You Run Into Some Real Animals At The Zoo

, , , , , | Friendly | November 20, 2020

My family rents a large house for a week on Cape Cod to celebrate my grandfather’s seventy-fifth birthday. There are about fourteen of us staying here. I, as the oldest of my grandfather’s grandchildren by far, am the one looking after my younger cousins the most, but I don’t really mind, since most of the kids pair up quite nicely age-wise with one of their cousins.

One day, as a day trip, I take my aunt’s new ten-year-old stepson — [Cousin #1] — and my seven-year-old cousin — [Cousin #2] — to the zoo, which is about an hour away. They are surprisingly well-behaved so the drives there and back are quite uneventful.

It is worth noting here that [Cousin #2] was born with several disabilities, including severe lazy eye, missing fingers, and limited use of one leg. She cannot take more than a few steps at a time and usually prefers to use forearm crutches, as she was on that day.

We get to the zoo and spend most of the day there. We pick up some cheeseburgers from a drive-thru on the way to eat at lunch. We sit down in a quiet area away from the crowds to eat lunch.

As we are eating, an old lady who is there with what appear to be her toddler grandchildren walks over to us. She begins talking to [Cousin #2], saying quite rude things about how little children shouldn’t be wearing glasses, how her hair is too long to be becoming for a little girl, and how her very pale complexion indicates she ought to go outside more.

Then, she notices my cousin’s crutches, which she has propped up against the bench right next to her, and the obvious brace on her leg.

Woman: “You should stop eating that burger, dearie. Otherwise, you’ll be too heavy to use your crutches.”

Perhaps it is the really calm way in which she says it, or perhaps it’s that [Cousin #2] is really absent-minded, but she very politely and enthusiastically says:

Cousin #2: “Actually, I have a really high metabolism. That means that I eat a lot of food just to keep my body warm. My mom says that when I become a teenager I’ll probably be eating double what she eats.”

The woman looks taken aback, which the kids seem to interpret as confusion.

Cousin #1: “No, metabolism is a real thing. My dad says it’s not fair because I eat like two teenage boys and never gain weight and he eats like a normal man and is kinda fat.”

The woman doesn’t seem to have noticed [Cousin #1] up until this point. She looks at him, a short, skinny black kid, and then at [Cousin #2] and me, very pale kids with similar shades of blond hair and rather similar faces. About the only thing we have in common appearance-wise with [Cousin #1] is that his glasses looked quite similar to [Cousin #2]’s. The old woman turns to [Cousin #1].

Woman: “Are you all right, dearie? Have you been kidnapped by this man? I’ll call for help, shall I?”

Cousin #1: “No, I’m their step-cousin. My dad married their aunt.”

[Cousin #2] raises her hand, which is missing a few fingers and has a rather unconventional shape, and points at [Cousin #1].

Cousin #2: “Yeah, he’s our step-cousin, but we usually call him just our cousin because…”

She trailed off as she saw the old woman’s eyes grow wide at the sight of my cousin’s hand. The old woman picked up the toddlers and walked off in a hurry. That did hurt my cousin a bit, but after some ice cream, she seemed to have gotten over it.

Indeed, that evening after dinner, she confided in me that she had a new idea for her Halloween costume. “I’m gonna be a pirate,” she said, “because if my normal hand scares adults away already, then if I get a hook hand, I can scare all the adults! Then, my friends and I will get all the candy!” She then attempted her scariest evil laugh, which would have been more threatening if she weren’t wearing glasses, her mouth had all its teeth in it, and she wasn’t giggling while she did it.

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Mmm, Strawberries And Meat-Cream, Part 2

, , , , | Right | October 1, 2020

When I have to bag groceries, I like to keep the raw meats separate from any other items that the customers may be buying to avoid any kind of contamination. One night, I happen to bag for a customer who is buying a few packages of cold cuts and a package of ground beef. I instinctively put the cold cuts in one bag and the ground beef in another.

Customer: “You don’t have to use two bags. You can put both in the same bag.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I was told not to put raw meat and fresh food in the same bag to avoid contamination.”

Customer: “And I’m telling you to put them in the same d*** bag!”

Me: “Ma’am, I could get in trouble for doing that.”

Customer: “I don’t care! Put them in the same d*** bag now! I want to have to carry two bags to my car!”

I still refuse to put the raw meat in the same bag as the cold cuts, so the customer takes the bag with the ground beef and shoves it inside the bag with the cold cuts.

Customer: “You’re completely useless, you stupid girl! When a customer tells you to do something for them, you do it!”

Customer #2: “Will you stop harassing the poor girl for doing her job right and just get out of here already?! You’re holding up the line over something stupid!”

The first customer leaves and the second customer turns to me.

Customer #2: “You are doing a wonderful job. Don’t let people like that tell you otherwise!”

Mmm, Strawberries And Meat-Cream

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Glad They Catnipped That In The Bud, Part 2

, , , , | Right | September 3, 2020

I’m working in the pet food aisle of the market I work at and these two teenagers have taken an interest in the small selection of catnip we supply.

Teen #1: “Hey, do you know anything about catnip?”

Me: “Not really, why?”

Teen #1: “Oh, we just wanted to know if you could get high off of it?”

Me: “Um… I’m really not sure.”

Teen #2: “Well, we figured that cats get pretty crazy on it. So humans must get some kind of high off of it, too, right?”

Teen #1: “It’s like pot for cats, right?”

Me: “I have no idea. I don’t know anything about catnip. And I certainly don’t know anything about drugs.”

Teen #1: “Oh, okay. Thanks for your help.”

Teen #2: *As they walk away* “Let’s get it and try smoking it, anyway. What’s the worst it can do?”

Glad They Catnipped That In The Bud

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A Questionable Mood Change

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2020

I work at a community mental health agency as an outpatient counselor, assessing a client’s overall emotional functioning. 

Me: “I have some questions for you today, just to check in and see how you’re doing.”

Client: “You know what? I’m sick and tired of you and your f****** questions. I’m sick of people telling me what to do. I’m not coming back to this f****** place after today.”

Me: “If you prefer not to do this now, that’s okay. You can decide not to do the assessment; I’d understand.”

Client: *sighs* “Fine, I’ll do it. Let’s get this done.”

Me: “Would you say you feel irritable always, often, sometimes, rarely, or never?”

Client: “Never. I’m doing pretty good with that.”

I maintain composure and complete the rest of the assessment.

Me: *Finishing session* “I think we’ve done enough for today. Would you like to meet next week?”

Client: “Sure, this time works because I get out of work at three.”

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Things Are Heating Up Around Here

, , , , , | Working | July 2, 2020

I’ve been stopping at this same [Coffee Shop] for the past seven years. Despite working a few different jobs, it’s the most convenient one between my house and the highway. Not only that, but they actually make a decent cup of coffee considering they’re a chain shop.

Up until last week, I’ve shown up there somewhere between seven and nine am every day, depending on the day. There was even a stretch of time where, since it’s right next to a school, I would skip the fifteen-minute drive-thru line and just walk right in. They caught on and would even have my coffee waiting at the counter. They may have messed up my order twice in this long stretch of time.

Recently, my schedule changed drastically. I now stop in between five-thirty and six am, with a whole different crew working. In the past two weeks, this woman has tried to hand me a large hot coffee four times; I order a large iced coffee.

Each time, I’ve corrected her as politely as possible considering I’m definitely not a morning person. Three of those times, she has made a medium coffee and laughed crazily when I corrected her for a second time. Twice, she has attempted to give me a medium iced coffee; at least she skipped the hot coffee step.


Six mistakes in about ten days means I really need to find a new coffee place, but I have very minimal options that early.

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