His Brain Needed More Fuel Than The Car Did

, , , , , | Legal | February 15, 2019

It was almost at the end of our shift when the dispatcher called out information that a driver had fuelled up his car at a petrol station, left the fuel nozzle on the ground — a clear indicator of a fuel thief — and driven off without paying.

Usually, fuel thieves use stolen license plates that frequently don’t even match the make of the car. Nevertheless, I ran the license plate. Surprisingly, everything matched. Even the registered owner’s address was nearby.

I told my partner the address, and although we both agreed that nobody would be stupid enough to go to their registered address after stealing in broad daylight, we still gave it a shot. When we were almost there, we saw the same car stopping in front of the house, with the owner in the driver’s seat. When he saw our police car, his eyes went wide and he froze. I could see that he honestly assumed that his plan of filling up and going home without an issue would be perfect.

We arrested him for theft, and he also had to pay for the fuel.

A Crustacean Inflation

, , , , , , | Working | February 15, 2019

My mother has a serious shellfish allergy; as she gets older, it has become progressively more serious. When she eats shellfish, she needs to go to the emergency room. Her friends are well aware of this; every time she eats out at a place that serves crustaceans, she explains it to the wait-staff in excruciating detail. She also lives in a part of the country where shrimp makes an appearance in many food items, so she has to repeat this often.

One day, my parents are having dinner with a friend of theirs. A few bites into dinner, my mother can sense that something is wrong. She mentions this to my father, who confirms that she’s having a reaction, and he asks the hostess whether there was shellfish in the food. The hostess says that there was, but that she took the shrimp out when she remembered about my mom’s allergy.

My parents immediately ask where the nearest hospital is and get ready to leave. The hostess disappears as they’re putting on their coats. When she emerges, she has boxed up their leftovers so they can eat them later.

Earl-y Language

, , , , | Right | February 14, 2019

I was working for a small weekly advertising newspaper in a semi-rural area. I was mostly the computer person, but one of my duties was taking classified ads over the phone when it was busy.

A caller wanted to place an ad to sell some “Earl drums.” Since I was still cleaning up after my predecessor, whose spelling had been — how shall we say it — creative… and I know some percussion instrument manufacturers can have complicated spellings — e.g., Zildjian — I asked him to spell the name.

In disbelief, he replied, “You know: Oh. Ah. Ell. Earl!”

He was selling oil drums.

The Paid Cake Is A Lie

, , , | Right | February 14, 2019

I work in the bakery department of a large supermarket. A customer presents me with a cake, which she asks me to put icing on for her.

I go to present the cake back to the customer when she asks me to write, “Paid for,” on the side of the box. I begin to explain I can’t do this without her showing me a valid receipt, but the shop fire alarm begins to ring and we’re all made to evacuate the building. We get back inside ten minutes later to find the woman standing in the exact same spot. We have no idea how security missed her!

She continues to insist she’s already paid for the cake, and after what seems like an eternity of arguing, she storms away down to the bottom of the aisle.

I then watch her pull a pen out her bag and write, “Paid for,” on the box herself. To this day, I have no idea if she successfully got through checkouts with her handiwork.

Are You Mandarin Or Out?

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 13, 2019

After studying Mandarin for about six years, I decide to take a year off of college to travel in China. The last semester of my trip, I find work as an assistant teacher in Shanghai, where I live for about four months. For most of my time there, I use a winning combination of the subway and the occasional touk-touk to get around the city. To make this as easy as possible, I also invest in a Chinese debit account and a Shanghai metro card.

Towards the end of my semester, as I’m packing up to leave, I invite my mom and my sister to come play tourist for about a week and eventually help me drag all my stuff back to America. I buy them metro cards, too, and take some time showing them around the city. Midway through one of our trips, my own metro card starts running low on funds, and I stop at a relatively small station to restock.

The station is small enough that there’s only one card kiosk, alongside the metro card help desk. A twenty-something, stylishly-dressed Chinese man is struggling with the relatively simple kiosk, which is on a screen I’ve never seen before, while the help desk security guard, an older man, smokes a cigarette and berates him loudly from just in front of his desk. From what I understand of the conversation, the younger guy is trying to add more money onto his card, which the metro guard could easily do at his desk, but he’s hit the wrong buttons and is still insisting he’s in the right. The argument is loud, but not overly heated; the younger guy seems more anxious than anything, and the security guard is visibly laughing at him.

When they both see me and my obviously very white family waiting to use the kiosk, the security guard yells at the younger guy to let me use it. He waves me over without a word, and I step up to the screen. The characters are pretty basic, so I don’t bother switching the kiosk to English. I tap the Reset button and then the Load Card button, and then I pull out my phone to pay with my Chinese debit card. All told, it takes about twenty seconds. When I pull out my metro card and turn back to my family, the previously noisy station is dead quiet. My mom is looking past me, visibly holding back a smile, and my sister looks like she’s about to burst out laughing.

The Chinese guy behind me says, “What?!”

I turn around to find him slowly lowering his phone from where he’d been filming me, his expression thunderstruck. Behind him, the older security guard is laughing so hard he’s gripping the desk to stay upright. Aside from his single English word, the younger guy seems absolutely lost for what to say.

I say in Chinese, “Do you understand how to use the machine now, or can I help you with it?”

My sister gives in to laughter as the guy slowly, slowly shakes his head. Together, my very white, very American family steps through the security gate into the train terminal, leaving the poor guy — and his video of the clueless white-girl tourist — ruined forever.

Page 1/21812345...Last