You Think They’d Accept Mastercard?

, , , , , | Friendly | January 14, 2021

My friend is getting ready to move to New Zealand for work — literally the other side of the world — and has sold or given away all of his possessions, including his bed. He is one of the loveliest people I have ever met but not the most organised.

I visit him the morning he is due to get on the plane so I can say goodbye.

Me: “Are you ready to go? How are you feeling?”

Friend: “A bit daft.”

Me: “Why?”

Friend: “It turns out you need a visa to move to New Zealand.”

It took him another month to be able to get out there. Fortunately, his work was okay with this and the job was still waiting for him!

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Anything Can Happen On A Landline!

, , , , , | Related | January 11, 2021

My grandmother just turned ninety but lives alone and is in excellent health. After my grandfather died a few years ago, she joined an exercise group of other widows at the local senior center and they all got to be good friends and had excursions together. (This was before the health crisis.)

My brother and my two-year-old nephew stop by for a visit. [Nephew] finds Grandma’s phone — an actual corded landline — and manages to hit redial, calling her best friend. He babbles at her for a bit and then hangs the phone up and comes back into the other room where the adults are.

We find this out because the best friend calls Grandma back ten minutes later.

Best Friend: “[Grandma]! Are you okay?!”

Somewhere over the course of “conversation,” she became convinced that either she or my grandma was having a stroke because the words just didn’t make sense! It took a few minutes for my brother to put two and two (and two-year-old) together and figure out what had happened. Grandma now has a funny story about her precocious grandchild, and my nephew will be able to tell his grandkids someday that yes, one time he DID use a phone plugged into a wall.

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Friends Don’t Pick Friends’ Locks

, , , | Friendly | January 8, 2021

My husband’s friend is getting divorced.

Friend: “Can you hold a few boxes of my things while I sort through this?”

Husband: “No problem. We have room in the attic for a few boxes.”

What comes over, however, is a dozen boxes of books, rechargeable batteries for power tools, and heavy winter clothes. We haul this stuff up to the attic and it sits there. And sits. And sits. For over a year.

Then, one day, this friend texts my husband.

Friend: “Hey, I’m coming over to get my stuff.”

Husband: “Unfortunately, we’re not home right now, but we can help you when we get home this evening.”

He doesn’t reply. When we get home, we are surprised to see that our front door isn’t latched shut. I go into panic mode, thinking we’ve been robbed. We check the house and everything is fine until we get to the attic door. It’s one of those pull-down doors with a string hanging from the ceiling. It is still open. We go up and find that all of my husband’s friend’s boxes are gone. My husband calls his friend.

Husband: “What happened?!”

Apparently, he couldn’t wait a few hours to get his stuff, so he brought some of his friends — strangers to us — to our house, picked the lock, and allowed them into our home to retrieve his things. He saw nothing wrong with what he did, because he told us he wanted his things and we weren’t helping him. He is no longer a friend and now we have a new lock and security system.

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Berry Useful Trivia!

, , , , | Friendly | January 5, 2021

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.


I have a fairly insatiable knowledge for strange facts. I’m reading a book about herbs and plants and things they have been used for in medical history. I come across a comment about raspberries being used to induce uterine contractions, alongside an offhand note that one shouldn’t eat large quantities of them during pregnancy for that reason. As a tidbit, it has stuck in my brain for years. I never thought I’d need it until this conversation.

Friend: “Oh, man, my poor relative. She keeps having false contractions. It’s been really bad. She’s still months away.”

A random memory comes to me.

Me: “Okay, this is gonna sound like a weird question, but does she like jam?”

Friend: *Long pause* “Yes, that is a super weird question… but yeah, she does.”

Me: “Is it raspberry jam, by any chance?”

Friend: “Yeah, actually.”

Me: “Has she been eating a ton of it lately?”

Friend: “I think so; she really likes it.”

Me: “That could be it; raspberries can cause uterine contractions.”

Friend: *Pauses again* “You’re s***ting me.”

Me: “Absolutely not.”

I pull up a few different Googled pages on it to refresh my memory.

Me: “I mean, it might not be what’s happening, but it might be worth checking out?”

You’ll never guess what stopped happening after that! Last I heard, the baby was delivered none the worse for wear.

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At Least They Know Where Africa Is

, , , , | Friendly | December 31, 2020

One of the stories on the recent “South Africa” roundup reminded me of this event that I experienced a few years ago.

I am offered a chance to teach for a year at a school in Malawi. As I am getting ready, I have a lot of people ask me where Malawi is.

Me: “Well, it’s in the South of Africa—”

Them: “You’re going to South Africa? That’s so cool!”

I learned pretty quickly to just say that Malawi was “two countries north of South Africa and one country in from the Indian Ocean.”

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