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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.

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!

This story is part of our New York City roundup!

Read the next New York City roundup story!

Read the New York City roundup!

There’s Going Above And Beyond, And Then There’s This

, , , , , , | Working | July 21, 2020

Many years ago, when I was nineteen, I used to work at this restaurant in New York City. It was a popular restaurant and it had a very famous name; the owner of the company invested mostly in hotels and resorts, but some establishments — such as our NYC branch — only did food service, no hotel facilities. We had two rooms above the restaurants only for VIP guests. They weren’t “bookable” or anything; they were strictly very, very VIP!

One day, around Christmas, a gentleman came with his family and demanded to be shown to his room. I explained that our NYC branch was only a restaurant with no hotel facilities. He then said that he was a sheik, he came from Dubai, he was a friend of the owner, and he had called early to book a room! He insisted that he spoke to me of all people — he said he recognised my voice — and that should I not accommodate him, he would get me fired immediately! He was getting quite aggressive and calling me an idiot.

I was terrified. I was only nineteen, this was my first “real” job, and I was pissing off my boss’s friend. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do. Both our VIP rooms were given away; one of them hosted a senator and the other one was given to the owner’s niece. We literally had no space for this guy, let alone his family.

I explained the situation, but I realised that he was getting more and more frustrated. He then said, “I’ll get you f****** sacked, you stupid b****,” and proceeded to dial the owner’s number.

What would you think? That the owner would apologise on behalf of his jerk friend and find an alternate solution?


He asked his friend to hand over the phone and then he demanded that I let this guy stay in my own apartment for the night!

Needless to say, I resigned from my position a week later. The whole situation was ridiculous. I’m glad to have found a much healthier work environment since.

You’re Bacon-ning To Upset Me

, , , , , , | Working | July 13, 2020

I’m busy at work so I decided to order in some pasta from the uptown location of a restaurant I love with an outpost near my apartment downtown. The menus are different but when I see “Penne alla Stolichnaya” on the menu, I assume it’s the same as the “Penne alla Vodka” I get from their downtown restaurant. I check the listing, confirm the ingredients, and place the order.

It arrives ten minutes before I dash into a meeting — my fault, not theirs. I decide to have a few quick bites before my meeting and open it. I take a few bites and notice there is something else in the pasta. I sniff and realize it’s bacon. I don’t eat meat, so I’m annoyed. I go back to the menu and check the ingredients again to see if I made a mistake. It’s not listed. 

I call the restaurant and ask them to confirm it’s bacon. They say, “Uh, yeah, it comes with bacon.” I respond that it’s not listed on the menu and she goes, “So?”

I am a little taken aback that she didn’t care. I tell her they can’t send people food with extra ingredients not listed on the menu, especially considering some could harm people with allergies. She responds, “So… do you want us to replace it? I mean with one without bacon?” 

Starving, I agree, but I end up emailing the delivery service to complain. I get a full refund.

I ended up ordering it again this week but made sure to specify “NO BACON” on the order. But I’m still shocked that they thought there was nothing wrong with adding ingredients not listed on the menu. It’s a high-end place, too!