So Much For Unity And Working Together…

, , , , , | Friendly | March 22, 2020

(I walk into the thrift store where two older ladies are working and there’s an old man who just hangs out all day. They are talking very loudly about a very mild kerfuffle that got blown way out of proportion that happened at a local high school involving pro-[American Politician] posters. They have apparently not noticed or cared that anyone has walked in.)

Lady #1: “–and so this little [expletive] kept tearing down the posters, and the school won’t do a thing! It’s disrespectful.”

Lady #2: “They’re always like that, and the teachers are always protecting those types. Why, my granddaughter got in trouble for telling one of those Hispanic boys to stop insulting the teacher. And walking around with Brown Pride shirts!”

(I am starting to get uncomfortable, as well as mentally calling bull on her claim given the area’s demographic makeup. Then, they go back to complaining about the poster incident when the old man pipes up.)

Man: “You know, that boy should be hung by the neck for showing such disrespect!” 

(The ladies made noises of agreement — and I immediately left and haven’t been back since.)

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Those Thrifty Communists!

, , , , , | Right | March 17, 2020

(I overheard this at our thrift store.)

Customer: “Do you have any coffee makers?”

Coworker: “Yeah, I have a few. Are you just looking for a Mr. Coffee type?”

Customer: “I want one that isn’t communist.”

Coworker: *scratches his head* “I’m not sure I follow.”

Customer: “I want a coffee maker that isn’t communist. If it’s made in China, I don’t want it! I refuse to give a communist country my money.”

Coworker: “Um, we’re a secondhand store. Any money you spend here stays here and is donated to [Local Animal Shelter]. I can guarantee it won’t go to China.”

Customer: “If it’s made in China, it’s a communist coffee maker!”

Coworker: “Unfortunately, I don’t think we have any that fit what you want.”

Customer: “Well, then, you won’t get any of my money unless you make your products in the USA!”

(The customer leaves.)

Coworker: “But… we’re a thrift store…”

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We Sing In A Shadow

, , , , , | Related | March 6, 2020

(I am about to take my first trip to Thailand to visit some friends who live there. Mom comes up to me one evening.)

Mom: “You know what you should do before you leave?”

Me: “What?”

(I’m thinking she’s going to get me to try yet another Thai dish because I’ve been less than enthusiastic about what I’ve tried so far in preparation for this trip.)

Mom: “You should watch The King and I.”

Me: “Uh, you do know that movie is banned in Thailand, right?”

Mom: “It is?”

Me: “Yep. Thai people love that king, and Rodgers and Hammerstein made him look like an idiot.”

Mom: “But it’s a classic love story.”

Me: “It’s still insulting. They love their king over there. They have shrines to him all over the place from what I can tell.”

Mom: “But why ban it? It’s not a documentary.”

(I quickly pull up Google on my phone.)

Me: “Yeah, it looks like all but one version is banned in Thailand. Complaints include Jodie Foster being more prominent on the poster, uh… the king is basically a cowboy on an elephant… Oh, in one version, it says they showed the king using common chopsticks when he should’ve been using a spoon.”

Mom: “That’s it?”

Me: “It’s a crime to insult the king. ‘Violators of the law face a seven-year prison sentence.’”

Mom: “So, I guess you can’t go around singing ‘Getting to Know You.’”

Me: “No.”

Mom: “Well, don’t insult the king while you’re there.”

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World-Famous Racism

, , , , , | Learning | February 22, 2020

(It’s Presidents’ Day, 2009. Obama has just been inaugurated. I’m giving a lesson about the White House to some second-graders.)

Me: “And there’s a world-famous rose garden at the White House.”

Student: “Obama’s going to take that out.”

Me: “I don’t think so.”

Student: “He is! He’s going to put in a watermelon patch! My dad says so!”

Me: “Moving on…”

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Politicians Are The Best Actors Of All

, , , , , | Friendly | December 30, 2019

My dad had a role as an extra for a TV show about the goings-on in the backrooms of parliament.

He was playing a driver for one government minister, and they were filming in and around Parliament House.

Waiting outside the main entrance, dressed the part, and in an official-looking vehicle, my dad waited for the scene to start shooting.

It turns out the delay was the current leader of the opposition coming out of parliament.  

Seeing the car my dad was in, he climbed in the back and directed my dad to take him to the hotel bar where the party members were known to stay when parliament was sitting.

The leader’s staffers and production staff for the TV show all bustled around, trying to get the leader out of the back of the car.

My dad let him know about the filming but told me that he was very tempted to take off and see how far he could get before the police tracked him down.

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