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Some Queenie-ly Advice

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | February 3, 2023

My dad is gone now, but he was an easy-going, jovial kind of guy with the gift of gab. In the 1960s, he owned a fast food restaurant that specialized in hot dogs called “Queenie’s Weenies”. At the restaurant, nobody called my dad by his real name; everybody just called him Queenie

At the time, I was fifteen years old. I would work with my dad at the restaurant on weekends. One Saturday, we were driving to work and stopped off at a supermarket to pick up some supplies.

We grabbed our purchases and got into the checkout line. I noticed something while we waited in line: our cashier was in a very, very, bad mood! She offered no smiles, no greetings, no small talk, no “have a nice day”. Her “anger aura” was palpable and kind of scary to me.

When it was our turn, I was thinking that we should just get our stuff and leave quickly before the cashier went “Death Star” on us. My dad had a different idea. When it was our turn, he started chatting her up, looking at her name tag.

Dad: “Hi, [Cashier], how are you today? Isn’t this weather great? This is my son; we work together. Do you like hot dogs? I have a restaurant. It’s called ‘Queenies Weenies’. We specialize in chili dogs. Do you like chili dogs, [Cashier]? Drop by my restaurant sometime and I will treat you to a chili dog made special, just for you, by me, Queenie.”

By the time we were done checking out, [Cashier] was smiling.

Cashier: “Thanks, umm… Queenie. I hope you and your son have a very nice day.”

Back in the car, he “dad-splained” it to me.  

Dad: “[Cashier] was obviously having a bad day. Who knows why, but it happens to everyone. A warm smile and a few kind words were all it took to brighten her day. I made her a little happier and it didn’t cost me a dime. Try it sometime.”

Explaining Stuff To Kids Is Hard… But Not For The Reasons Some Think

, , , , , , , | Related | February 2, 2023

My friend’s sibling spent a lot of time hiding who she was because she was afraid people would not accept her as a woman — mostly, how her seven-year-old nephew would handle identifying her.

I got to sit in on the conversation where [Friend] explained what was going on.

Friend: “So, from now on, you say Aunt [Sibling]. Her name isn’t Uncle [Dead Name] anymore.”

Child: “Why?”

Friend: “Because that’s her name.”

Child: “But Uncle [Dead Name] is a boy!”

Friend: “No, Aunt [Sibling] is a woman.”

Child: “Oh.” *Pauses* “Can I change my name?”

Friend: “What do you want to be called?”

Child: “Umm… Fart!”

I admit I laughed. [Child] was thoroughly pleased with himself, while [Friend] gave me a good-humored glare.

Friend: “Okay, maybe we will wait to change your name.”

Child: “You can call me Fart!”

Friend: “Okay, that’s enough. Go play.”

Child: “Bye, Daddy Fart!”

Friend: “Oh, my God, what have I done? Now he’s going to tell everyone his name is Fart and I’m going to get called into a parent-teacher meeting.”

Me: “Well, at least he won’t get confused with the other [Child] in his class anymore.”

[Child] had no problem calling his aunt by her name, though convincing him that he could not call himself “Fart” took a lot longer.

Avengers, Assemble And Spell!

, , , , , , , , , | Right | January 18, 2023

I’m a hotel receptionist, and I’m on the phone with a guest who’s booking a room.

Me: “I’m sorry, can you spell your names out for me?”

Guest: “Takayoshi. That’s Thanos, Avengers, Korg, Ant-Man, Yellowjacket, Odin, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Iron Man. My wife is Viktoria. That’s Valkyrie, Infinity, Killmonger, Thor, Okoye, Ragnarok, Ironheart, America.”

Yes, he said that with a completely serious tone and what I imagine was a completely straight face.

Thankfully, years of training allowed me to keep a poker face and type his information into our register. Immediately after he hung up, I ran straight to the washroom and laughed for like fifteen minutes straight.

Man, it’s days like this that make life worth living.

A Pup By Any Other Name Would Be As Cute

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 18, 2023

If you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time browsing the websites for (or visited) a humane society or animal shelter, you’ll notice that some of the rescue animals tend to have rather unusual names. I assume this is because the shelter employees don’t want six dogs named Spot and eight cats named Kitty running around and eventually run out of “normal” names to give out.

I adopt a dog with a rather unfortunate and strange shelter name. I immediately decide to change it and spend the next few hours mulling over the perfect one. After much hemming and hawing, I name her after a relatively obscure mythological figure. For the sake of the story, let’s say it’s Ariadne.

I am quite proud of the name I picked because I think it fits her appearance and personality well. With my dog now named, I sent a text and a picture of her to my friend.

Me: “This is Ariadne!”

Friend: “How cute! Are you going to change her name?”

Ouch. Fair, but ouch. (The dog kept the mythological name.)

“Jerk” With An Uppercase J

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 8, 2023

I am pretty tall and thin. I also have a large afro that I like to fluff up when I am going out. Because of this, a bouncer at a club I go to has taken to calling me “Lowercase”. In his words, “With those skin-tight outfits and big hair, you look just like a lowercase I!”

We are on friendly terms and talk a lot when I’m there. I call him “Shag” because of his mop of unkempt silver hair.

On this particular night, Shag was with a new bouncer I hadn’t seen before. I waved hi to him, as well. 

Shag: “Hey, Lowercase! Hey, Newbie, this is Lowercase. She comes here a lot. If you’re nice, she’ll bake you something.”

Newbie: “Why do you call her ‘Lowercase’?”

Shag: “Oh, it’s because I think she looks kind of like a lowercase I with that big hair.”

Me: *Laughing* “It’s been a joke between us for a while. I don’t mind.” 

Newbie: “Oh, well, it’s nice that you’re willing to joke about that. Most girls get pissy when you point out they don’t have t*ts.”

I got super uncomfortable at that point. Shag has never made any comments about my body, and it was always clear that our nicknames were in good fun. Shag immediately looked livid.

Shag: “Boy, what the h*** is wrong with you?”

Newbie: “I thought that’s why she had the nickname, right? No curves, all hair?”

Shag gave me a smile and ushered me inside. I caught the beginnings of him chewing the absolute f*** out of the new guy.

Later on in the night, Shag came in, bought me a drink, and apologized. He insisted that I’m gorgeous, but I’m the same age as his daughters, so his only intention is to make sure I’m safe and happy when I’m at that club. 

I still go there a lot, and I bake a lot more things for him when I can. Love you, Shag!