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Two’s Company, The Whole Family Tree’s A Crowd

, , , , , , | Romantic | September 8, 2020

Shortly after finishing college, a boy I am dating invites me to spend a week in New York City with his family. It falls over our three-year anniversary, so he promises to take me out for a fancy dinner.

I am so excited! I pack a suitcase and drive to his house, expecting to see their minivan packed with bags and everyone getting ready to go. What I see, instead, is a bunch of vehicles parked in the yard and a bunch of people going back and forth between the house and the largest vehicles — mostly two fifteen-passenger vans.

My boyfriend comes out to greet me. 

Boyfriend: *Sheepishly* “Hey. Uh, so, you can say you don’t want to go if you don’t. I totally get it.”

Me: “What is… I thought this was a family thing?”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, but then [One Of His Brothers] found out you were going, so he wanted to take his girlfriend. And [Aunt] and [Uncle] wanted to come, but they have to bring their kids. It kind of… blew up?”

I nod, slowly taking it all in.

Me: “Uh-huh. So, how does this change things up there? Our reservations are for your immediate family and me.”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, well, we’ll have our own room, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

It is, but I don’t want to say so because it seems shallow to not want to share a hotel room when I’m invited on a trip.

Me: “Okay, well, I already took off work, so I might as well go, right?”

The trip was an absolute disaster. We did not get our own room — even though we paid for it by ourselves — because the hotel was completely booked and the added family members didn’t want to stay elsewhere; we ended up sharing our room with his aunt and uncle and their three children. I’m pretty sure it was against policy to have seven people in a room that sleeps four but they never got caught and never offered to split the cost of the room, either.

We also never got our anniversary dinner date because his brother and girlfriend wanted to do a double date and wouldn’t take no for an answer; it later came out that they wanted to get away from their annoying, clingy family members. The irony escaped them.

My boyfriend was truly sorry and did his best to make it up to me when we got back. We dated for a while after that, but when the next family trip came around, I made my own bookings in my own name and put my foot down on sharing.

My Two Cents Is Free; Two Bucks Will Cost You

, , , , , , | Legal | September 2, 2020

I am a paramedic in the New York City 911 system. We deal with a lot of abuse towards us, but this course of events had everyone there baffled.

Depending on the night, we sometimes have to fuel up the ambulance at the gas station instead of our actual station, like when it’s really busy or we are out of our main response area. We carry credit cards that are assigned to the truck and can only be used for gas/diesel.

My partner and I are at the gas station at pump seven. I go inside the store for drinks, and when I come back out, a driver is screaming at my partner. I run over and ask what is going on. 

Apparently, the driver had gone inside and put $40 on pump seven — he was actually at pump eight on the other side — so when my partner swiped the card, it didn’t activate. He pumped around two dollars of the other guy’s forty before the driver started screaming and he realized there was a mistake. He hadn’t noticed because the pump had still asked for the odometer reading and truck PIN, even though it didn’t take the card; we’re not sure why.

My partner is trying to apologize and give the guy $2 from his wallet, but the guy isn’t giving him a chance to speak. He is just screaming, “You scammed me! You use your card to fill my tank all the way!” It’s a flatbed, so it has a big tank. We obviously can’t do that, but my partner says that since he didn’t notice and it was his mistake, he has no issue reimbursing the guy from his own wallet and then filing a “petty cash” claim at the end of the shift.

This guy is not having it. He just keeps screaming to the point that one of the store employees comes out to see what is going on. By this time, I have already landlined dispatch, briefly explained, and asked for a boss to come to try and rectify the situation. Dispatch heard the screaming in the background and decided to dispatch another unit to our location, as well as a boss and police for our safety.

The guy goes inside to yell at the clerk for stealing his money. I follow him to make sure the clerks are safe. We are on really good terms with the night manager, so we always feel like we need to keep her safe. The guy starts screaming at her, even after she offers to give him the $2.

That’s where it goes from bad to “oh, s***.” This moron decides since he’s angry, he’s going to pull out his pocket knife and threaten everyone. It does not work like he wants it to, though. I quickly hit my radio emergency button — which my partner hears and comes running — and speak over the air, “[Distress code], I need PD now; he has a knife.”

In my area, when an ambulance calls a distress code, you get literally everybody. Every available ambulance, boss, and sometimes chief show up to help. We end up with something like twelve ambulances and two bosses at our location within two or three minutes. We get almost the entire police precinct within five or six minutes.

The guy does not have a good day after that; he ends up arrested because of the weapon — all over $2 that we said we would gladly give him.

No Use Crying Over Spilled Sweet Potatoes

, , , , , , , | Related | August 13, 2020

My sister is a single mom with a seven-year-old son. I don’t have kids, so I don’t actually know how hard it is to raise them, but I think he’s basically feral. [Nephew] has no concept of right and wrong, he does whatever he wants without consequence, and he physically fights back if anyone tells him what to do.

My sister says that as both the mother and father in his life, she doesn’t want to be the bad guy and risk their relationship as he grows up. She would rather let him learn on his own than tell him what is right and wrong. 

One day last summer, he tried to steal something from my jewelry box. I caught him with the jewelry in his hand and tried to take it from him. He responded by grabbing my arm and biting me hard enough to break skin. My sister sided with him, saying he felt threatened and I shouldn’t have touched him. I am the host of my family’s Christmas dinner this year and I wasn’t going to invite her back, but my parents reminded me that she probably didn’t have anyone else to spend the holiday with.

We all sit down to our meal, the feast laid out on the table. [Nephew] tries to take the sweet potato casserole, but I reach out and block him. He glares at me but sits down. We all fold our hands and close our eyes to say grace led by my father.

It only lasts a few seconds before we hear a dragging sound followed by a crash. [Nephew] has tried to take the sweet potatoes again, but it was too heavy and he dropped it. The dish shattered, sending potatoes and marshmallows everywhere.

[Nephew] screams like he is on fire. My sister scoops him up immediately and begins kissing his face and trying to soothe him. My mother and I pick up the shards and start scooping up the food.

Father: *Sighs* “Stop.”

Mother and I look at him.

Father: “Stop cleaning.” 

He looks at my sister.

Father: “Is he okay?”

Sister: *Cradling her son* “He’s okay. Just a little scared.”

Father: “Okay. Then he can clean this up.”

Nephew: “No!”

Sister: “Dad, it’s broken glass.”

Father: *Sternly* “Yes, he can. He made the mess.”

Nephew: “No! It’s [My Name]’s house. She can clean it up.”

He looks at me.

Father: “Come here, [Nephew].”

My father takes [Nephew] and, in the blink of an eye, lays him over his lap and spanks his butt two times before putting him on the floor. We all stand there in shocked silence. I can’t remember a time my father spanked either of us; he was more of the “go stand in the corner, no dessert for a week” kind of punisher.

Sister: “Dad! What the h*** are you doing?!”

She grabs her son.

Father: “What were you going to do, tell him it’s bad and ask him not to do it again?”

Sister: “I— I— I don’t know! I wouldn’t have beat him!”

Father: “Disciplinary action and abuse are two different things. Two swats on the butt is not abuse.”

Sister: “You had no right! You could have hurt him!”

Father: “[Nephew], next time you’re at the table, are you going to grab something without asking?”

My nephew is in tears, holding his butt, and he shakes his head.

Nephew: “N-n-no.”

Father: “Do you understand that bad behavior has bad consequences?”

Nephew: “Uh-huh.”

My father holds out his hand.

Father: “I am sorry. Is your butt okay?”

Nephew: *Nods* “Yes, Pop-pop.”

Father: “I love you, buddy. I really do.”

They hug.

Nephew: “I love you, Pop-pop.”

Sister: *Grabs her son* “You’re a monster.”

My sister promptly left and has cut all contact with us. I’ve heard from mutual friends that she still lets him run wild, but sometimes he looks over his shoulder like someone might discipline him the way my father did.

The Cats Demand You Pay Tribute To Apollo

, , , , , , , | Related | July 29, 2020

We’re the family from this story and this story — and no, that second title wasn’t our idea.

It’s been several years since then, and we have only one cat left, our orange tabby Apollo. He is now a venerable Old Man Cat who rules the house and has gotten increasingly vocal and demanding in his old age.

It’s Easter 2020, and we’re preparing dinner for ourselves. Apollo has been underfoot the entire time.

Apollo gives my husband a demanding meow.

Husband: “No! You have been fed. Stop it!”

Apollo gives my husband an even more demanding meow.

Husband: “If you are good, you will get tribute in the form of ham. If you keep yapping your jaw, you aren’t going to get anything.”

Apollo gives my husband a stern look and the most demanding meow ever uttered by a feline.

Husband: “No! You are losing ham by the minute. B**** and moan, you get nothing. Stop it!” 

Of course, we gave in and fed Apollo all the ham he wanted. This was one of our last back-and-forth conversations with Apollo, as his kidney issues worsened shortly afterward and he became increasingly sick. We had to help Apollo cross the Rainbow Bridge two months later. Our hearts ache and we both miss him terribly but we are so glad he will live on in stories.

Related:
The Cats Demand You Spill The Beans
The Cats Demand You Pork The Butt

Not All Sidewalk Salesmen In NYC Are Scammers… Who Knew?

, , , , , , , , | Working | July 22, 2020

I am a British tourist visiting New York City. I get stopped in the street by a man giving away tickets to “The David Letterman Show.” Thinking this sounds interesting, I decide to get a ticket.

Man: “Okay, I just need to ask you one question.”

Me: “Sure.”

Man: “What colour is the announcer’s hair?”

I pause. I have no idea!

Me: *Disappointed* “I don’t know. The show isn’t broadcast in the UK so I haven’t a clue, I’m afraid.”

Man: “Oh, that’s a shame. Tell you what. I like you, so if you just take a look at that red car over there…”

Me: *Catching on, laughing* “Oh, could it possibly be red?”

Man: “Correct! See, I knew you knew it! Here’s your ticket for tonight’s show!”

Me: “Thanks!”

I went to the recording, expecting the guest to be some sportsman or soap star I’d never heard of, but the guest turned out to be Bruce Willis! So, I got to tease my friend back home who is a big fan of “Die Hard” that Bruce Willis had been in the same room as me! It was a very enjoyable show and I was so thankful to that man for helping me out!


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