They Tic’d All The Right Boxes

, , | Hopeless | June 23, 2017

(My friends and I, all in our late teens, all somewhat goth/punk looking, had gone to see one of the Final Destination movies in the cinema. For those who missed them, they’re basically movies about people dying in the most ridiculous ways possible. Afterwards, we decide to grab some dinner and go to a nearby pizza place — a bit more fancy than we usually frequent, but open late and tasty. There is only one other group of people at a nearby table, and one of the men seems to suffer from tics. It is impossible not to notice since one involved him randomly shouting “HA!” every few minutes. The first time that happens we look over, but realizing that his friends seem to take it as normal, we ignore them. I happened to have watched a documentary on Tourette syndrome just the night before, so I figure we shouldn’t ruin his night by staring. My friends and I never discuss it, but simply pay attention to our own conversation. As the other group gets up to leave, the guy with the tics and a woman come over to our table. We shut up immediately, realizing our conversation had become quite loud and rowdy (what with being in high spirits and discussing all the ways in which people could die in the middle of a restaurant…) and we think they are about to tell us off.)

Man: “Hey, guys, I just wanted to thank you for leaving us in peace tonight and not making a big deal of my tics.”

Friend #1: “Oh, but you shouldn’t thank us. It’s common courtesy, isn’t it?”

Man: “You’d think so, but most people stare at what they don’t know.”

Friend #2: “Maybe that’s it. I watched a show about Tourette syndrome just the other night, and they interviewed several people who have it.”

Friend #3: “Wait, you watched that show, too?”

Me: “So did I… Wow, that’s odd. It was really interesting, though!”

(The man was looking increasingly happy listening to our exchange, but it was the woman next to him who started laughing. She gave him a little shove and he smiled sheepishly, then mimed polishing a shoe. How did we know what the movement meant? Well…)

Friend #1: “Hang on. That was you in the programme, wasn’t it.”

Man: “Um, yeah.”

Woman: “And he’s been so nervous about the show airing, you wouldn’t believe it. He was afraid people would make fun of him.”

(We all assured him that he had no reason to be nervous or ashamed or anything. It WAS a good show that illustrated the various tics people might suffer from and how it impacted all areas of their lives, and shame was a big part of it. As they left you could tell the guy was much happier, and we were simply stunned that without discussing it, we’d all happened to watch the same show and draw the same conclusions from it… AND happened to meet that guy that night.)

The Contrarian Vegetarian

, , , | Working | June 21, 2017

(The office where I started working a few months ago decides to have a corporate BBQ. I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade and, by now, try to avoid barbecues. Even though it probably would’ve been nice for networking I decide not to go and tick that I can’t attend on the response card. My boss, a rather nice guy, asks me about this.)

Boss: “Hey, I just saw that you can’t attend the BBQ. Is it something with the date?”

Me: “Yeah, I’d really love to come but… well, I don’t eat meat and I really don’t want to inconvenience somebody. Besides I wouldn’t feel comfortable needing some kind of special treatment. However, I’d be happy to attend the next corporate event.”

Boss: “Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad?”

Me: *laughing* “Well, to be honest, from my experience I could come wearing a clown’s costume and only talk Swahili and still only be reluctantly talking about my diet the whole evening… only to be subsequently seen as a ‘missionizing vegetarian.’ It’s fine, though; I just don’t feel comfortable at BBQs. I don’t want anybody to feel like he has to justify why he’s eating meat and I don’t want to justify myself. Sadly, BBQs provoke a massive amount of both.”

Boss: *reassuring* “Nonsense! It will be fine. Just write that you are vegetarian on the response card and I’ll let [Coworker who organizes the food] know. She’ll organize something.”

(I comply and, after a while, even start looking forward to the BBQ. The day rolls around and, when they call for dinner, I start looking around only to find that there’s nothing marked as vegetarian and, in fact, even the salads all have bacon in them. I decide to ask said coworker since I think she might have stored the vegetarian options separately.)

Me: “Hi, [Coworker]. Ehhm, did [Boss] talk to you? I can’t find a vegetarian meal.”

Coworker: *snarky* “He did. And that’s because there’s no vegetarian option. Honestly, I’m sick and tired of you vegetarians always trying to force your beliefs on us normal people! It’s unfriendly and unnatural! You’ll eat meat or leave!”

(The irony was somehow lost on her. I apologized to my boss and left.)

Trying To Make A Clean Break

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2017

(I work at a movie theater as an usher and part of my job is cleaning after the movie is out. There are only three boys of around 10-13 years in one of the screens and we’re all already pretty suspicious, as all of them bought our jumbo buckets of popcorn.)

Coworker: “I bet they’re gonna throw the popcorn.”

Me: “Yep, definitely.”

(As we keep an eye on the monitors behind our tills, we see some popcorn flying.)

Me: “Knew it.”

(I rush to the screen, enter the room, and watch the boys throw their popcorn at the screen. As the movie finishes I stand in front of the closed door, two vacuums beside me.)

Me: *sweetly* “Well, since you’re having so much fun, would you mind helping me clean the mess you made?”

Boy #1: “Are you f****** insane?”

Boy #2: “Yeah. It’s your job to clean, b****!”

(The third boy keeps nodding and empties the rest of his bucket in front of my feet.)

Me: “Well… it is my job indeed. But you know, I was kind enough to watch you throw that popcorn for almost two hours, when I could have kicked you out immediately. So either you start cleaning now, or you will never ever step into our theater again. I don’t know you or your parents, but since I’ve seen you coming here pretty often, I think you would want to use our service again, am I right?”

Boy #1: “I’m gonna complain to your boss! I’ll get you fired! You are just too stupid to do your own job, b****!”

(They start vacuuming the whole screen. I let them do every row and follow them back out. They rush towards a woman who seems to be one of the boy’s mother.)

Boy #3: “She made us clean the entire screen! Get her fired now, Mom! She’s crazy! She made me f****** clean everything!”

Me: “Excuse me, miss. Those boys were alone and started throwing popcorn everywhere. I’m wondering if they ate anything out of their 21€ purchase. I made them vacuum everything since the theater was clean before and I do not clean after such rude customers if I see what’s happening.”

Boy #3: “See! This b**** made us do her f****** job!”

Mother: “Oh, really?” *looking at me* “Thank you. I guess they needed that. Boys, shut up or you’ll never go to the movies again!”

(This mother’s reaction really made my day and I saw her get back at the still-pissed boys outside of the cinema. Never felt so good to see a kid put back in its place.)

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Dad Explains Things In Black And White

, , , | Related | June 19, 2017

(A few years back, our local black coal power-plant managed to only coat HALF the village in ash, divided down a freakishly straight line. The damage was minimal — just a few loads of dirtied laundry that were hanging out to dry and things like that. It got a little bit of news coverage locally, so they filmed in the affected areas and talked to a few pedestrians, which were quite hard to find since we live in a village and they filmed while most people were at work. They did, however, find and interview my dad.)

Reporter: “Do you live in the side of the village that was affected by the falling ash?”

Dad: “Yes, I do.”

Reporter: “How bad was the damage for you?”

Dad: “Really bad; I mean, look at the dog. He’s usually white.”

(He indicates our black cocker spaniel. For reasons he still doesn’t understand, his interview wasn’t among the ones that were aired.)

Avenging Its Spider Brother

, , , | Related | June 16, 2017

(As a child, I was very fond of spiders, and I am still quite fascinated with them. However, when I was about four, one spider was annoyed by me and bit me hard enough to make me bleed, so I am still VERY afraid of spiders of that kind. Unfortunately, those are the most common spiders where I live. Even more unfortunate is the fact that I was watching Netflix and minding my own business when one of these spiders, a huge one at that, decides to run on to my bed and head straight for my head.)

Me: *bloodcurdling scream that lasts for well over a minute while I scramble out of bed, try to get my laptop to safety and my blanket down, because the spider is actually FOLLOWING ME* “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! SPIDEEEEEEEEEEER! DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIEEEEEEE!”

(After managing to kill it, I walk down the stairs, followed by my dog, still quite pale and traumatized. My parents are sitting on the couch and staring at me.)

Mum: “If you tell me to go into your room to kill a spider, I hereby remind you that I will never do that.”

Me: “Nah… it’s okay… I got it… I just need some time to calm down…”

(I sit down with them, while my dog, who followed me downstairs and was quite scared by my scream, just looks at me as if she’s worried I’m losing my mind. After calming down for a while, I get myself a new water bottle before heading upstairs, but make a stop to collect my dog from the couch.)

Me: “On a scale of one to ten, though, how was my scream?”

Mum: “Fifteen. Never do that again.”

Me: “I’m not planning on it. I’m going to go to sleep, so goooood niiiiiiiiight,  SPIDEEEEEEEER!”

(Lo and behold, on the floor right in front of me was another spider of the same kind and even bigger than my recently murdered roommate. Although I managed to kill that one too, I was far too freaked out to do anything that involved closing my eyes. My dog seems to hold a grudge against me because I scared her, and I am currently sitting here at 2:07 am and writing this, with all the lights in my room on. So far, no new spiders — but I’ll be watching.)

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