. He’s one of the NYPD who bring the craziest, most combative patients to our E.R. He is in his uniform, and carrying a baby dressed as Cookie Monster.)

Cop: “Happy Halloween! No work today?”

Me: “My body is here, while my spirit is actually starting an IV line at work.”

Lady Friend: *obviously flirting* “Are you a real cop, or is that just a costume?”

Cop: “Real cop, real costume.”

(My son decides to interrupt out of nowhere.)

Son: “It’s called a UNIFORM!”

Me: “Sorry, that’s my husband’s crazy son from his other wife.”

(I shove my son behind my back.)

Lady Friend: “So, where’s the baby’s mommy?”

Cop: “Oh, divorced since last month. Free at last! We’re lining up for the Pony Ride. You have a great time with the kids. See you in the E.R.!”

(The cop walks away, and my lady friend turns to me.)

Lady Friend: “Seriously? You couldn’t introduce me to him, or get his number?”

Me: “It’s because I don’t know his name.”

Lady Friend: “Get his number for me! He’s really hot!”

Son: “Goodness gracious! Grown-ups are so stupid! Everybody knows his number!”

Lady Friend: “Okay then, what’s his number, smarty pants?”

Son: “Easy-peasy. It’s 911, duh!”

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Doesn’t Give Two Hoots About Listening

| Right | November 8, 2013

(My city is having an annual festival in the downtown area. I have an animatronic owl that I like to bring out on such occasions. It sits on my shoulder and moves in a very life-like manner. Kids love it and are very respectful of it. Adults, on the other hand are not. A woman grabs me by the shoulder, spins me around, and yells…)

Woman: “WHAT IS THAT?!”

Me: “Whoa… um, please don’t touch me. It’s a puppet.”

(I begin to walk away, but she grabs me again and tries to knock the owl off my shoulder.)


Me: “Again, please don’t touch me, and DO NOT touch my puppet. And it IS a puppet, not real. It’s made of faux fur, polymer and cables.”

(The woman starts yelling to a police officer, who is monitoring the event.)


(The officer comes over, and examines my owl puppet.)

Officer: “So how does this thing work?”

(I explain how I control it with a hidden cable, and how it’s made.)


Officer: “Ma’am, it’s obviously a puppet. A very neat and realistic puppet, but a puppet all the same. I’m going to have to ask you to stop yelling; you’re causing a disturbance.”


(I remove the owl from my shoulder, showing that it stays put with magnets and reveal the hidden cable.)


Officer: “Okay, that’s it. You’re coming with me!”

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Maybe He Is Under The Weather

| Right | November 6, 2013

(I am volunteering at the info booth for a festival. A festival attendee approaches the table.)

Me: “Hi! Can I help you?”

Attendee: “Do you see those vapor trails?”

(The attendee points to the sky, where a few contrails are visible.)

Me: “Yeah?”

Attendee: “That’s how the government controls the weather.”

(The attendee walks away like nothing happened.)

Me: “…oooookay then.”

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