She’s Been Watching Too Much “Futurama”

, , , , , | Related | December 22, 2019

(It’s Christmas time. My extended family is holding a get-together, and my sister and I are carpooling there. I end up in the backseat with my nieces, who are four and two. This year, my older niece is old enough to “get” the idea of Santa Claus, and she is excited to tell me what she hopes Santa will bring her. She alternates gift ideas with bits of Christmas songs, sung off-key and missing words. It’s when she switches to singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” that I realize that maybe she doesn’t “get” Santa like we thought she did.)

Niece: *singing* “You better not run, you better not cry. Santa Claus is coming… for you.”

(Clearly, further discussion is needed.)

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The Music Is Not As Off-Putting As Your Stare

, , , | Right | November 15, 2019

(I work in a department store, roughly fifty feet from the cosmetics counters. I’m ringing up a family when the mother comes closer and says:)

Customer: “By the way, I wanted to let you know that the music they play over at the [Famous Cosmetics] counter is really off-putting. It makes me not want to shop around here.” *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “I’m sorry about that. We actually don’t have much say over their music choices, though, since they lease that space from us. You would have to bring that up with their employees.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I don’t want to do that. I just wanted to let you know that the music is a nuisance.” *another expectant look*

Me: “Well, if you talked to the employees about it, they might turn it down while you’re over there. They’re not our employees, and they’re using their own sound system, so you’d want to talk directly to them.”

Customer: “I’m just letting you know how irritating it is to have that playing while you’re trying to shop, and that it drives people away.” *still looks like she’s waiting for something*

Me: “Um… I could get you in touch with the store manager, if you like? He could bring it up to them.”

Customer: “No, that’s not necessary, I just wanted to tell you that it’s difficult for me to shop there while that music is playing.” *gives me another pointed look*

Me: “Okay, ma’am.”

(This must have satisfied her because she and her family finally left. I have no idea what she wanted to accomplish.)

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Jehovah’s Witless: The Musical

, , , , , | Friendly | November 14, 2019

(My house gets a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses. When I leave for college, my parents are politely refusing them, which isn’t working so well. When I come back from college for the winter break, my parents have developed an unusual way to deal with them.)

Witness: “Have you heard of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior?”

Mom: “Oh, come in, come in! I have just made lunch. Are you hungry? You look hungry! Come!”

(The missionaries come in, taking in the traditional Indian furniture and Carnatic music coming from the kitchen.)

Witness: “We’re here to tell you about Jesus–”

Mom: “Eat, no? Have some more! You’re so skinny!”

Witness: “We’re here to tell you about Jesus–”

Mom: “I have heard of this Jesus fellow.” *to my dad* “Dai! Konni Yēsudās karnāṭik pāṭalu vēyaṇḍi!” *to the missionaries* “My husband is putting on some carnatic songs of Yesudas. You know, his name means ‘servant to Christ.’”

Singer: “Manasulōni marmamulu telusukō marirakṣata marakaṭaṅgā nā…”

Dad: “I really love this song. So beautiful. Here, Saint Tyāgarāja is saying, ‘O Emerald-skinned Rāma who protects devotees, please know the trouble in my heart!’ Is it not so poetic? The Śud’dha hindōḷaṁ is such a beautiful raga. It is a pity it is so under-utilised.”

(The missionaries glance at each other. My father goes on and on about the song while my mother continues anxiously feeding them as if they were the ones who just came back from college.)

Singer: “…tyāgarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ sadāśivaṁ śrī tyāgarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ sadāśrayāmi tyāgarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ agarāja yōga vaibhavaṁ rājā yōga vaibhavaṁ yōga vaibhavaṁ vaibhavaṁ bhāvaṁ vaṁ śrī…”

Dad: “Ah, this is another beautiful song. The Ānanda Bhairavi feeling is brought out so beautifully. And the way that Saint Dīkṣitār has repeated the same line with taking out the few syllables at the beginning and created new meanings every time that are still appropriate prayers to Lord Śiva. Superb!”

(He goes on and on like this and the witnesses become ever more anxious. My mother starts mixing the perugu annaṁ to finish the meal.)

Singer: “…ilalō praṇatārti haruḍanucu pērevaridirē śaṅkaruḍani (nīkilalō)…”

Dad: “Another great song. In this song, Saint Tyāgarāja is asking of Lord Śiva why he–”

Witness: “Okay, that’s enough. You know, you really ought to try reading the Bible sometime. You really should. You need Jesus to keep you on the path to Heaven.”

Dad: “No, no! We are perfectly fine with our gods. We shall attain mōkṣa through Śiva, Rāma, Pārvati, Subrahmaṇya, Lakṣmi, Pārvati, and all. And if we fail, we will see you in the heavens. But only for a short while, for we get another chance at it, as well.”

Witness: “Well, thanks for the meal. It was lovely. I do hope you’ll reconsider!”

(One of them now comes round once a month to the nearby Hindu temple to listen to Carnatic music with us!)

Jehovah’s Witless, Part 17
Jehovah’s Witless, Part 16
Jehovah’s Witless, Part 15

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Just A Bit Too Much World

, , , , | Learning | October 28, 2019

(I am in fifth grade. The song “We Are The World” is a big hit. My very flamboyant music teacher has us sing it for the school recital.)

Teacher: “It’s going to be so emotional. We might end up singing the chorus a hundred times! People might break down and cry!”

Me: *thinking* “If we sing this a hundred times, I guarantee people will be crying!”

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It Means The Same Thing In French

, , , , , | Right | October 28, 2019

(I’m a DJ working at a night club. I am white and the man that approaches me is black.)

Customer: “Do you have that Jay-Z and… uh, who else is in that song?”

Me: *hoping he isn’t talking about the song I’m thinking of* “Uh… Kanye West?”

Customer: “YEAH! YEAH! What’s the name of that one?”

Me: “Uh… the Paris one?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t think that’s the full name.”

Me: “I don’t think I can tell you the full name.”

Customer: “Hold on. Let me go ask my buddy.” *walks away and returns shortly after* “Here’s a 20$ for putting you in that situation.”

(The song he was talking about was “N**** In Paris” by Jay-Z and Kanye West.)

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