Mmm… Tasty, Tasty Pillows

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 22, 2020

I really enjoy cooking, and living in a city with such a large population of immigrants and student visas allows me the opportunity to introduce foreigners to American and western foods they haven’t tried yet.

I’ve made friends with a young Chinese woman who is going to be coming to my house to have dinner with some of my friends. I’m still planning out the menu so I am showing her some pictures of foods I’ve cooked in the past to see if she has any preferences for what she’d like to try.

I bring up a picture of ravioli in marinara sauce. My friend gets a look of recognition on her face but seems to be struggling to find the right words.

Friend: “Oh, oh! You made the… um… it is spaghetti but it is pillows.”

Me: *Chuckling* “Yes, but we sometimes call them ravioli.”

Friend: *Smiling* “Oh! Ravioli… I want that.”

The three-cheese ravioli were a hit that weekend.

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I Guess He Wasn’t Hungry Like The Wolf

, , , , , | Friendly | July 20, 2020

I witnessed this in the 1980s. Back then, “urban tribes” were a much more important thing than now. Either you belonged to a group or you didn’t, but if you did, there was a very specific code for how to dress and what to listen to. The three classmates in the story are all “paninari,” wearing colourful clothes of designer brands.

Classmate #1: “Hey, mate, do you like Dire Straits?”

Classmate #2: “Of course, I do! They’re the favourite band of the paninari!”

Classmate #1: “What the f***, mate? The favourite band of the paninari is Duran Duran!”

[Classmate #3], who heard the exchange, stood up without a word and started taking off his designer jumper, shirt, belt. He only stopped when [Classmate #1] retracted, but not before we saw that his fantasy-print Y-fronts were from a name brand, too!

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So Much For The Overflowing Closet Method

, , , , , , | Friendly | July 20, 2020

My parents weren’t incredibly fastidious, but they did like to generally keep the house tidy. I say this with an admittedly skewed perspective since my maternal grandparents had a house that constantly looked like a Home & Gardens cover page, but still, I don’t think they were any more concerned with cleanliness than is considered average.

Of course, when we had company over, the usual flurry of chores ensued, which was always the most annoying thing ever to me as a kid, but now that I have my own place I realize the necessity of them. Our home was tidy but not a surgical scrub room.

We lived in an area where multi-story homes were pretty normal, and ours was no different; we had two main floors, plus a basement and attic. As is pretty standard, the second floor was bedrooms and such, and the first floor was where most hosting was done. One day, we had some sort of party and a guest had brought her young son with her. He at some point wandered upstairs, which no one was bothered by; he was well-behaved and we didn’t mind him poking around. However, almost immediately, he ran back down the stairs and started tugging on his mom’s skirt.

“Mommy! Their upstairs! It’s actually clean!

The mother was mortified and kept trying to shush her son, but apparently, the idea of a house being clean even in the places that company wasn’t planned to see was just such a mind-blowing concept that the little boy would not stop talking about it.

My dad thought it was an absolute hoot, and though my mom was too polite to say so, I think she was a little bit proud that even if her house wasn’t up to her parents’ “can eat off the floor” standards, at least someone was impressed!

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Throw That Friendship Out With The Puddle Water

, , , , , | Friendly | July 17, 2020

My dad grew up as a poor Cajun boy who was, and still is, known for not being able to say no to people that need help. However, in high school, he somehow became best friends with the youngest son — known to be a troublemaker — of a rather rich and influential family in our area. My dad told me this story from back when the two of them were in their twenties.

It is the day after a massive rainstorm so there are puddles everywhere on the roads. They’re on the interstate with my dad’s friend driving, and a middle-aged woman passes them while smoking a cigarette with her window down.

Friend: “Hey, [Dad], watch this!”

He proceeds to all but slam on the accelerator and manages to time it perfectly so that he hits a massive puddle on the road just as they catch up to this woman’s car. This causes a massive arc of water to go through her open window, completely drenching her. According to my dad, she chases them for several miles, understandably VERY angry, but his friend manages to lose her.

I never really had that high opinion of this family friend to begin with for other reasons and learning this story definitely didn’t help that. Why my dad is still so close to him, I have no clue.

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Not A Chicken About Being A Jerk

, , , , | Friendly | July 16, 2020

We’re a group of friends on holiday camping near Venice. Unfortunately, the boyfriend of one of our group has decided to be a freeloader, the girlfriend has taken his side because love is blind, and several arguments have already broken out in the previous days.

Today’s dinner consists of two roasted chickens, bought at a rotisserie, and salad. The cost is split between the group but, due to the aforementioned arguments, the two freeloaders did not pay for any of it and are sulking in a corner.

I washed and chopped the vegetables for the salad and I’m handing out the plates as another friend carves the chickens. The first chicken has already been distributed.

Carver: “This is for [Friend #1] and [Friend #2]…” *Hands over both wings*

Me: “Whoa, easy, [Carver]. Make smaller pieces.”

Carver: “Give this to [Friend #3].” *Hands over half a breast*

Me: “Careful, [Carver], You’re running out.”

Carver: “No, I’ve got it. Give this to [Freeloader] and [Freeloader’s Girlfriend].” *Hands over both legs*

Me: “Excuse me, are we splitting half a chicken breast among you and me?”

Carver: “No, no, I’m getting the breast; it’s tough. You take this. There’s plenty of meat on it.” 

As if this is a grand gesture on his part, he gives me a plate with, literally, the carcass — what’s left of a rotisserie chicken after you pull out everything. There is some skin left along the spine and slivers of muscle between the ribs, and that’s it.

Me: *Exploding* “Are you pulling my leg? I paid good money to suck on salty bones while the deadbeat gets the thigh? What the f*** is wrong with you?”

Carver: “Okay, okay, if you’re hungry, just say so. Have this, too!”

He reached into the bag and added a mummified-looking chicken neck to my plate. I flipped him the bird and stormed out. I would have gone home on that very evening if a few people hadn’t followed and helped me calm down. The carver has still to reckon that he did anything wrong.

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