Seriously Stupid Administration

, , , , , , | Working | March 30, 2020

I was 21 when my Grandma died. I’d watched her slowly decline over the preceding two years, so I was not “grieving” publicly, which allowed me to keep my head.

My grandma, being the stubborn woman she was, had to die at 11:00 pm on a Friday. She wanted to be cremated, and this was about four or five days from the end of the month. By the time the cremation was done and we finally had the death certificate, her last Social Security payment had gone through.

Before her mind had gone too much, I’d had her put me on her bank account, as she lived with me and my dad and uncle, her two oldest sons. This made it easier if we needed something from the store with her card. On the first available day after we got the death certificate, I went to close out her account.

I was told that they were waiting for the SSA to pull the money, and I had to take them the death certificate, as it wasn’t our money.

I spent three months driving between my house, her bank, and the SSA across town before they pulled the money and I could get the last five dollars out of her account to close it.

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Stephen King’s New Cosmetic Line

, , , , | Related | March 28, 2020

(I like to do different greetings with my nana when we talk on the phone. Here’s one I just did:)

Me: “Hello, ma’am, I work for a shady makeup company. Which lipstick would you prefer: fire-engine red, petal pink, or alabaster white?”

Nana: “Oh… petal pink.”

Me: “Which perfume would smell better: dog doo or skunk butt?”

Nana: “Neither one of them! Although dog doo doesn’t make your nose burn.”

Me: “Which eyeshadow would look better: corpse yellow or frozen-to-death blue?”

Nana: “You’re morbid.”

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Could Be Worse; You Could Be Bronze

, , , , , | Related | March 22, 2020

(I’m on the phone with my nana, and we are discussing a cat that I recently lost to renal failure.)

Me: “She was my soulmate, my gold star.”

Nana: “Huh.” 

Me: “Don’t worry; you’re my silver star.”

Nana: “Oh, thanks. I fall behind a cat.” 

Me: *laughs*

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Brilliant Belching Baby Brothers

, , , , , | Related | March 18, 2020

Last century, my grandad was one of the first people to have a tracheotomy for throat cancer and survive. With it came speech therapy and an alternative way to speak, based on a technique of burping. He was ashamed to do his exercise but quickly found a way around it.

He was taking long walks with his then youngest grandchild, my brother, all the while practicing his speech. Nobody thought it strange as people make all sorts of sounds to babies. As my brother was between six months and a year old, he was at his most receptive for language development and was quick to pick up what my granddad was doing.

One night, in his crib, he was imitating the sounds my granddad made, sounding as if he was choking, scaring my mum and making her rush to him. It took a while before she made the connection and understood what the baby was doing.

And that is the story of how my brother learned to speak at an early age and how, to this day, he can belch upon request.

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I Yam Dead

, , , , , , , | Related | March 2, 2020

(My dear grandfather has died quietly in his sleep of old age. We are hosting a wake for a whole week in my grandparents’ home, hosted by my grandmother. Local custom states that we have an open casket in the living room, which was a bit unnerving at first, but we get used to it. Despite protests from family members, my grandmother insists on being an impeccable host, cooking and serving drinks and snacks to my many, MANY aunts, uncles, cousins, and over a dozen great-grandchildren. I have just been served a homemade local dessert — Ube Roll — as I am chatting with my cousins.)

Me: *takes a bite* “Hmm. I think something is off with this roll.”

Cousin #1: “Yeah, it’s hard as a rock!”

Cousin #2: “I think she might have left it out too long and it’s gone stale.”

Cousin #3: “And it’s really heavy! Did she actually make it with rocks?”

Me: “I can’t eat this.”

(The dessert really is bad; it is basically a paperweight.)

Cousin #1: “Me, neither.”

(We all look around at the many relatives struggling with their “rock cakes.” A few have discretely tried to leave the room with their dessert to “eat it outside,” but Grandmother is keeping a vigil on everyone. Disposal is going to be tricky.)

Cousin #1: “Poor [Grandmother]. She’s been through enough without spending the next few weeks finding half-eaten stale ube roll wedged behind cupboards and hidden in drawers all around the house.”

Cousin #2: “Wait a minute. [Grandmother] served all the great-grandkids first, and they all had empty plates when they ran outside to play. They couldn’t have eaten them, could they? They must have stashed them.”

Me: “But where? I can’t see where.”

(We look around for a while to see if we can find any cleverly-hidden half-eaten cakes but to no avail.)

Cousin #1: “Where could the little idiots have put them? There’s no way they ate them!”

Cousin #3: “Unless…”

(All of us look over towards the open coffin.)

Me: “Oh, no…”

(We slowly approach Grandfather with trepidation. Being the closest, I am silently volunteered to “pay my respects” one more time. I bend down and check the lower half of the coffin, which is closed. I turn back towards my cousins.)

Me: “Well, let’s just say that if Grandfather is accidentally buried alive, he won’t go hungry for a while…”

Cousin #1: “You mean those little b*****ds stuffed their cakes into poor Grandfather’s coffin?!”

Cousin #2: “No wonder all the kids wanted to pay their respects to Grandfather for so long! I was surprised that kids that young would be so thoughtful!”

(Luckily, we were able to remove the evidence without Grandmother noticing. One of us took her upstairs to “reminisce” while the rest of us collected the alarmingly heavy cakes from all the relatives and threw them out without her noticing. Wouldn’t have wanted to see what would have happened had the stash been discovered later on by poor Grandmother!)

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