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At Least A LITTLE Discretion Is Advised

, , , , | Related | September 18, 2021

I am picking up my seven-year-old nephew from school. I ask how his day went since he looks pretty sour, and after a little pressure:

Nephew: “I was reprimanded in music class and told to write to not say swears in the classroom. It’s so unfair!”

Me: “Oh? What did you do?”

Nephew: “I was told to research and present some stuff about my favorite song, things like rhythm and style, and write what it is about, but the teacher got pissed when I sang mine. She didn’t get angry at others!”

I’m puzzled, and sort of not believing what he’s saying, but I figure it’s worth letting him tell the whole story.

Me: “Uh… but what song was it? Do you remember the lyrics?”

Nephew: “It was [Song], and I remember the lyrics! Listen: ‘Australian Aborigines lay down on the ground and, with a roar of fertility, release their c** into the Earth.’”

I freeze, a little startled by the… unusual choice of song, both because the singer it’s from is not the easiest of songwriters to understand, even for adults, because the sound is pretty atypical, and because, well, the lyrics aren’t the most appropriate. I stop close by his home, trying to keep my poker face.

Me: “Do you actually understand what that stanza is saying?”

Nephew: “Yeah! Aboriginal people sometimes lay belly-down on the ground, and then they spray the boys’ seed of life into the Earth.”

Me: “But you know what that seed of life is?”

Nephew: “No… Actually, do you know?”

I pretended to not know, as I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the prospect of explaining ejaculation like that, but I did get to talk with his dad. Apparently, his father — my brother — and his wife had decided to do away with parental control on media as soon as he started grade school… even if it meant having some very awkward talks with teachers about the child’s language and tastes.

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Fluent In English And Jerk

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Chiara699 | September 16, 2021

I’m originally from a small town in Southern Italy, but I study foreign languages — one of which is English — in a big city. During summer holidays, I go back home and occasionally work in different supermarkets giving out free samples of new products. I work for an agency, not for the supermarket, and I rarely work in the same place enough to know where stuff is.

In summer 2019, I am minding my own business, giving out free samples of mozzarella. This guy comes up to me.

Customer: *In English* “Where are the chips?”

He talks VERY slowly, but we rarely get any foreign tourists, so I assume most people he has spoken to didn’t know English very well.

I don’t know where the chips are, so I try to tell him I don’t work here.

Me: “Sorry, I don’t—”

He cuts me off, thinking I am about to say, “I don’t speak English,” turns to his wife, and says something along the lines of:

Customer: “Jesus, do these people even go to school?”

Then, he turns to me and starts describing chips (I think) with his hands. I am starting to get really annoyed. First of all, YOU are in Italy, talking to an Italian in English, being outraged that I don’t speak YOUR language. Second, I do speak English, but you cut me off before I could answer.

Me: “Sir, I know what chips are. I just don’t know where they are located specifically in this store. As you can see from my attire and my badge, I’m not employed by the supermarket. I work for an independent agency. Oh! And I did go to school. I can actually speak five languages. How many can you speak?”

His face turned red. He mumbled something and left. I hope he never found the chips.

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Those Worker’s Hands Worked Their Magic

, , , , | Right | September 15, 2021

My grandmother and mother have always rented out an apartment they own. One day, the old tenants move out, and my father decides to take an interest in the proceedings because the rent barely covers the property expenses. He personally vets the new tenant, a posted worker, and decides he must be all right because he has “rough workers’ hands”.

Everything goes well at first, but after a while, several flags come up. The tenant asks my father for the deposit to cover a family emergency, and when he returns the sum, it’s not in cash but as two IOUs for the same amount. The tenant’s wife moves back to her family and he’s the only one left in the flat.

Despite this, the neighbours occasionally complain about loud noises. When Italian currency is converted from lira to euro, the tenant decides to “round” the 516 euro of the monthly rent to 500 and cover the difference with… lemons.

The lease contract is made so that the landlord can only end it for very specific reasons, and I need the apartment to go and live on my own. The tenant agrees, saying that he was looking for a different flat already as the rent is too high. But months go by and he stays on, giving excuse after excuse for being unable to move out, and saying that I always have my parents’ house — it’s not like I am sleeping under a bridge, am I?

To cut a long story short, when he finally moved out — half a year after the agreed date — he had two months of rent unpaid, not to mention several instances of “lemons”; he owed over 2,000 euros in maintenance fees which my parents had to fork over in his stead; the power was soon cut, meaning that the bills had gone unpaid, as well; and there were five or six rusty bedsprings (including one in a room with no windows), a sign that the tenant was subletting to immigrant workers. Even if they were paying him 100€ each, they would cover the rent, but I’m told the going prices are about three times that.

As a cherry on top, we were left with “smoked” walls, grease stains around the light switches, and someone’s name carved on a door.

It was a while before my boyfriend and I could make the flat fit for living, and a while longer before the other people in the building stopped giving us the stink-eye in the elevator.

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That Prank Is Just Cold

, , , , , | Working | September 14, 2021

We’re in the first hot days of summer, the air conditioning has not been activated yet, and the whole workforce is gasping. I’m visiting a different department — accounting.

Me: “How’s things?”

Accountant: *Puffing* “[My Name], make it cooler!”

Me: “Eh, you wish.” *Looking out of the window* “Did any of you know there’s revenue police just outside our gate?”

Accountant: *Gasps* “WHAT?!”

Me: *Grinning* “Gave you a shiver, did I?”

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Christmas Must Be A Blast With This Family

, , , , , | Related | August 10, 2021

The lockdown has eased a bit and it’s finally possible to visit one’s relatives. My parents have not seen their granddaughter in months, so I bring my daughter along to see them. She does not really like to visit them anymore, because they’re constantly bullying each other, and the more audience they have the worse they become, but I get her to agree to grin and bear it. We’ve just sat down for lunch.

Father: “Jesus Christ, you’re huge. Have you considered cutting your stomach?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Father: “Have you ever thought of cutting your stomach?”

He gestures around his own generous belly.

Me: “Not really. I think three surgeries in my life were enough. Have you ever thought of minding your own f****** business?”

My father splutters in outrage.

Daughter: “MOM! What happened to ‘grin and bear it’?”

Me: “It’s fine, dear. I’m grinning and Grandpa is going to bear it.”

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