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A “Falling For You” Joke Would Be Too Easy

, , , , , , | Healthy | August 12, 2021

For obvious reasons, many of us in my country are being encouraged to do “staycations” this year rather than travelling abroad. As I plan day trips away with my husband and young daughter, I recall a summer, a number of years ago, where my ability to travel abroad was hindered, not by a global health crisis, but by personal injury.

At the time, I was in my early twenties, fresh out of university and living with my boyfriend. Northern Ireland was going through a heatwave, with temperatures in the high twenties or low thirties — high eighties, for our American friends. As a fair-skinned Irish girl, I was already struggling with the heat, but my struggle was made worse when, one Saturday morning, as I hurried downstairs wearing footwear not really suited to the purpose, I lost my balance, slipped, fell, and hurt my left leg. The pain was so bad that I ended up in the emergency department, where I was told that I’d broken my leg in three places. After a week in hospital, I came home with crutches, a cast that ran from my toes up past my knee, and a massive bruise to my pride!

A couple of weeks later, with the heatwave set to continue, I was pretty fed up. It was exhausting using crutches to move around and was worse in the oppressive July heat. My boyfriend was driving me home from an appointment and happened to mention how tired I looked. I confirmed that I WAS, in fact, exhausted, to which he gave no response, other than to nod. We pulled into our driveway.

Boyfriend: “Wait here!”

And then he leapt out of the car. He ran to the front door, unlocked and opened it, and then came back to the passenger side door, which he opened for me. As I struggled to work my way out of the car without bashing my cast — I’d learnt that the hard way — my boyfriend took my arm to guide me. With my casted leg off the ground, I reached in to grab my crutches, but my boyfriend stopped me. Before I could protest, he threw one arm behind my knees, and the other around my shoulders, and hoisted me up into his arms! I don’t like being lifted, even in normal circumstances, so I shrieked.

My boyfriend laughed.

Boyfriend: “[My Name], my darling! I’m going to carry you across the threshold!”

And he started for the door.

Me: *Laughing nervously* “Ahh… Okay, [Boyfriend], please just be careful that you don’t—”

Before the words “drop me” could leave my lips, he’d done just that! He must have lost his grip or whatever, but I slid out of his arms. As I was already stressed by the shock of being lifted suddenly, my body wasn’t exactly limp, and my right side smacked forcefully into the hard concrete driveway. I howled in pain and swore angrily at my boyfriend, who, looking sheepish, sank to his knees and started apologising profusely while trying to help me up. When it became apparent, however, that I was going nowhere, so intense was the pain, he disappeared into the house to phone for an ambulance.

The staff in the emergency department were surprised that I was back so soon — as was I! After a trip to X-ray, I was given the bad news: I’d shattered my right kneecap and broken my right wrist and elbow. I’d also injured my neck, which, thankfully, wasn’t broken but was quite badly sprained. After another week in hospital, I returned home — in a wheelchair this time — with casts now on my right knee and arm and a brace on my neck.

My boyfriend, probably as much motivated by guilt as concern for my well-being, spoiled me rotten for the next few painful months as I recovered. By the time I was back on my feet, summer was over and the heatwave had passed, giving way to cloudy, wet, and miserable weather. That summer changed me, and I no longer took good weather — or freedom to travel — for granted. My boyfriend changed, too, becoming less impulsive, and after several months of what he called “trying to make it up to me,” finally accepted that I’d forgiven him. He proposed to me the following spring, and we’ve been happily married ever since. But he thankfully never again offered to “carry me over the threshold”!

You’ve Paid With Shame

, , , | Right | July 22, 2021

Not long ago, I discovered that I had a flat tyre, so I got up early the next day and took my car to a reputable local tyre repair centre. I was the first customer of the day, so one of the techs got to work immediately.

Thirty minutes later, the woman in reception told me that the car was ready, and, delighted, I went into the workshop to see the tech.

Tech: “I was able to repair the tyre, so you won’t need a new one.”

I was really pleased about this — so much so that my mind must have been in another place. I jumped in the car and reversed out of the workshop. As I did so, the woman from reception appeared, looking like she wanted to speak to me.

I wound the window down.

Receptionist: “You know you haven’t paid?”

I was embarrassed that I’d forgotten, but instead of admitting that I’d forgotten, I bluffed it. 

Me: “Yeah, I know. I’m just backing out of here to free up the bay. I’ll be in in a second!”

She seemed satisfied, so I parked the car and went into reception.

Me: “I didn’t want to be blocking your bay for other customers.”

I paid for the tyre repair — only about £12 — and left, still horribly embarrassed. I was so embarrassed that when I got home I looked up the place on Facebook and left them a glowing review, just to make myself feel better.

Poison Oak Is Natural But It Still Itches Like Crazy!

, , , , | Healthy | June 13, 2021

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.


A few years ago, my wife experimented with a certain brand of mycoprotein-based products. The first time we ate some, I became ill with vomiting and stomach cramps. I foolishly assumed that these were caused by something else, but the second time we ate some, it happened again and we very quickly realised I was sensitive to mycoprotein-based products, a phenomenon which is pretty well documented.

About nine months ago, I saw a Facebook advert for this particular brand and commented, saying that while I thought this product was a great idea, regrettably, I was sensitive to mycoprotein-based products so would have to avoid eating them.

Then, I got THIS reply from a random Facebook user I don’t even know.

Stranger: “Well, you’re clearly an idiot, then. You can’t get ill from [product]. It’s natural. NATURAL PRODUCTS DON’T MAKE YOU ILL!”

I didn’t have the heart to point out to her that latex, peanuts, kiwi fruit, and eggs are all-natural and can ALL trigger serious allergic reactions.

Like I say, this phenomenon is pretty well documented, and in some cases, people have eaten mycoprotein and ended up in ICU! I’m not really sure what this woman on Facebook was thinking.

A “Text” Book Example Of How To Help

, , , , | Right | May 21, 2021

This is before many call centers have textphone-trained staff. I get a tech support call at 20:30 and we close at 21:00.

Customer: “The Internet isn’t working on my phone.”

Me: “I can help with that. Let me run you through security. Can I have your name, please?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “I need your name.”

Customer: “I can’t hear you.”

Me: “What. Is. Your. Name.”

Customer: “What? I can’t hear you.”

Me: “Your N-A-M-E. November Alpha Mike Echo.”

Customer: “Here, I’ll give you my phone number. It’s [telephone number #1].”

I find him on our system.

Me: “Thank you. Name. N-A-M-E.”

Customer: “Here, take down this other number as well. It’s [telephone number #2].”

He has already given me the number that needs fixed, so I don’t understand what I need this phone number for. Anyway, I take it down.

Customer: “You can send me texts on that number. I’m partly deaf.”

That explains our communication problems. However, we are a conventional call centre. Our only means of contacting customers is by telephone.

Me: “Is there someone else I can talk to?”

Customer: “Yeah, I can’t get any Internet on my phone.”

I have a brainwave. We’re able to send texts, so I get [telephone number #2] and start typing on my keyboard.

Me: *Typing* “Hi, this is [My Name] at [Company].”

I hear an SMS being received on their end.

Customer: “Oh… huh? Is that [Company]?”

Me: *Typing* “Yes. :-) I can hear you clearly. I will help you get your Internet working.”

From now on, I send him texts from my computer. He replies by speaking on the phone. It’s slow, but it works.

Me: “What’s your name, please?”

It takes a few seconds for him to get each text message, so I am very concise.

Customer: “I’m [Full Name].”

Me: “And the phone number is [telephone number], correct?”

Customer: “Yes.”

I look up more systems than I usually would because it is an awkward conversation. It turns out to be a common problem; he has taken out a contract for an Android phone and then started using something else.

Me: “Did you get a new phone?”

Customer: “Yes, I bought an iPhone from my friend. The Internet worked on my old phone.”

Me: “I can see the problem. One minute, please.”

I manually switch him to an iPhone-compatible contract. The change will take effect overnight. I send him another text.

Me: “Hello. I think I have fixed the problem. Your Internet should work within twenty-four hours.”

Customer: “Thanks. My friend said you can make it happen straight away.”

It’s now after 21:00.

Me: “That’s possible, but it will take a few minutes to go through. Are you happy to wait?”

Customer: “Yes, that’s fine.”

I explain to him how to make his new iPhone access the Internet. This involves going through several menus and forms. My manager, who can’t go home until I’m finished, is getting impatient.

Manager: “Hey, [My Name], are you finished yet? Time to go home!”

Since he can’t hear me speaking to someone, he isn’t aware I have a customer.

Me: *To the manager* “Yes, I’m actually dealing with a customer at the minute.”

Customer: “Oh, look my Internet is working now. You’re amazing, [My Name]!”

Me: “Just doing my job. Have a great night! Bye!”

I wrote some notes on the account, but I had one more task. I am required to manually enter each customer’s phone number into a database. I entered the customer’s phone number at least eight times, which guaranteed the customer would receive a survey. The customer got a survey, and he replied.

He gave me the maximum possible rating for everything!

Laptop Claptrap

, , , , | Learning | May 19, 2021

I was born deaf and have been nonspeaking my whole life. I was diagnosed with severe dyspraxia at four, which has affected my coordination and balance, and with autism at eight.

I have a classroom assistant who helps me communicate with my teacher and the other kids, and because I find writing so tiring and stressful, the school gives me a laptop to use. The laptop doesn’t belong to me and has my name on it along with a label saying, “Property of [School]”.

Sadly, there are some girls who feel it’s unfair that I have been given a laptop and they haven’t.

One afternoon, we’re all going to a hockey match to support our school. I walk to my locker with my classroom assistant and stow my laptop safely. After the match, I open my locker to remove my laptop… and it’s gone! I’m really upset and crying, and my poor classroom assistant can do nothing to cheer me up.

We go to the principal to explain. The next day, during assembly:

Principal: “I will allow the perpetrator to return the laptop to me, without punishment, by the end of school.”

The following day, no laptop. Two days go by, and still no laptop. I am suffering physically and mentally because of the stress. During the next assembly:

Principal: “I will be conducting locker searches if the laptop is not returned by the end of the day.”

Then, one of the teachers comes forward.

Teacher: “I saw a girl from [My Name]’s year giving something rectangular and thin to a boy at the bus stop.”

The girl in question was interviewed but denies it, even though three other girls admitted seeing her do it. I was losing all hope of ever being able to do schoolwork again, as the school wouldn’t replace the laptop until they were certain it wouldn’t be returned.

Then, the principal got a call from the father of a boy who went to one of the other local schools. He turned out to be the boyfriend of the girl the teacher had seen. He’d left the laptop sitting around his home, and his father saw it, didn’t recognise it, and saw my name and the school’s name on the bottom! The laptop was returned to the school and then to me.

The girl who stole it was expelled for theft and disability discrimination. Her boyfriend was suspended from his school and grounded by his father. And me? I NEVER let that laptop out of my sight again!