You Can Tell It’s A Cat By The Way That It Is

, , , , , | Friendly | May 1, 2021

My friend is watching my Maine Coon while I’m out of town for a few weeks, sometimes staying the night so the cat isn’t alone. The cat is on a vet-approved diet to lose a few pounds, so no kitty treats, only a measured amount of food. One night, [Friend] calls me via video chat.

Me: “Hey, what’s up?”

Friend: “Your cat is a fat b*****d.”

Me: “Yes. And?”

Friend: “I decided to get a rotisserie chicken for dinner here tonight and your cat was sitting by the table, watching me eat it. He kept trying to reach up and steal a piece and I kept pushing him back down. I told him he wasn’t allowed and he got very upset.”

Me: “Yes, he’s horribly neglected and wasting away. I know; he tells me all the time.”

Friend: “I went to the garage to get a beer from the fridge out there and I came back and saw this.”

He turns the camera to see an empty plate on the table.

Me: “Oh, no.”

He shows me the tell-tale trail leading off the table, across the kitchen, and into the living room, and then stops on my cat trying to drag the chicken under a recliner. Unfortunately, the chair is too low for my huge cat and his prey, so he resorts to trying to pick the carcass clean, grumbling, and making eye contact with [Friend].

Friend: “He won’t let me take it.”

Me: *Laughing* “I’m so sorry. I’ll send you money for another one.”

Friend: “Oh, no, I was pretty much done with it. I’m just showing you what a greedy brat you’ve raised.”

I did send money anyway, both for the chicken and to cover the carpet cleaning. Eventually, [Friend] did wrestle the chicken away, though he paid with his skin. And, if you’re wondering, my cat is almost to his appropriate weight.

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The Language Barrier Isn’t Empfindlich

, , , , | Romantic | April 30, 2021

I majored in German in college and spent my junior year living in Germany. I was extremely socially inept back then. I made friends with this guy and he came to the dorm to hang out with me. He was a really big guy who looked a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We were sitting around and he took my hand.

Friend: “Your skin is very… empfindlich.”

Me: “What does ‘empfindlich’ mean?”

Friend: “It means… easily broken.”

I freaked out and never hung out with him again. Looking back at it, I realize that he had a crush on me and he was actually trying to be romantic. He meant my skin was “delicate.”

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Toss Out The Drama

, , , , | Friendly | April 30, 2021

My cousin’s first wedding, to [Bride #1], is a disaster. Neither of [Bride #1]’s bridesmaids show up, and one of [Cousin]’s two groomsmen doesn’t show up, either. My cousin’s female best friend acts as a bridesmaid, and [Cousin]’s gay male best friend is the groomsman. The other attendees are my aunt, [Bride #1]’s mom, my parents, my sister, my boyfriend, [Female Best Friend’s] boyfriend, and me.

After vows are exchanged, [Bride #1] tosses the bouquet. I have only been dating my boyfriend for a month, and my sister is sixteen and a lesbian (gay marriage isn’t legal yet). [Female Best Friend] jumps VERY energetically and catches the bouquet, as my sister and I have no interest in doing so and have stood well back from her. She lands poorly and sprains her ankle.

Then comes time for the garter toss. [Female Best Friend]’s boyfriend is VERY eager to catch it. I cajole [My Boyfriend] and [Gay Groomsman] to do as my sister and I did: just stand there so it at least looks like someone else is trying to catch the thing. They do so reluctantly.

When [Cousin] throws the garter, [Female Best Friend]’s boyfriend elbows [Gay Groomsman] in the torso and backhands [My Boyfriend] in the face, giving him a black eye. I later learn that [Gay Groomsman] has a couple of cracked ribs! [Female Best Friend]’s boyfriend catches the garter, and [Gay Groomsman] and [My Boyfriend] go off alone commiserate.

[Female Best Friend]’s boyfriend proposes, and she accepts. [Bride #1] is livid and pours the single bottle of champagne over [Female Best Friend]’s head.

Eight years later, [Cousin] has been divorced from [Bride #1] for a while and finally marries [Bride #2]. This wedding is also relatively small, with about thirty people, but it is in a very nice venue, with food arranged by my aunt, her best friend, and my mother.

Everyone shows up, including [Bride #2]’s divorced parents and their significant others. I have also been divorced for a couple of years but am now seeing a guy I really like. He didn’t attend because he has limited mobility and it is a bit of a walk to the venue.

After the festivities are over, [Bride #2] approaches me.

Bride #2: “Here, these are for you.”

She hands me her wedding bouquet.

Me: “Wait, what? Why?”

Bride #2: “My bridesmaids are married, and I hate my brother’s girlfriend. I heard my mom and her boyfriend saying that if Mom catches the bouquet, he’ll ask her to marry him, and I heard my dad tell his girlfriend the same thing. I don’t want drama. I know your boyfriend couldn’t come, but when I met him he seemed super awesome. So, here, come outside and we will do pictures.”

Her three married friends are already waiting outside. With them standing behind me, the photographer has me toss the bouquet aloft while jumping and gets a good picture of me catching it again.

Bride #2: “Thanks. I can tell my parents the bouquet toss was only for people who haven’t been married before.”

Me: “But… I’m divorced… and they’re… already married?”

Bride #2: “Yeah, I know. She doesn’t, though, and I heard about the fiasco with the bouquet and garter toss at [Cousin]’s first wedding. I did not want that! I also refused to wear a garter, so we could get out of the garter toss, but my mom paid for the photographer and specified bouquet toss pics. This was easier than arguing.”

Now, three years after that wedding, I am engaged to the man I was seeing then. [Female Best Friend] from the first wedding is still happily married to the man who proposed to her then. [Bride #2]’s parents are not seeing anyone. So, I guess it all worked out in the end!

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Blue Potatoes For The Blue Blood

, , , , , | Related | April 27, 2021

I was a teenager and a pretty creative weirdo. My family was poor, yet we had enough food to feed us all — not always what we wanted but enough — and of course, any guests would be filled, too. 

One night, I decided the mashed potatoes were boring, so I grabbed the food coloring and managed to sneak over my father’s shoulder as he prepared it to let a couple of drops fall in. I thought he would be annoyed by me playing with food, but he found it hilarious and there we were, laughing like crazy, dyeing the mashed potatoes blue. 

Unbeknownst to us, my brother had invited a friend over for dinner. When the guy saw the blue mashed potatoes, he was so shocked it was as if we’d popped a dragon head on the table.

Despite thinking I was super funny with my dye, I took pity on him.

Me: “Don’t worry. Those are very ordinary mashed potatoes. It’s just cake dye.

But he never got over it. He ate his salad, barely touched the meatloaf, and kept making disdainful faces over the potatoes, which would trigger a round of “it’s just dye” again. After a painfully long dinner, the guy scurried away with my brother and didn’t show his face again until he left. 

My brother came back to us once his friend was gone and started to lecture us.

Brother: “How dare you serve this joke to my friend?! I’m always welcomed with filet mignon and lobsters when I have meals with his family!”

And on and on he went.

Father: “[Brother], we aren’t financially equal and there’s no way we could afford this cost of a meal like that.” 

Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were having a guest. It was bad timing to play around, but ultimately, the dye was tasteless and harmless. In fact, there’s even a type of potato that is blue purely from nature! I think your friend was being a little close-minded to stop at the color, despite the very normal taste.”

It turned out that the real offender was the meatloaf, and the dyed potatoes were just adding insult to injury. To my brother’s friend, to be given anything other than expensive steaks or other delicacies was unbelievable. 

My parents were furious and hurt, rightfully. They always pride themselves on being good hosts, not letting anyone be thirsty or hungry, and feeding them fairly good and nutritious food. Menus would be set with guests beforehand, normally, but what can you do on no notice?

Since what we provided was not good enough, that friend never stayed over again for meals.

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Those |337 Haxxor Skillz Are Finally Paying Off

, , , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2021

Our school’s MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) department has signed up to [Website], which has lots of puzzles and vocabulary testing. [Website] is not particularly well made, and soon, people are finding bugs.

[Classmate #1] finishes a test and clicks “Submit.” The website buffers, and [Classmate #1] clicks repeatedly, at speed.

Website: “You have gained 1,000 out of 100 points on this test!”

This, of course, is shared loudly and excitedly with other students. For that entire lesson, nobody does any work, and instead, everyone utilises the easiest game on the website to gain hundreds of points in seconds.

My friend meanwhile does Computer Science for A-Level. Having recently completed a unit about websites and security, he decides to take a look at the code behind the website. He identifies how, at the end of the puzzle, the authentication key stops changing, letting the website send the points several times. He also identifies the exact request being sent to the website’s database, and writes a line in cURL, which sends a request to the website.

Website: “You now have 1,000 more points than before!”

My friend now sets up a while: True loop repeating the request. (A while loop repeats something while a condition is true, and True is always true, so it does it infinitely.) It runs overnight.

Teacher: “Wow, everyone, I’m impressed! You’ve all clearly done lots of homework; the school has over a million points!”

This would have taken rather longer than we had, but several other schools have several million points. Therefore, my friend declares his intention to reach a BILLION points!

Me: “I don’t think that’s wise. Ms. [Teacher] will notice your absurd score.”

Friend #1: “It’s fine. Everyone else has really high scores from that previous glitch. Besides, the scores reset every month [in about a week].”

Me: “Still, you might get in trouble with the [Website] technicians.”

Friend #1: “The whole website is bad; they probably don’t have much to do. And it isn’t as if I will hurt the server; they will have [technical stuff] in place to stop my requests from overloading the server.”

The program runs fine overnight, but the next day he is disappointed that he “only” earned several million points. Trusting in [Website]’s ability to withstand his onslaught, despite the fact that it has up until this point been coded mostly with Swiss cheese, he sets up a loop that will open his program in new windows. Within a few seconds, he has several thousand windows open and his program almost overloads his own computer, though he stops his program pretty quickly.

Friend #1: *Via text* “I’ve just DOSed [Website]. The police will come to my house now.”

Spoiler: they don’t.

After confirming that I am unable to do my own homework on the website:

Me: “I warned you about loops, bro. I told you about loops.”

However, about half an hour later, the server is back up again, and [Friend]’s own Wi-Fi is immediately destroyed by the server, which sends a reply to every packet [Friend] sent to it. In the meantime, however, he has shared the original loop, which did not crash the program, with a friend of ours with a better connection. It is at this point that a technician notices. Encoded in the replies to the packets the program sends is this message:

Technician: “Oi, matey, I see you. Stop that.”

The technician changes the authentication key which is being used by the program [Friend #1] wrote. Of course, [Friend #2] now knows what to look for and manages to get it running again.

The next morning, [Friend #1] and [Friend #2] find that the entire school has zero points on the accounts. During a lesson that day:

Teacher: “I’ve just received an email from [Website]. It says that several students have been messing with [Website] and that the school’s score has been reset to zero! It also says that [Friend #1] and [Friend #2] are clearly very clever and that they would like to talk to them?!”

[Website] corresponded with the school and my friends for a while; they seemed more impressed than annoyed. They managed to fix many of the bugs, and eventually, [Friend #1] was offered work experience with [Website]!

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