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ABBAtar: The Way Of Waterloo

, , , , , , , , | Right | January 13, 2023

It is the day before the “Avatar” sequel, “Avatar: The Way Of Water”, is released, so our cinema is very quiet, having had no big new releases for a while. This allows a coworker and me the rare opportunity to have a quick chat between tasks.

In London at this time, there is a show called “ABBA Voyage”. It’s a concert of ABBA songs, using clever technology to recreate what the band members looked like in the late seventies, employing virtual recreations using motion capture. My coworker attended this concert last night and I am asking them about it.

A customer is also in our lobby reviewing the film times.

Coworker: “It was amazing! Gotta love those songs!”

Me: “And how did they look?”

Coworker: “The technology is really clever! You’d think they were really there. They call them virtual Avatars, but apparently, everyone calls them ABBAtars.”

Me: “What was your favourite song?”

Coworker: “It’s a toss-up between Thank You For The Music and Dancing Queen.”

The customer approaches us.

Customer: “Sorry to interrupt, but I couldn’t help overhearing. Did they turn Avatar into a musical?!”

Coworker: “What… No! We’re talking about—”

Customer: “Because if they did, then they’ve ruined it! Why does everything have to be a musical these days?!”

Coworker: “No, sir, it’s not the movie Avatar—”

Customer: “It was bad enough the first movie made the humans the bad guys, but now they’ve put songs in it? It’s becoming a happy-clappy hippie movie!”

With that, he storms off, apparently satisfied that his rant was heard, ignoring our attempts to explain the difference. My coworker looks at me with a “Did that just happen?” face.

Me: “You know, I’d love to see a tribe of super tall blue cat people put on a performance of Mamma Mia.”

I Ain’t Afraid Of No School Children!

, , , , , , , | Learning | January 1, 2023

I’m a substitute school bus driver, filling in for my full-time coworkers when they get ill, take a vacation, drive a field trip, or are absent for whatever reason. Most students don’t really care as long as I get them to where they’re supposed to go, and they simply get on without comment beyond perhaps, “Is this [Route]?”

One bright spring day, though, an elementary student got off the bus with a wave and a big, friendly smile.

Student: “Thanks for the ride! Your hair is so pretty! I love it!”

I smiled and thanked her.

Student: “You look like a Ghostbuster!”

Me: *Confused* “Th-thank… you?”

She nodded confidently.

Student: “It’s a compliment.”

I was too confused to ask for further clarification as she skipped down the road to her home.

I’m a white woman with dark, curly/wavy hair and a body type between Sigourney Weaver and Melissa McCarthy, so maybe she meant one of them? I’d be happy with either. I just hope she didn’t mean I look like Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, or Harold Ramis.

It May Be A Bit Early To Start Explaining Multiverses

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 31, 2022

I am an avid collector of “Transformers” figures. My best friend and roommate’s son, who is five, frequently comes down to the basement to gaze in wonder at the ever-growing robot army. Optimus Prime is his favorite character, and he knows exactly what Optimus normally looks like, so when he notices an Optimus figure I have that isn’t red, blue, and white as Optimus typically is, he becomes curious.

Roommate’s Son: “Why is that Optimus the wrong colors, and why are his eyes red?”

The figure he’s referring to is Optimus Prime from a series called “Transformers: Shattered Glass”, which effectively reversed the factions, so the Autobots were evil and the Decepticons were the heroes. As such, this particular Optimus Prime — an evil version of himself — is light gray and dark purple and has red eyes, whereas Optimus’s eyes are usually blue or occasionally yellow.

Me: “Because that Optimus is from a series where Optimus wasn’t a good guy.”

Roommate’s Son: *Suddenly distressed* “OPTIMUS PRIME WAS AN A**HOLE?!”

Death By Snoo Snoo!

, , , , , | Right | December 30, 2022

Back in the days of video rental stores, I had this exchange with a customer. A trailer for one of the many Iraq War movies was playing on some of the screens. The trailer included a scene where a prisoner was being waterboarded by some shady government types.

A customer was staring up at the trailer and then started speaking to me. My manager was standing next to me but didn’t immediately interact.

Customer: “I wonder if that kind of thing actually works?”

Me: “What kind of thing?”

Customer: “When they motorboat the prisoners to get them to talk.”

Me: “When they… what now?”

Customer: “When they motorboat the prisoners to get them to talk. You know, like that.” *Points at the TV*

Me: “That’s… not what that is called.”

Customer: “What did I say?”

Me: “Motorboating.”

Customer: “What was I supposed to say?”

Me: “Waterboarding.”

Customer: “What’s the difference?”

Me: “Well, one is torture, and one is… not.”

Manager: “But both can suffocate you if you do it for too long!”

Toughman Versus Racist: A Foregone Conclusion

, , , , , , , , | Right | December 30, 2022

I’m in a sports bar, and playing on one of the screens is a show called “Toughman Contest.” The premise is novice amateur boxers competing against each to test their skills.

One of the contestants is a Black man in magnificent physical shape with amazing brute strength, plowing his opponents over like a tank and scoring knockouts in the first minute. It’s amazing that boxing promoters aren’t beating this guy’s door down!

A trio of guys is standing next to me, watching as well. One of them speaks up.

Guy: “Bulls***! Put the [racist slur] up against an in-shape and well-trained white guy and let’s see how long he’d last! Guarantee you, it’d be over by the second round!”

Me: “How about you step in the ring with him, call him that to his face, and see how long you’d last?!”

Other Patron: *Chiming in* “Guarantee you, it’d be over by the second punch!

Other patrons glared at the guy. It quickly became obvious that they’d just made a frosty environment for themselves; they took the cue to quietly slink over to a table in the back and shut up for the rest of the time they were there.