Pouring Cream Into Your Coffee And Into Their Lives

, , , , | Working | December 30, 2019

(I’m an American on vacation in England. This isn’t an experience of rudeness, just a strange moment.)

Me: “Hi, may I have a filter coffee with cream?”

Barista: “Like… whipped cream?”

Me: “Oh, no, I think it’s called pouring cream? Or half cream? I’m so sorry, I’m not completely sure, but in the US we call it half and half.”

Barista: *slowly, as if I may be from another planet* “You want pouring cream in your coffee?!”

Me: “Um, yes, if you have it.”

Barista: “Wow, okay.”

(Several moments later…) 

Barista: *as she hands me my coffee* “This looks so good! I’m gonna have to try it!”

Me: “Okay… well, I hope you like it!”

(I actually had a version of this interaction four times while I was there. This was the weirdest one.)

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Making Them Mad(rid)

, , , , , | Legal | December 28, 2019

(I rejoin a website that is for language learners. I have a couple of people say hello. One introduces himself as the head of a large bank in Dubai. My profile indicates that I am fluent in English and learning Spanish. His says he’s fluent in Arabic and is learning Turkish. His profile picture reveals that he’s a whiter shade of pale than even I am. On a whim, I do a Google search for his name and the bank. He turns up in every legitimate place a man in his position would be in: LinkedIn, Facebook, the list of the directors for the named bank, and high-profile interviews in business magazines. But I already know what’s coming even before I find the website describing a scam where someone claims to be him. I’m ready when this line comes through:)

Scammer: “Bien. Tengo una propuesta de negocios para usted que será de gran beneficio para nuestras dos familias, ¿qué dice?” *Good. I have a business proposal for you that will be of great benefit to our two families. What do you say?*

(Before his text arrives at my computer, I have already visited a gibberish website and pasted in a few paragraphs from a Spanish business news website and generated some Spanish gibberish:)

Me: “Casa de trabajo hasta la residencia de la jornada, añadieron las Palmeras, saludando a quienes estaban allí, y para iniciar sus actividades se irán conociendo el aire acondicionado de su domicilio en el titular de la madrugada de hoy y, en una agenda de hoy no finalizaron.” *Work house until the residence of the day, added the Palmeras, greeting those who were there, and to begin their activities they will know the air conditioning of their home in the holder of the early hours of today and, in an agenda today they finished.*

(He launches into his whole spiel after that. It’s the old Nigerian banking scam in a different guise. After he gets a few more garbage lines from me, he doesn’t reply.)

Me: “Estas allí?” *Are you there?*

(Yup. Gone. I can’t stop them, but I can have fun making them miserable.)

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Music Grants Humanity

, , , , , | Learning | December 28, 2019

(We are in choir class going over new music. The teacher asks what language it is in.)

Half The Class: “English.”

Me: *halfway through* “Human.”

(I began to turn red. Everyone laughed, and now I am never going to live it down.)

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Swipe Left! Swipe Left!

, , , | Right | December 27, 2019

(I am working stock throughout the store, somewhat relaxed, as I am approached by an elderly Italian man who doesn’t know much English. This is very common, but not usually this interesting.)

Customer: “Hello, uh… uh, the tissue?” *gestures to ask where*

Me: “Yep, just this way.”

(I show him where the tissues are located.)

Customer: “Ah, no, no, the other?”

Me: “Oh, umm, toilet tissue?”

Customer: “No, no, the tissue for… for the lady?”

(He gestures haphazardly towards his crotch with a wiping motion, at which point I assume he either means ladies’ pads or vaginal wipes.)

Me: “Ooh, okay, next aisle.”

(I had a coworker, a Sri Lankan guy who loves a good laugh, who sort of got in on helping the customer at this point. I gestured to the women’s hygiene section. The customer, now almost distraught but not annoyed, spouted a classic, “Oh, mamma mia! No, no, mamma mia!” at which point the Sri Lankan coworker cracked up and I was suddenly called over the intercom to help on registers. Apparently, he wanted some form of facial tissues, which were right next to all the ladies’ hygiene even though they aren’t exactly ladies only. Still, don’t know why he gestured towards his crotch with a wiping motion.)

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Pow! What A Museum!

, , , , | Friendly | December 23, 2019

(My friend is coming to stay with me for a long weekend and we are going to tour the sites in Washington DC. We had initially planned to walk around the different monuments at the Capitol Mall the first day, but I check the weather forecast and learn that there is a high chance of rain. I decide to text my friend and suggest checking out one of the Smithsonian museums on our first day, but autocorrect has a different plan.)

Me: “It’s going to rain tomorrow. How about instead of the monuments, we go see the smut onomatopoeia?”

(I hit send.)

Me: “Uh… I meant the Smithsonian museum.”

Friend: “Haha, sure, that sounds good.”

Me: “What the heck is a smut onomatopoeia?”

Friend: “I have no idea.”

Me: “I’m guessing it’s a wet, squishy sound.”

Friend: “Ew!”

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