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If The Shoe Fits…, Part 12

, , , , , | Right | August 23, 2020

I work in a children’s shoe store. A male customer wearing a trench coat — not kidding — comes up to me.

Customer: “I’m looking for children’s rain boots.”

Me: “Sure. What size do you need?”

Customer: “Size?”

Me: “They come in different sizes, like adult shoes. How old is the child?”

Customer: “There is no child.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “It’s… for a prototype. I’m making… rain boots… for dogs.”

Me: “Okaaay. Big dogs? Small dogs?”

Customer: “Just bring me the smallest-sized child’s rain boot.”

I go in the back and bring out what he asks.

Me: “That’ll be $6.99.”

Customer: “I only need one.”

Me: “…”

There’s really no way to describe the creepy vibe this guy is giving off. The guy working with me is staring. He will later admit that the customer really creeped him out. The next day the customer returns with his single rainboot.

Customer: “I’d like to return this, please.”

Me: “NO WAY.”

If The Shoe Fits…, Part 11
If The Shoe Fits…, Part 10
If The Shoe Fits…, Part 9
If The Shoe Fits…, Part 8
If The Shoe Fits…, Part 7

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Math Skills! Ooh Ha Ha!

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2020

I am a private tutor. To make math more fun for my students, I often play a modified version of a Pompeii-themed boardgame with them during our lessons. For every question they answer correctly, they get a certain number of moves — depending on the question’s difficulty — to help their pawns escape the city, which gets increasingly consumed by lava as the rounds continue. For every wrong answer, they forfeit their turn and I get to move my pawns instead. The person with the most escaped pawns by the end of the game is the “winner”.

To try to instill a habit of always checking their work, I’ve also created a rule that if they don’t read over their steps or at least double-check the question again when they get to their answer, I get to just take one of their pawns and pop it straight into the volcano in the corner of the board. I am brutal with this and it has worked tremendously well; I don’t usually have to punt a pawn into a volcano more than once or twice before double-checking their work becomes an automatic process. 

I am playing this game with one of my fourth-graders — age nine. After giving him a two-digit multiplication question, I look over and check his answer once he’s finished — and double-checked!

Me: “You missed something in your addition there. Check that last column again.”

Student: “What do you mean?”

Me: “That shouldn’t be a zero. Check it again.”

Student: “No, that’s a nine!”

I take the whiteboard back from him, at which point I can see that he indeed wrote a nine, not a zero; I missed the “tail” of the nine from the angle I was viewing it from and the fact that he’d written the answer right on the edge of the board. But he got the right answer, fair and square.

Me: “Whoops, you’re right. It is a nine. Sorry, I thought that was a zero. My bad.”

Without skipping a beat, the student wordlessly takes one of my pawns off the board, and, without breaking eye contact, puts it straight into the volcano.

Me: “…”

Student: *Deadpan* “You didn’t double-check.”

Okay, kiddo. You win this round!

This story is part of our Best Of August 2020 roundup!

Read the next Best Of August 2020 story!

Read the Best Of August 2020 roundup!

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Attack Of The Man Thing

, , , , , | Right | July 29, 2020

I am in a gift store Christmas shopping and find the perfect T-shirt for my son. It has a picture of a TV remote control on the front and says, “It’s a man thing!” 

Me: *To a saleswoman* “I’d like one of these in an extra-large.”

The saleswoman calls across the busy store to a stock boy.

Saleswoman: “I need a ‘man thing’ in an extra-large!” 

A woman behind me in line speaks up.

Woman: “Don’t we all?” 

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As Soon As You’re In The Country, Everyone ELSE Is An Illegal

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2020

I volunteer for an organization that gives food, clothing, and doctor check-ups for those in need. Keep in mind that we only give food depending on family size to make it fair for everyone. Two women approach the window; they appear to be sisters.

Me: “Hi! Can I see your ticket, please?”

Woman #1: *Gives me the ticket* “Can we have an extra basket of food?”

Me: “I am sorry, but the food we give out depends on family size.”

Woman #1: “But I am an American; I deserve more food than these illegals.”

Me: “I am sorry, but it would not be fair for everyone else.”

Woman #1: “YOU—” *now pointing at me* “—and these illegals are taking away all my food; I want more food!”

[Woman #1]’s sister just stares at her, and then she speaks.

Woman #2: “Remember where you came from.”

[Woman #1] walked away with anger but embarrassment. [Woman #2] took the basket and thanked me.

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Thinking Outside The Box

, , , , , , | Learning | July 19, 2020

I am a private tutor. I’ve given one of my students, a fifth-grader, an exercise which I call “reverse word problems”. The student gets a list of equations, and for each equation, they have to come up with a word problem that could fit the given equation. I am reading the answers he’s written.

Me: “You’re a scientist with four-fifth of a dead cow. You’re in a duplication room and you duplicate two-fifths of it. How much of a cow do you have?”

The equation for this one was “4/5 x 2/5.”

Me: *Laughing* “A… a scientist with a dead cow? Really, kid?”

Student: *Giggles* “Well, obviously. It has to be a dead cow. If you have four-fifths of a cow, how can it possibly still be alive?”

Me: *Pause* “You got me there.”

I keep reading.

Me: “You have one dollar and six friends, and you decide to split the dollar evenly between your six friends. How much of a dollar does each friend get?” *Pause* “Wait a minute; this doesn’t work.”

Student: “Yes, it does.”

Me: “No, think about it. Can a dollar divide into six equal parts?”

Student: *Indignantly* “Yes, it can!”

Me: “Okay, how?”

Student: “You take a pair of scissors and cut the bill into six equal parts!”

Me: “I— Well. That’s…”

The student laughs.

Me: “…genius. Forget I said anything.” 

This kid is going places.

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