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He Took The Initiative And Ran With It

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 13, 2022

I’m playing a Dungeons & Dragons game with a bunch of my friends. For months, we had a Rogue who had insane luck with the dice. He always rolled exceptionally well. It was only a long time later that we found out that he was using sleight of hand to conceal a pair of loaded dice.

Rogue: “In my defence, I’m playing a master thief and assassin. I’ve stolen from banks, escaped from prisons, assassinated our foes, and infiltrated deep behind enemy lines. Using loaded dice in a game shouldn’t be surprising. If anything, it should be obvious.”

There’s a long pause.

Gamemaster: “Well, I can’t argue with that.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s actually a good point.”

Warrior: “All in favour?”

All were in favour.

The Spirit Of A Grandma Never Dies

, , , , , , , | Related | December 11, 2022

In Buddhism, on the forty-ninth day after death, a person’s soul begins the cycle of reincarnation, and on the 100th, it is reborn into the world. As such, on my grandmother’s 100th day, the whole family gathers to perform the traditional rites.

We bring offerings of food and drink to the grave, light incense, say prayers, and burn paper money and ingots so that the deceased may have more wealth in their next life.

Me: “Why is there toothpaste and a toothbrush on the grave?”

Aunt: “Oh, it’s because last night, I had a dream about Grandma. She told me not to forget the toothpaste.”

Me: “…”

Aunt: “…”

Me: “Yeah, I can totally see her doing that.”

Aunt: “I know, right? She was even wagging her finger like she always does!”

I guess Grandma really didn’t want to have dentures again in her next life.

By The Skin Of A Dragon’s Teeth

, , , , , , | Related | October 13, 2022

My paternal grandmother, God rest her soul, was a very traditional Chinese lady. She was super excited when Mom got pregnant with me. Not only was I the eldest son of her eldest son — which was already a big deal to her — I was slated to be born in the Year of the Dragon, which most East Asian cultures consider an auspicious year.

As such, my grandmother went out of her way to splurge and buy a lot of dragon jewellery for me, all made from solid gold.

But then, my expected due date came and passed. An entire week went by, and my Mom didn’t go into labour. The Year of the Dragon was fast ending, and the Year of the Snake was just two or three days away.

My grandmother promptly began panicking, very vocally, that all her dragon jewellery would go to waste.

Thankfully, on the twenty-third of January, 2001 — the very last day of the Year of the Dragon — I finally decided to come into the world, sparing my grandmother the need to redo the jewellery.

My mom has since joked that I’ve been oversleeping since the womb.

Oh, My God, It’s Ethan Hawke!

, , , , , | Friendly | December 12, 2021

I was on a business trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and one morning I was down in the hotel restaurant having breakfast. I was sitting at a table by myself when this group of four or five little old ladies came in and sat down nearby.

One of them came over to me and started asking me something, but she was speaking Chinese, which I don’t understand. She was gesturing at one of the chairs, so at first, I assumed she was asking if she could take it over to her table, and I tried to gesture back and say, “Please go ahead.”

But then she brought out her cell phone and started miming taking a photo, and I realized she must want me to take a picture of her and her friends!

I nodded yes and was about to get up and go over to their table when, suddenly, the lady handed her phone to her friend, pulled out a chair to sit down next to me, and started posing for the camera! And she and all her friends proceeded to take turns getting a photo with me. 

I was incredibly confused but just smiled and went along with it. Then they thanked me and went back to their table. 

I’ve never been told I look particularly like any celebrity, and I’m definitely not the kind of exotic “foreign”-looking white person that might get a lot of attention in Asia — I was certainly not the only non-Asian person in that hotel! — but I can only assume they must have mistaken me for… someone.

I definitely got a kick out of the thought that, for whatever reason, meeting me made these little old ladies’ day!

Extended Family Extending Your Confusion

, , , , | Related | August 2, 2021

My father is trying to get me to remember his aunt, whom I haven’t seen since I was ten. My father’s branch of the family migrated into a different country before I was born, and we only really meet up with the rest of the extended family once a year during the family reunion. And after my grandparents died, we stopped attending these get-togethers.

Father: “She’s married to [Uncle].”

Me: “I know the name, but not the face.”

Father: “The GP.”

Me: “The one with the big house?”

Father: “I don’t know if the house was big?”

Me: “Okay, the one with the exercise equipment downstairs?”

Father: “Uh, I don’t remember.”

Me: “The one with chocolates downstairs?”

Father: “That’s an even worse description! No, he was [Cousin #1]’s father.”

Me: “Who?”

Father: “[Cousin #2]’s father, as well. You went to his wedding in Greece.”

Me: “That was when I was six. I don’t remember.”

Father: “He’s [Cousin #3]’s father. You know, [Cousin #3]’s wedding was the other year.”

Me: “Wait, the twins?”

Father: *Relieved* “Yes, the twins. [Cousin #3] and [Cousin #4]. [Aunt] is their mother.”

Me: “You should have just said that from the get-go.”

Father: “How do the twins get remembered so easily and not their more successful brothers? They’re unremarkable and air-headed bimbos.”

Me: “Are you seriously asking why a ten-year-old boy found his hot twin cousins more interesting than two stuffy, nerdy men?”

Father: *Totally serious* “Yes!”