Pet-ty Differences

| France | Working | September 19, 2013

(I’m selling train tickets, and we have a new hire for the summer. As I am on my break, the new hire calls me. There’s a small fee if you travel with a pet, and if you don’t have anything to carry this pet with you, we offer to sell a cage.)

New Hire: “Hey, there’s a traveler who wants a discount for his kid. Can I sell them the pet formula and the cage?”

Me: “Er… who is it for, an animal?”

New Hire: “Nope, it’s for the child. He’s 10 years old.”

Me: “Of course not! He’s a child, so he has to get the child fare, and that’s it.”

New Hire: “Oh, okay. I thought it’d work.”

Start By Studying Their Own Conversations

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Learning | July 30, 2013

(I travel to University three days a week on public transport. I’m always on the same carriage, and so are a group of high-schoolers. For most of the year, I have listened to them talk about how they always ‘jig’, or skip certain lessons. One of them reveals they hardly ever go to English or Math. It’s clear they’re all quite proud of themselves and think they’re really cool. Then it comes time in the year for exams to begin, and I hear the conversations change.)

Teen #1: “Oh-em-gee! Exams make me so nervous.”

Teen #2: ‘Oh, I know, right? I’m like, so worried that I won’t pass math.”

Teen #1: “Yeah! And like, I don’t understand anything that’s happening in English, and no one wants to explain it to me. It’s like they’re too busy studying.”

Teen #2: “That’s so rude! Why do exams even have to happen? Ugh!”

Please Mind The Gap And Your Own Business

| London, England, UK | Related | April 15, 2013

(I am visiting my sister for the weekend in London. She is 35, and I am 20. I am also a gay male. We are coming back from a show and are heading for the Underground station. I do not know my way around London very well, so I am following my sister. A man also heading for the train starts coming on to my sister.)

Man: “Hey there, that creep over there is following you around. I can take care of him, if you like?”

Sister: “No, thank you. I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

Man: “You sure? Don’t want a pretty girl like you getting into trouble; I’m more your type anyway.”

(I decide to intervene.)

Me: “Look, mate, let me make this clear to you; you are wrong on many, many levels. Firstly, she isn’t my type—frankly, you’re more my type. Secondly, she is my sister. Third, I am only following her because I don’t have a clue where I am. And finally—and this is where you can stop acting all macho to impress her—she’s engaged with two children. Any questions?”

(The man is speechless; he only manages a nod before running away.)

Sister: “Was he really your type?”

Me: “Seriously, that is what you got from that?”

A Happy Ending Is In The Cards

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Related | December 12, 2012

(Victoria’s public transport system has upgraded to RFID cards, and I’m teaching my siblings how to use them on the way home. Note: my 9-year-old brother has a learning disability.)

Me: “Okay, kiddo, you need to hold the card on the scanner till it beeps.”

My 9-year-old Brother: *waves the card in front of the LCD screen*

Me: “No, hon. Hold it on the bottom bit until it beeps.”

My 9-year-old Brother: *puts the card on the scanner, but pulls it off before it can read*

(Suddenly, an agitated stranger behind us yells at us.)

Stranger: “Just get on the bus, you s***! Get your retard to move it!”

(Hearing this, my other brother, who is 10 years old but incredibly bright, speaks up in our defense.)

My 10-year-old Brother: “Hey, mister, he won’t learn if he doesn’t do it for himself. So, how about you shut up and pick on someone your own size?”

My 9-year-old Brother: *scans his card perfectly* “Hey! I did it!” *to the stranger* “Stuff you, old man!”

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Why Bus Drivers Should Rule The World

| San Jose, CA, USA | Right | July 14, 2010

(I am in the middle of a long bus ride. A woman is talking extremely loudly on her cell phone. Several other commuters have already moved away from her.)

Driver: “Ma’am. I have to ask you to quiet down. You are disturbing other passengers.”

Woman: “Ugh.”

(She lowers her voice for about three minutes, then begins yelling again.)

Driver: “Ma’am, I told you once already. If I can hear it, it’s too loud. If you don’t take it down a notch you’re getting off at the next stop.”

Woman: *glares* “I am trying to have a private conversation! Will you give me a minute?”

(At this point, a man who had moved away silently stands up, removes the big “Be A Considerate Commuter” sign from the overhead rack, and sits pointedly across from her with it.)

Woman: “Hold on, Lita. Some a** is trying to get my attention.” *covers phone* “If you don’t like it, you can get off the bus! Stop eavesdropping on me!”

Man: “Well ma’am, at this point, I think you could talk a little louder and dispense with the phone entirely.”

Woman: *flustered and angry* “Whatever! Okay, I’m back, Lita. So, anyway…”

(I hope the next stop was hers, because that’s where the driver left her.)

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