The Law Is Terrifying

, , , , , | | Learning | May 10, 2019

The current US story about parents buying their kids into colleges reminded me of my days, years ago, as a high school teacher in a small city. One of the students in my class was from a very well-off family and the younger brother of a boy who had been an excellent student. I and his other teachers expected the new member of the family would follow in the same tradition, but it turned out he was just coasting on his brother’s reputation.

One day in his senior year, his science teacher came to me and told me he’d caught the student dead to rights cheating on a test, and asked if I’d had similar problems. I’d had suspicions about some of his essays but nothing I could prove in the days before Internet plagiarism checkers. We weren’t sure what to do next, so we talked to his guidance counselor.

It turned out we weren’t the first to have suspicions. His foreign language teacher was positive he had gotten translations of the work to copy from, and the guidance counselor questioned his SAT scores. When he took the tests at our school his scores were mediocre, but when he took them at another school where he wasn’t known they went up by over 100 points each. The counselor was sure that the student had paid someone to take them for him.

We planned a meeting of all his teachers the next week to decide on a course of action, but on Monday the guidance counselor told us the student was now going to a private school 30 miles away. Not our problem.

The epilogue was that in the spring the young man was accepted into a very good college, not Ivy League but a small step down, later went to law school, and is now an extremely successful attorney with a lucrative practice. I leave it up to you – did we scare him straight or does this say something about lawyers?

If You Get Into An Argument With A Pregnant Woman, You’re Trucked

, , , , , , , | | Legal | May 8, 2019

(It’s been a bad day; my father had a stroke yesterday and is having brain surgery today, and I am nine months pregnant with my third child and just a had a scary meeting with a mean doctor wanting to induce me. I’m stressed, tired, and emotional. I’m sitting in my parked car, gathering my thoughts, when a truck drives past too close and scrapes my car. It keeps driving, so I leap out of the car and wave it down; it’s hard to miss me in my current state. The driver gets out of the car. He looks barely sixteen — not old enough to drive that big a truck.)

Me: “Um, you scraped my car.”

Driver: “Oh, sorry.”

(Due to my state of mind, I don’t remember all the details I am supposed to get. We take a photo of each other’s licenses, which confirms the driver is sixteen, and the damage on my car. I’m trying to be nice because the guy is so young.)

Me: “Okay, well, I hope your day gets better from here.”

Driver: “I don’t know. I’m having a pretty bad day.”

(Thinking of my poor dad and looking at my pregnant tummy, I decide to ignore that, and we part ways. Seconds after he drives away, I realize I don’t have a phone number or the truck’s registration. I call my husband in a panic; he writes a letter to the driver asking for the details and sends it to the address on the license. He quickly receives an emailed response stating the driver “wasn’t at fault that night” — it happened at nine am — and that I had told him I wouldn’t be pursuing the matter — I never did — and he refuses to give the information. We’re at a loss what to do. Without the truck registration, the insurance company will have to charge us excess for the repairs, which we don’t want to pay. The insurance company suggests physically visiting the address or contacting the local police. I go for the latter option and visit the local police station. The police officer takes all the details, then spends ten minutes on her computer and phone before coming back to me.)

Police Officer: “Well, I couldn’t find a phone number for him, but I did find his mum. So I’ve spoken to her and she’s going to have a talk to him.”

(The insurance company had the details within hours. It still makes me chuckle imagining that boy getting a bollocking from his mum for his irresponsibility. In the meantime, my dad made a full recovery and my baby was born without any drama.)

Four-Way Turn Becomes One-Way Nightmare

, , , , | | Legal | May 7, 2019

(I’m heading to pick my daughter up from school when I come to a four-way stop. I stop and wait my turn and then slowly pull into the intersection. The driver on my left also starts to go but not as slowly. I slam on the brakes, but they do not, and they hit me. There’s not much damage. I’m not super angry until I exit the vehicle and the other driver starts to lay into me.)

Driver: “What the f*** do you think you’re doing? Do you not know how a stop sign works?”

Me: *already over this situation* “It was my turn. I went. I’m going to call the police and my insurance company.”

Driver: “You’d better call the police, because if I do you’re going to jail!”

(I sit in my car and call the police, and then call my husband to pick up our daughter. The other driver stands in the road screaming into his phone about the “stupid b****” who destroyed his car. Eventually, the police pull up to the scene.)

Driver: “Thank God! Y’all need to handle this girl; she’s been cussing and causing a scene since she hit me!”

Officer: “She seems calm enough. For now, sir, let me get your details and a statement for the accident report, and then we can get y’all moved out of the road.”

(The driver goes on to tell the officer that I came flying through the stop sign and plowed into his vehicle.)

Officer: “Okay, sir, is that your official statement on how this accident occurred?”

Driver: “Yes! That’s how it happened!”

Officer: “All right, then. [My Name]! Did [Husband] ever install that dash cam he got for you?”

Me: “Yeah, it was on. I just have to load the footage on a computer.”

Officer: “I’ll see if it will work on the one in the car. Is [Husband] already on his way or do you need me to get him on the radio?”

Me: “No, he’s picking up [Daughter]; that’s where I was headed.”

(The other driver started to pale when he realized what was going on. The video footage clearly showed that I’d stopped and that it was my turn to go. It also showed the other driver on his phone when he gunned it into the intersection. I chose not to press charges and let his insurance company deal with him.)

Childish Babino

, , , | | Friendly | May 7, 2019

(My wife and I, while vacationing in Italy, are at the Trevi Fountain among the crowd of tourists. At every tourist site, there are panhandlers and after giving to several beggars I have gotten tired of handing out money. An elderly woman approaches me with her hand out, speaking in Italian, of which I only know a few words. When she sees I am not getting money out she starts her “sales pitch” while giving me a pitiful look.)

Woman: “Bambino ca-a-a-sa.” *drawing out “casa” to sound extra pitiful*

(Shocked that such an elderly woman would have a baby at home, my eyes grow wide.)

Me: *half laughing* “BABINO?”

Woman: *still looking pitiful and holding out her hand with her fingers spread to indicate “five”* “Cinque bambini!”

(I’m even more shocked that such an elderly woman would have FIVE babies at home.)

Me: *laughing* “FIVE BABINI?!”

(She looks mad and leaves. About fifteen minutes later, I am going into a nearby gelato shop and the woman is exiting while eating a double-dip gelato cone. I look at her and hold out my hand with my fingers spread.)


(She gave me a look like she was going to slap me but turned and walked away.)

But They Will Be Laughing For Hours

, , , , , | | Right | May 6, 2019

(I’m working the front at a fast food restaurant with another coworker. After a big rush, a customer comes up saying he didn’t get his order and that he’s been waiting for an hour. I apologize and tell the managers about it. A few minutes later he comes back up and asks again; it’s almost ready. He sits back down at his table with at least ten people and my coworker brings out his food, but not before looking at the time stamp on the customer’s receipt.)

Customer: “Yeah, I waited an hour for this!”

Coworker: “It’s been seventeen minutes.”

(The entire table laughed for a solid minute.)

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