The Great British Fall-Off

, , , , , | Related | April 12, 2019

(Mum and I are both watching a programme with the comedian Sue Perkins as she follows the Mekong river in China. She’s been driven up one of the mountains and gotten out part way to talk about the river. She also talks about how the altitude is affecting her and she’s lightheaded. She’s doing this whilst stood on the edge of the road that seems to have a sheer drop with no barrier. Mum and I are both acrophobic — we’re scared of heights to an irrational level.)

Me: *getting anxious* “She is really starting to bother me. She’s getting lightheaded and is stood… there.”

Mum: “On the edge.”

Me: “Nothing to break her fall.”

Mum: “Well, we wouldn’t be there. We’d be against the mountain going, ‘Sue! Suuuue! Come away from the edge!'”

Me: *pretending to be more panicked than I am* “‘Sue, it’s not safe!'”

Mum: *also pretending panic* “’Suuuue!’”

(It then pans out to show that she genuinely is on the edge of the cliff.)

Mum & Me: *no longer pretending* “SUE!”

(Thankfully, it cuts to a different take.)

Getting Catty In The Office

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 11, 2019

(At work, we’re sat in groups of four on one pod — basically four curved desks pushed together so all the computers are in the middle. [Coworker #1] of the pod has a cat called Margaret — her first cat. [Coworker #2] and I have had many cats in the past but not currently, and [Coworker #3] has never had a cat but understands how they work. We’re just generally chatting when the topic goes on to Margaret the cat.)

Coworker #1: “Ugh, Margaret was being a little b**** last night.”

Coworker #3: “Cats cannot be b****es.”

Me: “They can be a**holes, though.”

Coworker #3: “Yes, they seem to do that a lot.”

Coworker #1: “Fine. Margaret was being a little not-b**** last night.”

Coworker #2: “Why was your cat a little not-b****?”

Coworker #1: “She wouldn’t go out!”

(There is a pause.)

Coworker #2: “And?”

Coworker #1: “We put her out every night, and last night she wouldn’t go out.”

Me & Coworker #2: “Yes?”

Coworker #1: “We had to chase her round the house to try and get her to go out!”

Coworker #3: “Isn’t that normal?”

Me: “Yup.”

Coworker #1: “Is it?”

Me & Coworker #2: “Yup.”

Me: “If a cat doesn’t want to go out, it will not go out.”

Coworker #2: “They’re even worse if you’re trying to get the a**hole in.”

(I nod mock-solemnly in agreement.)

Coworker #1: “But if she’s in, she runs about the house in the middle of the night!”

Me: “She sounds like a normal, healthy cat.”

Coworker #1: “THIS IS NORMAL?!”

Me & Coworker 2: “Yup.”

Coworker #1: “Shouldn’t she be asleep at night?”

Me: “Cats are mostly nocturnal. So… no.”

Coworker #1: “Why can’t she just love me unconditionally, sleep at night, and do as I say?”

Coworker #3: “Well, those kinds of animals do exist… They’re just called dogs.”

Mother Is Full Of Tall Tales

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 22, 2019

(I’m in the supermarket with my mum. We need something; the issue is, someone — probably in head office — thought it was a good idea to start putting items UP the actual wall. It is thus out of reach for my mother, all 5’3″ of her. She turns to me, thinking that I and my 5’8″ self are going to have better luck. I have a good stab at it, but even on tippy toes with arms outstretched, it is beyond my reach.)

Me: “I think we’re going to need a member of staff, mum.”

Mum: “No! Can’t do that! They’re all so busy! Plus, you’re taller than most of them, anyway.”

Me: “They have step ladders and stools to do this. Plus, somebody got it up there, so somebody can get it down.”

(Just then, two teenagers come up to near where we are, one a bit shorter than me, the other much taller. Mum gives him a side eye. I feel the cold sense of dread form in the pit of my stomach.)

Mum: *loudly and kind of sickly sweet* “My, what lovely long limbs you have, young man!”

(The tall teenager looks appropriately petrified of this almost 60-year-old woman randomly complimenting the length of his limbs. The shorter teen looks mildly alarmed.)

Mum: “They look perfect for reaching something from a higher shelf… such as [item we need].”

(The shorter teen is showing his moral support for his friend by sniggering under his breath. The tall teen reaches up, gets the item, and hands it to my mum.)

Mum: “Thank you so much! Young people are so helpful! Come along, [My Name].” *triumphantly walks off*

Me: *to the teens* “I am so very sorry.”

Tall Teen: “I’ve been asked before, just never quite like that.”

(I could hear his friend laughing as I scurried off.)

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.”

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