How Some People Become Train-Wreck Parents Is A Real Puzzle

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2020

(I am working at a puzzle store; it’s like a toy store just with a lot of puzzles, though we do sell a lot of toy trains. To help selling them in a store not meant to sell trains, we put some in the middle of the store so customers’ children can play. The train set can be seen clearly from outside the store — we are small — and for a lot of parents, that is a sign for free childcare.

It is almost closing time, which is 11:00 pm. It’s mostly empty at this time at the mall, and my store is empty completely. The lights are already off, trains aren’t moving, and I’m just about to close the register when a woman and a little child enter the store.)

Me: “Hello, can I help you? I’m about to close, but the register is still open if you know what you want.”

Woman: *ignores me, talking to her four-year-old child* “Just stay here and play with the trains.”

Me: “I’m sorry, you can’t lea—”

(She leaves mid-sentence, completely ignoring me. I feel a little worried about the child in the mall alone, but he also doesn’t make a mess, so I let him be and continue with closing. Mall security comes just before I leave every day, so I plan to just pass him to them after I close. The kid only lasts for a minute or so, though, and walks out of the store alone. At this time, my dad is already here to drive me home, and we both see a strange man getting close to the kid. We can also hear what he is saying:)

Strange Man: “Hey there, where is your mom? I can’t see her… Maybe you want to come and wait for her with me?”

(My dad sits next to the child and asks the man how he is; he doesn’t know how to answer so my dad tells him to leave. I see the woman walk out from the clothing store next door and watch my dad tell the man off. She waits a bit until the man leaves and only then comes running to her child, snatching him and starting to yell.)

Woman: “Who the h*** do you think you are?! This is my child!”

Dad: “I’m sorry, he was alone and that man was trying to take him. Was he your husband?”

Woman: “I don’t know him and I don’t know you! How dare you talk to my child?!”

Me: *coming over* “You left your child alone in my store; you should be thankful we watched him, saved him from that stranger, and didn’t call the police!”

Woman: “It’s your job! You were supposed to watch him!”

Me: “Actually, I was supposed to call the police, and I did call the security to come get him.”

(Right on time, the nice security guy came my way, and even waved at me to say hello. The woman took her shopping in one hand and the child the second and RAN away.)

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Massaging The Truth To Make Them Happy

, , , , | Right | January 13, 2020

(I’m new at this massage clinic. A regular comes in and informs me that she has chronic lower back pain. I proceed to work on her, and after our time is up, she approaches the receptionist, aka my boss.)

Boss: “How was your treatment?”

Patient: “It was all wrong. I don’t know what he was doing, but this was no massage.”

Boss: “I’m sorry to hear that, but you see, different masseurs have different techniques and…”

Me: “How’s your back pain, ma’am?”

Patient: “Well, it’s gone, but again, this was no proper massage! I’ve been coming here twice a month for years, and I’ve never received this kind of… whatever it was! Every other masseur has done it properly!”

Me: “And was the pain gone after any of those previous treatments?”

Patient: “No, but what does that have to do with it? This was not a proper massage!”

(The boss and I exchanged meaningful glances.)

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The Shanghai Express To Berlin

, , , , , | Learning | January 7, 2020

(A student, a well-dressed woman who appears to be in her fifties, approaches our circulation desk.)

Woman: “I need information about this German woman, her name is Marlene something…”

Me: “Marlene Dietrich?”

(I’m a bit surprised, though, as this college doesn’t teach anything related to cinema.)

Woman: “No, actually, not Marlene, maybe something like Mark…”

Me: “Angela Merkel?”

Woman: “Yes!”

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We Know What He Likes More Than He Does  

, , , , | Right | December 16, 2019

(I work at a sex shop in Israel. In Israel, the word “gay” as a synonym to “homosexual” hasn’t sunk in among the elderly. An elderly customer walks in looking for a DVD. I see he has picked up a gay film.)

Me: “Erm, sir, this is a gay film.”

Elderly Customer: “What’s a gay film?”

Me: “Homosexuals, you know.”

Elderly Customer: “Well, I’ll give it a shot.”

Me: “Are you sure, sir?”

(He starts to get agitated.)

Elderly Customer: “Sure! I know what I like! You think you know me better than me?!”

Me: “All right, sir, whatever you’d like.”

(The next day, I see him again.)

Elderly Customer: “What the f*** is wrong with this film? There are only men in it!”

(How he missed that, considering the very detailed cover, is beyond me.)

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War Is A Cartoon Joke

, , , , , | Learning | December 9, 2019

(I live in Israel where military service is mandatory and there’s no shortage of conflicts. But as a mostly non-political cartoonist, I tend to stay away from this subject when drawing, except for this one time. I am sitting in the house of a thirteen-year-old kid to whom I am giving private lessons in illustration. While he works on the comic I assigned him to draw, I sit down to work on my own comic series, which is about stories from my life. He leans over and reads the page I’m working on. It talks about me preparing to get on a bus and head to fight in a war.)

Student: “You were in a war?”

Me: “Yeah.”

(He takes a moment to process this, since this isn’t something I typically talk about, nor do I look like much of a typical “fighter.”)

Student: *now poking my shoulder with his stylus* “I’m just imagining you walking up to enemies on the battlefield and kind of… poking them with your drawing pen.”

(I stare at it for a moment before turning my sight back to my drawing.)

Me: “You’re joking, but I’ll have you know it was a pretty aggressive war.”

Student: *immediately looks regretful and withdraws the stylus* “S-Sorry.”

Me: “We lost a lot of–”

Student: *interjecting with guilt* “I apologize.”

Me: “–good pillows that day.”

(It was silent for a moment. Even though I was not looking directly at him he was glaring at me so hard I could basically feel it on the side of my head. He got up, threw his hands and stylus in the air, and noped out of the room as I burst out laughing.)

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