A Staple Of Dad Behavior

, , , , | Related | March 3, 2019

My dad is somewhat notorious for having things happen to him. This story happens when I am away at college, and my mom is out of town, visiting her sister.

My dad needs to get up into the attic space above our garage. He sets up a ladder and lifts the covering. What he doesn’t realize is that one of the far corners has broken off. So, when he lifts the near two corners, the one remaining corner isn’t enough to hold the cover steady. It twists and falls on his head, edge on.

He yells, jumps off of the ladder, and lays down so that if he passes out, he doesn’t fall. My sisters — then something like 17 and 13 — come running out and see Dad lying on the floor of the garage, in a spreading pool of blood, and assume the worst.

They manage to compose themselves enough to get him a towel for his head, clean up the mess, etc. After a few minutes, my dad comes to the conclusion that he does not have a concussion — he’s had them before and knows what they feel like–  and that his head is now only oozing, and therefore he is capable of driving himself to the ER. He does not have a cellphone and refuses to borrow my sister’s.

I get home from a day of classes to see that my sister has posted on Facebook, “My dad cut his head open, and is driving himself to the ER. Please pray.” I also assume the worst, especially since my mom is out of town. I call home in a panic and find out that at least it’s not as bad as I had feared.

He ends up getting several staples in his head until it heals. After this and a few other — thankfully more minor — incidents, we have told him he is not allowed to do any work on the house when my mom is gone.

The only thing about this that annoys him: this happens the day after Halloween, so he has this nasty-looking head wound too late to make a costume out of it.

Five years later, driving yourself to the ER without a cellphone is still a byword for stupidity in our family.

“Just Say No” In The Adult World

, , , , | Friendly | March 2, 2019

(Where I work, when someone on staff has a birthday, we get all the kids together and share a cake. A coworker is a coeliac, while I am just gluten intolerant, so we generally never get any; even on my own birthday they forgot. But this is the worst.)

Coworker: “Hey, did you get any cake?”

Me: “Oh, no, thank you.”

Coworker: “You sure? We have heaps left! A little won’t hurt you!”

Me: “It will actually… I’m gluten intolerant, remember?”

Coworker: “It can’t be that bad! Just a little piece. I don’t want to throw it out.”

Me: “Well, it’s nice going in, but when it comes back out through both ends I really don’t enjoy it that much.”

Coworker: “Wow, that’s too much information. Geeze! I didn’t need to know that.”

Me: “I’m hoping it will get you to stop asking. I am easily tempted by food and it’s hard to say no.”

Coworker: “Then don’t say no!”

Me: “Please go away now.”

Speaking Your Private Parts

, , , , , , | Learning | March 2, 2019

(I’m a girl in year seven — sixth grade — and we’re learning about the reproductive system in biology. Everyone is really embarrassed, which isn’t helped by the fact that our teacher is a 40- to 50-year-old man. Naturally, there are some funny and memorable moments.)

Teacher: *labelling a diagram of the female reproductive system, pointing to the uterus* “Who can tell me what this part is called?”

Male Classmate #1: “Vagina!”

Every Female Student: *cringing*

Teacher: “No.”

Female Friend: “It’s the uterus.”

Teacher: “Correct.” *pointing to cervix on the diagram* “What about this part?”

Male Classmate #1: “Oh, I know this one… Vagina!”

Every Female Student: *cringing more*

Teacher: “No, this is the cervix.” *pointing to vagina on diagram* “Finally, who can tell me what this part’s called? [Male Classmate #1]?”

Male Classmate #1: “VAGINA!”

Every Female Student: *dying of embarrassment*

(Later:)

Teacher: “Now, what about the male reproductive system?”

(The slide changes to a cartoon side view of a penis and testicles.)

Male Classmate #2: “Why do we have to learn about this in front of the girls?”

Female Classmate: “We didn’t complain. We sat through [Male Classmate #1] shouting, ‘Vagina!’ multiple times; why shouldn’t you have to deal with the same embarrassment?”

(Us girls spent the rest of the lesson answering every question with, “Penis?” Even our male teacher thought it was funny.)

Singalongs Make Everything Better

, , , , , , | Hopeless | March 1, 2019

During one of my summer breaks while attending college, I take a job as a summer camp counselor. Part of our weekly program involves performing a short play near the end of the week, and I volunteer to be one of the main characters. All goes well until I catch a bad cold. All the coughing I end up doing hurts my throat and makes my voice sound gravelly. I thankfully am not assigned a group of kids that week, but I don’t have anyone to replace me in the play. I rest my voice up as best I can, and even find a funny in-character reason to explain the way I sound. It works, right up until I have to sing a small solo. When I try to sing, absolutely no sound comes out of my mouth. I start to panic a bit, but the other counselors are quick to pick up on what is happening.

Every counselor in the audience knows this song, because of how much they’ve seen the play. So, when my voice fails me, the song only gets a couple bars in before the counselors all start singing my part for me! They don’t hesitate to cover the other bits of singing my character does, either. I swear it’s something straight out of a feel-good high school movie! Ten years later, and thinking about it still makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Bending Over Backward For Busybodies On The Bus

, , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2019

(When I am fifteen, I am diagnosed with scoliosis, which requires some rather heavy physiotherapy. To prevent the condition from degenerating, I have to wear a back brace that wraps around my torso, paired with an undershirt to prevent it from chafing at my skin. It’s a surprisingly hot day, and after an entire day spent running errands, I am exhausted and soaked in sweat, and I can’t wait to get home so that I can take my brace off for a bit. I get on the bus and sit down on a priority seat. It should be noted that up, until now, nobody has had any issues with me sitting there.)  

Lady: “You shouldn’t be sitting there.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Lady: “Move. They’re for injured and disabled people. You shouldn’t be sitting there.”

Me: “Ma’am, I assure you that I have every right to sit there. Please leave me alone.”  

Lady: “Bulls***! You’re young and healthy. You can sit somewhere else. Now move!”  

(I’m getting fed up.)

Me: “You know what? Fine. You want proof so badly?”  

(I stand up, look right into her eyes, and rap as hard as I can on my brace twice through my shirt, loud enough for her to hear. She blanches, eyes widening. I then turn around and lift up a portion of my shirt, enough to reveal one of the three straps keeping my brace secured. I turn back around, tuck my shirt into place, and sit down.)  

Me: “I have to wear a brace because of my scoliosis. It’s hot out, and having to wear two extra layers doesn’t help. Now, can you please stop being a judgmental a**hole, and go mind your own d*** business?”  

(She shut up, sat down, and refused to look in my general direction for the rest of the ride.)

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