Say Aloha To This Class

, , , , , | | Learning | July 7, 2019

I started college in 2001. My first semester was when the infamous 9/11 terrorist attack occurred. I remember being very distracted for obvious reasons that morning but still went to a nine am nutrition class, where surprisingly, the professor still held a lecture. I don’t even remember what she said, as we were all listening to events unfolding as news was posted. Later, the campus was evacuated due to safety protocols. 

Later that year, my father decided to surprise us and take the family on vacation to Hawaii! We were all very excited, and we planned to leave the week before Christmas. As this would be my finals week, I worked out alternatives with all my professors. All were happy to accommodate this, which was very kind…

…except for the nutrition professor. Her answer was no. Unless I was there for the day of the final, there was nothing I could do. I told her I understood, and that without the final I would have a B, which was more than fine with me. She kept repeating that my grade would drop if I wasn’t there as if I somehow didn’t understand this. I kept repeating that I was accepting of this outcome and was going to Hawaii. She was furious that my priority was to spend time with my family rather than in her class which I only took because it was a general requirement.

Go figure, lady. Your class isn’t more important than my holiday or terrorist attacks.

Being Very Frank About Spoilers

, , , , , | | Right | June 27, 2019

(I am a volunteer guide at Anne Frank’s Museum for Human Rights. The first room is a timeline with pictures and important events of both Anne Frank’s life and World War II. My job is to guide the visitors through the timeline, expanding on the historical context and Anne’s personal experience. We are almost at the end when a visitor interrupts my explanation.)

Visitor: “STOP! Stop, stop. Don’t go on. I haven’t finished the book yet; you were about to tell me how it ends!”

Me: *speechless*

Visitor: *noticing the pictures of the family, along with the descriptions of how each of them died* “OH, MY GOD, this place is full of spoilers!”

(I never saw him again. I want to believe he is already reading newspapers from the ‘60s, still complaining about spoilers on the course of history. SPOILER ALERT: Hitler lost the war.)

Pioneering Talking Back To A Customer

, , , | | Right | June 8, 2019

(I’m answering phones for our customer service when I get this call.)

Customer: “My dishwasher isn’t working properly. Can you send service out today?”

Me: “Well, we can definitely send service out, but it might be a day or two to get service out since they have a schedule.”

Customer: “Well, that is simply unfair! How am I supposed to wash my dishes? Do you think the pioneers just washed their dishes in the river?!”

Me: *a history major* “Actually, the pioneers used washing basins, which is basically the same as your sink.”

(She then went on a rant for five minutes about correcting her before hanging up. Well, if you’re going to use an analogy from history, get it right! Some good old hard work from washing dishes in the sink might make her appreciate the pioneers more, anyway.)

Both Ham-Fisted And Half-A**ed

, , , , , | | Legal | May 25, 2019

This happened in the post-war years after the second World War when food was still rationed. Especially in the border regions, there was a lot of smuggling going on and police and customs were on the lookout. A common practice was to make people suspected of smuggling butter comfortable next to the stove… until the butter melted.

My grandparents took a trip to visit old friends when the bus was boarded by officials on the search of contraband. There was a heavy-set farmer’s wife on the bus and she was asked — rather rudely — what she was sitting on.

Defiantly, and in the local slang, she pointedly replied, “My two hams.” The bus erupted in laughter, and police and customs exited the bus without much further poking around. When they left, she sighed, said, “Finally,” and retrieved… two hams from under her buttocks.

More laughter ensued.

Pancakes In Human Form

, , , , , | | Friendly | May 12, 2019

My grandmother told this story several times. She was born in the 1920s and survived World War 2 with her family intact — as far as she let us know, anyway. One of her favourite stories is when she and her older sister were sent out for food during the dire Hunger Winter of 1945.

She and her sister were sent out to several farms for food. The first farm had pity on them and the nice farmer wife decided to treat these poor hungry ones to some delicious pancakes! My grandmother and her sister were delighted and they ate as much as they were offered. Then, they continued their journey.

The next farm also offered a bit of food for home and those farmers had pity on the young girls as well. The farmer’s wife decided to give them something delicious: egg pancakes — more eggs than normal pancakes. My grandmother and her sister did not want to be rude, and ate as much as they could. They thanked the couple for the meal and went to their last stop, a family member’s farm, at which they would also spend the night.

“You poor things; you look famished! But I made something special for you: bacon pancakes!”

My grandmother and her sister did not dare to tell the truth and yes, again, ate as much as they could. They spent the night on the outhouse as a tag-team and they overheard their family members discussing how rude they were! Even after they confessed the truth, they were still considered “the rudest Choosing Beggars” — even by their parents! — as we’d call it nowadays.

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