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Something Smells Scammy

, , , , | Right | September 10, 2021

I am sitting in the food court during my lunch hour stuffing my face with saturated fats, over-processed ingredients, and bad calories when a handsome gentleman decides to approach me at my table. As I admire his beauty from afar, this good-looking suitor gives me the worst pickup line ever.

Con Artist: “Excuse me, do you buy cologne?”

Me: “Come again?”

Con Artist: “I asked if you ever buy cologne.”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Con Artist: “How much would you say you spend on your fragrances?”

I’m still unsure of where this conversation is heading.

Me: “Approximately $40 to $80, depending on if it is a designer scent and if I like it.”

Con Artist: “What if I told you that you’re spending way too much for designer fragrances and that the only difference is the amount of oils being used in those bottles?”

Me: “Ummm… Uh… I’m not sure where you’re getting at.

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bottle of cologne with no label, sprays a piece of paper, and hands it to me.

Con Artist: “I work for an independently-owned company and we manufacture fragrances that are exactly similar to designer fragrances but at much lower cost. The secret is the amount of essential oils used in the product in producing the scent. Try it.”

I take a whiff of the sample. Immediately, my nose starts to burn and my eyes water as I take in an aroma that can only be described as musky mildewed flowers being plucked from a sewer drain and used as someone’s toilet paper.

Con Artist: “What do you think?”

Me: “Uh… It’s… quite… interesting.”

Con Artist: “It’s only $20 — much cheaper than those designer colognes you buy. Interested in buying a bottle?”

I reply as politely as I can, trying not to cough in his face.

Me: “No, but thank you.”

Con Artist: “Oh, come on, man. Don’t you want to smell good for your girlfriend or wife?”

Obviously, he doesn’t know that I’m gay. Darn.

Me: “I’m fine. Thanks. And I’m not married, nor do I have a girlfriend.”

The con artist picks up his cologne and leaves in a huff, but not before getting in the last word edgewise.

Con Artist: “No wonder you’re single.”

He disappeared among the crowds of food court patrons. Oh, well. I’ll always have the food court.

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She’s Just Jealous Because Her Left Hand Is Useless

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 26, 2021

I’m a Caucasian woman, and I’m rather lazily eating sushi and reading on my phone in a food court while waiting for a movie. Suddenly, a woman storms up to me, demanding angrily:

Woman: “Who are you trying to impress?”

Me: “I— What? No one.”

Woman: “Everyone can eat with chopsticks.”

Me: “Oh. Okay. Well, I’m just eating sushi. I’m not trying to impress anyone.”

Woman: “Yeah. ‘Cause everyone can eat with chopsticks.”

Me: “Okay. If everyone can use chopsticks, then how would I be trying to impress anyone?”

Woman: “You’re using your left hand!”

Me: “What? I’m left-handed.”

Woman: “That’s ridiculous.”

Me: “What?”

Woman: “Left-handed is for writing.”

Me: *Pause* “What?”

Woman: “Just because you write with your left hand, it doesn’t mean you have to show off.”

Me: “Seriously? I do everything with my left hand. I’m left-handed.”

Woman: “Left-handed people write with their left hand. You can do everything else normally. You shouldn’t show off.”

Me: “I— I’m sorry you think I’m showing off, but I really can’t use chopsticks with my right hand any more than you can with your left.”

She was so upset that I put my chopsticks and phone down and ate the last few pieces with my right-hand fingers.

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Not What You Expected Skinny Noodles To Be

, , , , , , | Working | July 8, 2019

(I am at a mall and decide to get lunch at the food court. I’m not up for fries and don’t feel like eating meat, so I take some fried noodles with veggies at a place with the usual westernized Asian fare. I get a plate and pay, then start to eat. After a couple of bites, I feel something in my mouth and pull a very long, thick, black hair from my mouth. I’m not the most squeamish person, but my appetite is gone. I decide to tell the lady who served me and is currently turning over the mountain of noodles they keep on their flat stove. She is not wearing a hat or hairnet, and has, well, quite a long, thick, black ponytail.)

Me: “Hi. I ordered these noodles and found a hair in them…”

(Almost before I can finish my sentence the lady barks back at me.)

Server: “That is not my hair. That is your hair. You put it in the food to get more free food!”

(I have a braid, but my hair is brownish-blond at the outgrown roots and a faded red in the lengths. It’s obviously not mine. The black hair is so thick, you can see it coiled on top of the yellowish noodles without having to look too close.)

Me: “Well, I can’t tell you whose it is, but it’s not mine. And I don’t want…”

(“…any free food; I just wanted to let you know!” is what I intend to say, but she again loudly speaks over me.)

Server: “No! You fat Germans always just want more food! Eat half and more, complain, and get another plate free!”

(She then TOOK THE PLATE from the counter between us and CHUCKED THE REST OF THE NOODLES at me! I instinctively stepped back but got some on my shoes nonetheless. I moved awkwardly and slipped on the saucy mess, falling rather unlucky on my hand. It hurt. A lot. I started crying and felt very shaken. A couple from a nearby table came over and some others got up, as well. Somebody told me to get up and sat me on a chair. Meanwhile, the server was shouting stuff in a language I didn’t understand. A guy in a suit from mall management came over and asked if I needed an ambulance. The man from the couple helping me talked to me, told me he was some sort of sports coach, and asked to see my wrist. He gently prodded it and moved it, proclaiming that it was probably not broken but I should get it checked anyway. I declined the ambulance; the suit-guy got me an ice pack from somewhere. They stayed with me until my boyfriend could pick me up, as I was still quite queasy, to drive me to the emergency room near our home. In the end, nothing was broken. The owner of the Asian shop contacted me through the mall and apologised a lot. He said his sister was going through some rough personal stuff and just snapped. I was almost sorry for her. But I will never enjoy Asian noodles without a bad feeling in my bones.)

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Getting Rid Of That Ingredient Is No Small Potatoes

, , , , , , | Right | June 25, 2019

(I overhear this conversation at a salad bar after grabbing some food during my lunch break.)

Customer: “Oh, and can I get no potato in that?”

Employee: “I’m sorry, no potato?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Employee: “In your potato salad?”

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Feeding The Violence

, , , | Right | June 19, 2019

(I work in a food court. There’s a line for pick-up where customers can get their food previously paid for, though from time to time some entitled people think they can just cut in line. My coworker is helping the people in line when a woman walks up to the front of the line and slaps a ticket for a food item in front of him.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, please wait at the end of the line for your turn.”

Woman: *scowls, but goes to the back of the line*

(The line keeps moving until it’s the woman’s turn. My coworker reaches out to take her ticket, but she slams it on the counter.)

Woman: *impatiently* “Come on.”

([Coworker] hands her the food item, which she snatches out of his hand violently. The food item comes apart from the force and scatters all over the floor, leaving half of it in her hand. Most of the customers in line gape at the scene.)


(Before my coworker could speak, she stomped off. Turned out she went to get a manager, whom she screamed at. She didn’t get anything out of it, nor did she get her food. We’ve yet to see her again.)

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