Saigon, And Thanks For The Memories

, , , , , , | Right | December 31, 2010

Me: “How can I help you today, sir?”

Customer: “I’m looking for lightweight shirts. I’m going on vacation!”

Me: “Well, that’s very exciting. Where to?”

Customer: “Vietnam. Haven’t been to that d*** place in over forty years!”

Me: “Wow, sir. That must be quite a bit for you.”

Customer: “You bet. At least I know I’ll only be shooting a camera this time!”

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Alarm Bells Will Be Ringing

, , , , | Right | December 24, 2010

(I work in a department next to the exit. A mother, father, and daughter set off the alarm.)

Me: “Excuse me, I need to check your bag for something.”

Husband: “God, really? Fine.”

(I pull out a kid’s DVD.)

Daughter: “What’s that?”

Wife: “Great, just great! Here, honey, this was supposed to be one of your Christmas presents! This woman here ruined Christmas! I hope you’re happy that you ruined Christmas for this entire family!”

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Fairly Foolish Fares

, , , , | Right | December 15, 2010

(It’s four am and I’m driving a college-aged girl home.)

Passenger: “Can I ask you a question?”

Me: “Sure.”

Passenger: “You know the ducks in Central Park?”

Me: “Yes?”

Passenger: “Where do they go for the winter? When the lake freezes.”

Me: “I think they fly south.”

Passenger: “Really?”

Me: “To Florida, I think.”

Passenger: “That’s so weird. Are you Jewish?”

Me: “I’m Italian, actually.”

Passenger: “You sound really Jewish.”

Me: “Well, I’m from Long Island. Maybe it’s my accent.”

Passenger: “Can I ask you a personal question?”

Me: “Okay.”

Passenger: “Are people born in 1987 the lost generation?”

Me: “Um…”

(The entire cab ride was like this.)

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Crashed Diet

, , , , , , | Right | December 14, 2010

(A well-dressed woman and her teenage daughter are out to lunch at one of my tables. I have already brought them their drinks.)

Customer: *waving me over* “Miss! I asked for a diet soda.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I must have picked up another server’s order by mistake. Let me get you a new one.”

(I fill a diet soda myself and deliver it. Before even tasting it, she speaks up.)

Customer: “No! This isn’t diet soda! I’m on a very strict diet and I can’t have carbs!”

Me: “I filled it myself. I assure you that it is diet.”

Customer: *poking the drink with a straw* “Then what are these? I can see the carbs everywhere!”

Me: “You can see the carbs, ma’am?”

Customer: “Yes! Are you blind? Can’t you see the bubbles?”

Customer’s Teenage Daughter: “Oh, my God, Mom! ‘Carbs’ mean carbohydrates, not carbonation!”

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Not Just For Kicks

, , , , , , , , | Right | December 13, 2010

(I am an instructor at a Chinese martial arts school. An American teenager comes in.)

Boy: “So, do you teach all kinds of Chinese martial arts here?”

Me: “Yes, Courses are mainly in Chinese, but we can translate for you. There are quite a few Americans that learn here. What are you interested in?”

(He names several fake martial arts from novels made into television.)

Me: “Um… you’re joking, right?”

Boy: “Oh, do you not teach those?”

Me: “You’re serious?”

Boy: “Oh, yeah. I love watching them on TV and I want to learn it myself!”

Me: “You know they’re not real martial arts, right? It’s all made up in the stories.”

Boy: “You just don’t want to teach a foreigner, do you?”

Me: “No, it isn’t real. None of us here know them.”

Boy: “Oh, I’ll go somewhere else.”

Me: “No one can teach those. They’re fake.”

Boy: “Oh, I get it. You think it’s fake because you don’t know it yourself. I guess the manuals are lost and someone needs to find them. Don’t worry, I’ll be that person!”

(The boy leaves and comes back a minute later.)

Boy: “Hey, could I have a look at all your weapons?”

Me: “Why?”

Boy: “Maybe the manuals are hidden in them. At least please show me your swords and sabers. Just clash them together.”

(He’s referring to a plot in one of those novels.)

Me: *understanding that reference* “It was already recovered long ago in the Yuan dynasty, remember? They’re empty now.”

Boy: “Oh, sure. Now I’m going to find the new hiding place. Thanks for your time!”

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