Smells This Predicament A Mile Off

, , , , , , | Related | October 23, 2018

One day our house — mostly the laundry room — started to smell really bad. My brother and I had our bedrooms right next to the laundry room, so we noticed it a lot more. Dad looked every chance he got, but could not find the source of the smell. It only continued to get worse as time went on.

About three days later, my brother had one of his friends over, and he mentioned that our laundry room smelled like “cat piss.” I was pretty confused, since we didn’t own a cat; we had a very unfriendly little dog, and my dad was allergic to and hated cats.

That night, around midnight, I was finishing up with my computer and getting ready to go to bed. All of a sudden, my brother came running upstairs screaming that he saw something moving in the laundry room. I headed down there to check, and sure enough, the tube connecting our air exchanger to the outside was moving; there was something in there. My mom refused to come downstairs; she was terrified that it might have been a skunk, no matter how many times I told her that skunks smell completely different.

My dad then spent the next hour climbing the shelves stacked with cleaning products like a monkey, slowly and carefully detaching the tube, all the while wearing the thick gloves he always put on whenever he was working with tools. My brother and I watched, not really having anything we could do in that situation. Eventually, he got the thing loose and brought it outside. My mom finally came out to see what was going on, still terrified.

With all of us watching, he turned the tube inside out and out popped a cat, which he caught. The little guy had probably climbed in there looking for a warm place and gotten stuck. He then bit my dad through the gloves, wriggled loose, and tried to jump back through the vent. The problem was that the tube wasn’t there for him to hide in anymore.

My dad managed to grab the cat by the hind legs and slowly pull him back out, me watching the whole time. I wish I’d gone inside like my brother did; according to him, he got back into the laundry room and saw the front half of the cat just dangling in mid-air, looking completely shocked.

We kept him in the shed for a few days — we couldn’t keep him in the house for the reasons mentioned above — while my mom and I did everything we could to try and find the owner. All the while, my mom took care of feeding him regularly, checked up on him constantly, and even named him; she grew up on a farm surrounded by barn cats. We had no luck, so Mom ended up driving him all the way to the closest animal shelter, an hour and a half away, all by herself, even though she hates driving. Even after that, she kept checking their website constantly until he finally found a home.

No Litigation Hesitation

, , , , , , | Legal | October 23, 2018

I am a very experienced, expensive lawyer who has worked in the area of family law for over nineteen years. I am well known in my field, and have acted for people in expensive, protracted disputes.

I say this because the capacity of some clients to think that for “reasons” they know more about family law than I never ceases to amaze me.

My favourite was when a client was determined to take a course of action (involving the commencement of litigation rather than trying to resolve matters by way of a negotiation) which I had no doubt would cost him more in legal costs and result in a less favourable outcome.

Because I’m not an idiot, I advised him against his preferred course of action clearly, and confirmed my advice by way of letter, which he countersigned.

About a year later, the client had spent maybe $30,000.00 more in legal costs than he should have, and received the same, if not worse, outcome than would have occurred in a negotiated outcome.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, he was furious with me, although he knew that my advice had been clear and, because he’d countersigned the letter, he couldn’t deny receiving it.

I asked what on earth I had done wrong. His response will live with me until my dying day:

“YOU SHOULD HAVE WORKED HARDER TO CONVINCE ME.”

Sometimes… I just can’t.

Putting The “Fun” Into “Funeral”

, , , , , , , | Related | October 23, 2018

I’ve been told my step-great-grandmother was always… an interesting woman. Since I was young, I didn’t know her extremely well, other than that she decorated every room of her house with a theme — bunnies, cats, red-white-and-blue, old-timey western store, etc. — and that she was insanely proud of her atrocious crabcakes that would make any Marylander weep.

When she died when I was in middle school, I had no idea what was waiting. My family packed up and drove three hours south for her funeral service, not knowing what she had planned. I was raised religious, but she wasn’t the same religion, so it was the first funeral I’d ever been to that would deviate from what I had learned as the usual.

Apparently her plans started with a bluegrass gospel band playing for about an hour, followed by stories from loved ones we never knew well. Hearing about anyone at a funeral is usually tear-jerking for me, even if I never really knew them, so I wasn’t handling the service great and just wanted to leave. Eventually it was wrapped up by an old friend of hers. He was a blind, one-armed man who played the harmonica and sang Battle Hymn of the Republic. I know it’s a bit insensitive and I’m not really proud of it today, but the blind man singing, “I have seen the glory,” was more than I could take and I snickered a bit. This set off my cousins just flat-out laughing, which earned them some less-than-enthused looks while they tried to disguise it as crying.

When I talked to other family members afterward, they found it odd, too, but pretty much all of them said, “Well… that’s Mary for you.” Everyone agreed that the entire thing, including the kids laughing, was exactly what she would have wanted.

Inviting In Some Disaster

, , , , , | Friendly | October 23, 2018

As maid of honor for my friend’s wedding, I agree to manage the RSVPs. It’s a smallish wedding, about 60 people, and they’ve decided not to invite any children. After the initial invitations go out, the groom’s father asks if he could give an invite to his cubicle-mate to try to improve their work camaraderie. The couple agrees. A few days later, I get the RSVP in the mail. It’s scribbled over, an angry note attached.

“Obviously, you have NO IDEA how to be polite for a wedding. FAMILIES are invited to weddings, INCLUDING CHILDREN. It’s rude to expect people to PAY a babysitter just for YOU. WE WILL ALL BE THERE. I hope your MARRIAGE is better than your INVITES.”

Attached were RSVPs for the couple, three children they had from various previous relationships, and two children they had as a couple. All were listed as wanting the prime rib, including the seven-month-old baby.

The couple and the groom’s family had a huge fight over this. The bride wanted to rescind the invite for the whole family, but the groom’s parents were worried about how it would affect the work conditions; after all, he had invited him to try to improve their relationship. In the end, the groom’s father agreed to pay for his coworker’s meals.

The day of the wedding, the groom’s father’s phone rings just before the ceremony. It’s his coworker, saying he will be late. The father quickly replies, then hangs up in time to see his son to the altar. The family ends up not showing to the ceremony, or the reception. It’s blatantly obvious as there are seven tables, with one completely empty.

When the father of the groom gets back to work, he confronts his coworker, who says he decided not to come because the father of the groom was “terse” on the phone. However, he does have a wedding gift. It’s a coffee maker, used and put back in the box, with old coffee grounds still in it.

Needless to say, the olive branch of the invite did not help the relationship between the father of the groom and his cubicle-mate.

Just Gave Birth To A Monster

, , , , , | Healthy | October 23, 2018

When I was very pregnant — ready-to-pop pregnant — I went to an appointment, to make sure everything was still going good, heart beating, moving around, all that stuff. I decided to grab fast food on the way in, and soon realized that my stomach wasn’t happy with my choice.

When I got into the appointment, I mentioned that I was slightly worried that there had been no Braxton Hicks, and the nurse assured me that I probably had but just didn’t realize it, and hooked me up to monitors. The whole time we were talking, I was holding in an incredible amount of gas, and trying to be discreet. She walked out and closed the door, and I finally let it go.

My husbands eyes were watering, and the thunder actually knocked things off the shelves. The first was followed by several more rather powerful explosions. At this point I was surprised the paint wasn’t peeling off the walls, and I looked over at the contraction machine and realized that it was faithfully recording every rumble. I was dying, knowing that the nurse was going to come in any second and have her eyebrows sizzled off by the noxious fumes. My husband was trying very hard to appear supportive and not laugh, but failing miserably.

The nurse came back in, and apparently completely oblivious to the smell, triumphantly held up the contraction tape to declare, “See?! You are having contractions! Powerful ones, too. Those are what we are looking for!”

My husband almost fell out of his seat, howling and wiping his eyes, while I was left to explain that no, that was my lunch, and those were literally the most monstrous farts I had ever been involved with.

To this day, I cannot figure out how she was able to walk into that green haze, and not realize what was actually going on.

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