Justice At 40 MPH

, , , , , , | Legal | January 10, 2019

I am with my mum and she is driving. In front of us is another car; it’s a red thing that that looks like it has power — I know my cars. We get to a junction and we can see a van coming down the road, but is well off so the car in front turns onto that road. Mum pulls up and realises the van has sped up by a lot — it’s a 40-mph road — so she decides to stay put until the van flashes past, and then she pulls out. We see the van speed past the car and pull in front before slowing down to normal speed. We tut. We catch up with the van and car; the van is actually doing 30 mph, so it’s going under the speed limit, but the roads are very bendy so overtaking isn’t safe. Clearly, this is some jerk who couldn’t handle someone being in front of them. So we tut. Again.

The van then suddenly slams on the brakes. The car in front emergency stops, as do we, thus there is no accident. The van starts again and makes to continue on its way whilst I get Mum’s inhaler, as the stop has triggered her lung condition. Then I start to call the police on my mobile and mumbling expletives under my breath. Mum has put the hazards on cause she can’t breathe properly.

The car in front turns on its lights and siren; it’s an unmarked police car.

The van stops. Mum wheezes in what I presume is a laugh. I hang up the phone, giving Mum her inhaler. Two officers exit the red car. They first check on us and note the respiratory distress this caused Mum. Once they’ve confirmed she’s not going to drop dead, one makes their way to the van whilst I give our details should they be needed and Mum recovers her breath.

Once done, we continue on our way home, past the van driver and another officer. The driver’s expression is something I will think about whenever I’m down.

The Most Christmassy Christmas Since Christ Was Born

, , , , , , , | Working | December 27, 2018

(My office is set up in pods of four. On my pod, there is a Christian who is a Christmas fanatic, [Coworker #1], an atheist Christmas fanatic, [Coworker #2], a devout Christian, [Coworker #3], and me, an atheist who doesn’t particularly like the festive period. It’s the week before Christmas, so naturally, my office is playing Christmas songs. “Mary’s Boy Child” has just finished playing.)

Coworker #1: “Oh, thank heavens. I don’t like that one.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, I don’t really like it very much, either.”

Me: “Why?”

Coworker #2: “It’s a bit dreary in terms of notes for me.”

Coworker #1: “It just isn’t Christmassy, at all!”

(I slowly look up to look at [Coworker #2], who’s looking extremely confused at [Coworker #1]. I look at [Coworker #1], who is typing away.)

Me: “The opening lyrics are, ‘Mary’s boy child, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day. And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.’ It’s been the most Christmassy song played today.”

([Coworker #1] pauses in typing as she digests what I’ve just said. [Coworker #2] starts laughing. [Coworker #3] comes back from the printer at this point and looks perplexed.)

Coworker #2: “The Atheist Scrooge knows more about a religious Christmas song than [Coworker 1]!”

Coworker #3: *incredulously* “How?!”

Me: “Atheist Scrooge went to [Christian School] and was part of the school choir. She also was not always a Scrooge.”

Third Door Blind

, , , , , | Related | December 19, 2018

(After hitting a deer and writing off the car she’d had for a grand total of a month, my mum is now a not-so-proud owner of a third-hand, three-door car. The thing about this third-hand, three-door car is that the passenger door doesn’t open from the outside; you have to open it from the inside. Why, we have no idea, but it means Mum has to lean over from the driver’s seat and open the door for me. We are heading to work this cold and frosty winter morning. My dear old mum has started the ignition and whacked on the heating so the car can defrost and she can see whilst driving. She has not yet opened the passenger door, so I am stood outside waiting and not in the warming car, on this cold and frosty winter morning. She fiddles about with her bag, and uses her inhaler, and does not yet open the passenger door. I am thus still stood outside on this cold and frosty winter morning. She fiddles with something else; I don’t really know what as I am doing the “it’s cold and frosty and I’m stuck outside” jig. She then looks at me.)

Mum: *in her snotty, grumpy voice* “Why haven’t you got in the car?! We need to go!”

(I look at her, dead in the eye, and wordlessly remove my hand from where it is tucked into my armpits for warmth and slowly pull on the passenger door handle as one would do to open it. Naturally, since the passenger door handle doesn’t want to BE a door handle, it does nothing. I raise an eyebrow at her. We share a look, and she leans over and opens the door from the inside and I get into the nice toasty car)

Me: *completely deadpan* “It’s a tad chilly out there.”

Mum: *giggling* “Can I blame old age? I’m blaming old age.”

A Recipe For Disaster

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 2, 2018

(My boyfriend says that his parents will be in town for a brief visit in two weeks and have expressed an interest in meeting me. We decide that a quiet dinner at my home would be best, which I don’t mind, as I enjoy playing host. As I’m trying to plan the menu, I keep sending my boyfriend recipe ideas and asking him about his parents’ preferences.)

Me: “Is there any food your parents particularly like or dislike? Do they like spicy food or prefer to keep it mild? Are there any foods they’re allergic to? Do they have any sort of dietary restrictions I should know about?”

Boyfriend: “I’m sure anything you pick out will be wonderful and they’ll love it.”

Me: “Yes, but I also want to be considerate of their tastes.”

Boyfriend: “You’re overthinking it. You’re an awesome cook, and they’ll love whatever you make for them.”

(Realizing I’m not going to get any sort of help, I plan what I think to be a well-rounded menu complete with salad, an appetizer that contains shellfish, a main course featuring beef tenderloin, and a dessert that contains chocolate. Fast forward to the fateful evening; food-wise, everything is coming out looking delicious. I meet the parents, and while they seem to respond favorably to me, I notice between the two of them they’ve barely touched their food. I don’t want to call attention to this fact, but I’m worried something is wrong. They end up excusing themselves early, asking my boyfriend to take them back to his home. He quickly sneaks in a kiss on the way out, saying he’ll call. An hour later he calls.)

Me: “So, is everything all right? Your parents didn’t seem to like the anything I made for them and were wanting to get out of here pretty quickly.”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, the food was a bust for them. We’re at [Nearby Restaurant] right now and they’re getting something to eat. I excused myself to the bathroom to call you really quick.”

Me: “Did I do something wrong?”

Boyfriend: “I thought your food was delicious.” *sigh* “It’s just that… Well, my father doesn’t eat any type of salad except potato salad. My mother is a pescetarian, meaning she’ll eat fish, but not meat, and the only beef my father will eat is ground beef. Not to mention the only types of side dishes he’ll eat are either pasta, potatoes, or biscuits, not vegetables like you made. Oh, and my mother is allergic to chocolate.”

Me: “…”

Boyfriend: “…”

Me: *annoyed* “And you didn’t think any of this information was important enough to tell me when I was planning the menu? I asked you about these things and was told, ‘whatever I make is fine.’”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, I f***** up, didn’t I?”

Me: “Big time.”

(And that’s the story of how I first met — and starved — my in-laws. Since I’ve been with their son, they’ve come to love the dishes I make, as long as I keep their preferences and dietary restrictions in mind.)

A Symptom Of Our Oversharing Society

, , , , , | Right | October 28, 2018

(I work for a travel insurance company. One of the things we  do is medical screening. If you have certain pre-existing medical conditions — such as asthma, angina, or diabetes, etc. — you need to pay a small extra premium to cover you. None of us are medically trained; we just input the illness and ask whatever questions our system presents. We need to know exactly what the illness or condition is, and if any medication is taken, exactly what that is, too.  A woman calls who has just bought her insurance for a trip, and we are now onto the medical questionnaire as she has said, “Yes,” to having a pre-existing medical condition.)

Me: “Okay, can you tell me what medical conditions you have and what medication, if any, that you take for it?”

Customer: “Oh… I have a venereal disease.”

Me: “I need to know which one specifically.”

(The customer then proceeds to go into graphic detail about her illness, because she’s not quite sure which one it is.)

Me: *interrupting* “Madam! I’m not medically trained! I can’t diagnose what it is from your symptoms. I need to know the name of the illness.”

Customer: “Oh. I’m not sure.”

Me: “If you can’t find any paperwork, I suggest calling your doctor. If you take any medication, get them to confirm it, as well, and call back and give us your policy number. Once you have all the relevant information, we can continue the questionnaire.”

Customer: “Okay. Thanks for your help!”

(When the customer hung up I had to go and get some water as I felt queasy. Whatever she had, it was unpleasant, I can tell you that.)

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