That’s Still More Than Trump Gives Back

, , , , | Right | August 11, 2017

(I work at a popular restaurant in Las Vegas. We get a diverse group of people from different cultural and political backgrounds. This particular day is like any other, until this exchange occurs:)

Customer: *wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat* “I’m only going to give you a 10% tip because you didn’t do a great job.”

Me: “I’m sorry, did I do something wrong?”

Customer: “Oh, no, no, not at all. You were fine; you just weren’t great. Have a nice day!”

Me: “All right, we’ll see you next time.” *quietly, to myself* “Next time I’ll make table-side service great again…”

In Soviet Russia, Rooms Rest You!

, , , , | Right | August 7, 2017

(My family moved from Sweden to America when I was a teenager. As a result, we had pretty obvious accents. In high school I got a job at a clothing store. Most people who heard me speak either seemed curious and would ask me where I was from or simply didn’t comment. One day, an older man walked into the store and came up to me.)

Man: “Hello, I was wondering if you could point me to the restrooms?”

Me: “Oh, of course! They’re just down this aisle. I can show you if you’d like.”

(The man stared at me suspiciously for a few long moments before he motioned for me to step a little closer. I did so nervously. His expression was very, very grave and serious.)

Man: “Tell me straight. Are you a communist?”

(I barely managed to suppress my laughter and assured him that I was not a communist. I then quickly showed him to the restrooms and proceeded to laughed myself sick.)

A More Civilised Way To Do Tea

, , | Friendly | July 9, 2017

(It is during a presidential election year, just as the Tea Party political movement is gaining support. However, it’s not widely recognized yet. My friend and I won’t be old enough to vote in the election, so we’re not paying much attention to all the political stuff. Neither of us have ever heard of the Tea Party. We’re bored one day, sitting around her house and trying to find something to do. We overhear her mom talking on the phone from the other room. We can’t hear the whole conversation, but we catch the words “Tea Party,” “library,” and “today.” Our local library often has events for children and teens, so we make some incorrect assumptions.)

Friend: “A tea party at the library? Sounds fun.”

Me: “Yeah, let’s go.”

(We head over to the library, but when we arrive, we find a bunch of people shouting and carrying signs. They’re completely blocking the entrance to the library, so we start walking through the crowd.)

Woman: *holding sign, and very loudly, to me* “It’s great to see the younger generation getting involved. [Political opinion I don’t agree with], right?”

Me: “Um…”

Friend: “Sorry, we were looking for the tea party. Do you know where…?”

Woman: *holding sign* “You found it. This is it.”

Me: “…”

Friend: “…”

Me: “But where’s the tea?”

Woman: *a bit confused* “Well… there is no tea. It’s just a metaphor. The Boston Tea Party, you know?”

(The woman walks away to go yell political slogans with people who actually want to hear them. My friend and I turn to each other with disappointed expressions.)

Friend: “No tea…”

Me: “No scones…”

Friend: “Not even those little cucumber sandwiches. This is boring. Let’s leave.”

(We ended up checking out a cookbook from the library and making scones and fruit tarts at my friend’s house. We had our own tea party, without any politics in it.)

When A Punch Line Gets You Punched

, , , , | Friendly | June 16, 2017

(We are on holiday and are checking into our hotel.)

Receptionist: “How are you enjoying New York so far?”

Friend: “It’s great! I didn’t expect there to be so many [Racial Slur]s about!”

(The receptionist, who is black, glares at him.)

Friend: “Did I say it right? I heard that’s what white people did in America now.”

(That seemed to dissolve the tension slightly, and I’m hoping she just assumed my friend was making an off-colour joke with all the racial tensions being felt in the country. Personally though, knowing my friend, he was just being racist.)

Mexican’t Believe It

, , , , | Learning | June 8, 2017

(I am working in a junior high classroom helping a group of students with their English homework. This is not long after Trump takes office and the students are reading a magazine article about Trump’s different stances on the environment, immigration, economy, etc. I am explaining to them about his ideas about the border wall with Mexico.)

Student #1: “But I don’t get it. Isn’t Mexico part of the U.S.?”

Me: *fumbling for a response* “Are you thinking of New Mexico?”

Student #1: “No, Mexico Mexico.”

Me: “…No.”

(The rest of the students are either laughing or gaping at this point.)

Student #2: *pointing* “There’s a map over there. Go look.”

(I lead Student #1 over to the map and show them Mexico and the US.)

Student #1: *wide eyed* “Ooohhh… that makes so much more sense. Like, I couldn’t figure out why all the other states wanted to keep people from one state out.”

(At this point, I’m just nodding and trying not to laugh.)

Student #1: “How did I get to seventh grade without knowing that?”

(I thought it best not to answer.)

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