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Trust An Editor: Literacy By College Is Not Guaranteed

, , , , , | Related | January 17, 2023

I was watching my niece, who was in either kindergarten or first grade.

Me: “I think one of the most fun times in my life was college. I finally got to meet a lot of other geeks like me.”

Niece: “I don’t want to go to college.”

Me: “Oh, but college is great! Why don’t you want to go?”

Niece: “Because they would force me to learn to read!”

Me: “Trust me; you’ll be reading long before then — and probably loving it, too, going by your genetics.”

Niece: “Oh.”

My niece is now in fourth grade and reading books well above her grade level for fun.

Though come to think of it, I haven’t checked what her thoughts on college are lately.

That Particular Vessel Was Aptly Named

, , , , , , , , , , | Related | January 16, 2023



After a short hospital stay, my brother unexpectedly dies. Of course, we are devastated, but we know that we need to clear out his apartment of a few things right away. He owned several guns, and we think those should be secured before we move on to other things.

Some family members and I go through his two-bedroom apartment looking for as many of them as possible. He was a bit of a hoarder, and his extra bedroom is stuffed with things. We manage to find most of the guns right away, but I discover something unusual in the bedroom closet.

A pot-bellied stove.

I don’t have time to dwell on it, but it comes up later when my mom is asking about the apartment. She says the stove was actually something that my dad had purchased at an estate sale (he was notorious for buying random things) and my brother’s live-in girlfriend at the time saw it and wanted to turn it into a planter. That didn’t happen, and into the closet it went and probably hadn’t been thought about in years.

Cut to a few days later when we have the time to really clean everything out and I’ve emptied the closet except for the stove. It dawns on me to check if there’s anything inside. I reach in, feel a plastic bag, and pull it out.

And it’s full of marijuana.

I knew he smoked when he was younger, and he told me he hadn’t for a long time. Or maybe it was his girlfriend’s before they split up. Either way, it had been forgotten. But it did provide a humorous story to tell at his visitation.

Because what else would you expect to find in the belly of a pot-bellied stove but pot?

Next Time, Take Mom For A Walk, Too

, , , , , , , | Related | January 15, 2023

The year is 2020, and you know what that means: lockdown! I am supposed to be taking the LSAT (test for law school admissions) and, due to the global health crisis, it’s to be taken at home. I instruct my parents to not make a peep as I need to concentrate.

My parents assure me that they will be quiet and are more worried about my dog, who hates being locked out of a room without me. My dad takes her on a walk so I can have some peace and quiet, but little do I know, my dog isn’t the problem.

After I’m all finished, I go confront my mother.

Me: “What the f*** were you thinking?!”

Mom: “What did I do?”

Me: “How many years have we told you to not do the dishes in the morning as it’s loud as h*** and would always wake us up? So, you decide the perfect time is literally during the hardest section! Then, you were running up and down the hallway for some reason!”

Mom: “I’m sorry, I didn’t think I was that loud.”

Dad: “I thought we agreed to stay downstairs until she was done?”

Mom: “I wanted to dye my hair and do some laundry, though!”

Me: “Seriously, though, at one point I asked if it would be okay to yell at you to shut up but was denied.”

He Wants To Use His Hands Because His Mother Doesn’t Use Her Mind

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 14, 2023

I started my career as a manual machinist, and making things has always been my passion. Since then, I’ve done well for myself financially and have built myself an admittedly pretty extensive home workshop. I have a refurbished Bridgeport knee mill, a large metal lathe, surface grinders, and several other tools that would be typical in a well-equipped machine shop.

I have a nine-year-old son who thinks all of Dad’s big fancy tools are fascinating. Obviously, he’s not allowed in the workshop unsupervised and knows not to try to run any of the machines. Everything is kept locked if I am not there, but he knows how all the machines work and is very proud of that.

One night, [Son] has a friend stay over, and he wants to show his friend the tools. Everything is turned off and I am with them, so I let [Son] show [Friend] around. He walks [Friend] through what all the machines do and how you would use them (as well as a nice lecture about shop safety).

Once he’s done, we go have pizza, the boys spend the evening playing video games, and I don’t give it a second thought until the next morning when [Friend]’s mother comes to pick him up.

She storms up to me.

Mother: “What the h*** is wrong with you?! You have no right to endanger my son like that! He had no business around those tools!”

Now, I know that small children are prone to exaggeration, so I figure [Friend] oversold what all was involved.

Me: “All I did was show your son around my shop. None of the machines even had power. He didn’t touch anything; it was just a show and tell.”

Mother: “I don’t care! You put ideas in his head! My little [Friend] risked life and limb, and now he wants to use those blasted things! He is too smart to use his hands!

Me: “Well, I guess we have different levels of respect for people that work with their hands.”

I left it at that as I didn’t think either of us would change the other’s mind.

She Gives Teenage Girls A REALLY Bad Name

, , , , , , , , , | Romantic | January 13, 2023

My husband and I usually spend Thanksgiving with a close friend instead of going to our families’ homes. This year, our friend’s fifteen-year-old son invited his girlfriend, also fifteen. She is about as mentally stable and secure as most fifteen-year-old girls. She thinks [Son] should only do things they can do together, he should always hold her hand, and he should absolutely never talk to any other women.

As the only woman at the meal that [Son] is not related to, I am obviously a threat and she treats me as such. I was seventeen when [Son] was born and babysat him a lot growing up, so we are pretty close, but I’ve never looked at him as a prospective boyfriend.

I stopped drinking several months ago because of a complication with one of my medications, so I have been trying out different non-alcoholic substitutions. I bring a four-pack of this substitution to the gathering and put it in the garage. [Son] and [Girlfriend] are sitting out there by themselves. [Girlfriend] sees me and starts crawling in [Son]’s lap and trying to kiss his neck.

Me: “Hi there.”

Girlfriend: “Bye there.”

She waves me off.

Me: “What’s going on?”

She sits back in her seat and glares at me while [Son] gives me a fist bump and laughs.

When the meal is ready, we are all seated at the table. [Girlfriend] strolls in last, drinking one of my non-alcoholic beers and looking right at me.

Friend: “[My Name]…?

Me: “Yeah, that’s mine. What are you doing, [Girlfriend]?”

Girlfriend: “It’s not real beer, so it’s not illegal.”

Friend: “It’s also not polite to help yourself to things that aren’t yours.”

[Girlfriend] shrugs and keeps drinking.

Son: “Sorry, [My Name]. I’ll give you some cash for it.”

Girlfriend: “Why?”

Son: “Because you just stole that!”

Me: “Let’s just eat.”

Girlfriend: “It’s basically soda, anyway.”

[Girlfriend] chugs the rest of the drink. I don’t know if you know what happens when you down a carbonated beverage in a few seconds, but [Girlfriend] learns. She burps so loud, I think her throat is sore. [Son] laughs out loud and [Girlfriend] glares at me.

Throughout the meal, [Girlfriend] continues intercepting dishes as I ask for them, talking over me, and just being a classic mean girl.

When dessert comes, I bring out my pies and set one at each end of the table. When they come to her, [Girlfriend] picks one up and shouts. The glass plate lands on the floor upside-down.

Girlfriend: *With mock sadness* “Oh, no! It was too hot.”

The pies have been cooling for several hours by this point and are not hot at all. I’ve had enough, but I’m not going to yell.

Me: “That’s why grownups touch hot plates and children wait their turn. Go get—”

Girlfriend: “I’m not a child!”

Me: “Go get some towels to clean up.”

Girlfriend: “Kiss my a**, you ugly whore.”

Friend: “Hey! Absolutely not! You can go call your mom and have her pick you up.”

Girlfriend: “F*** you, too! This b**** is—”

Son: “Shut up!”

Girlfriend: “What?”

Son: “Go home.”

[Girlfriend] leaves the table and is picked up a few minutes later. Her mother is apologetic. It sounds like [Girlfriend] is a terror at home, too. As they leave, [Girlfriend] looks out the car window and waves, tears streaming down her face. [Son] turns away and walks back inside. We can hear (Girlfriend) screaming down the block.

Son: “When are girls less crazy?”

Me: “Ohhhh… probably a ten-year minimum.”

Son: “Oh, my God!”