Rear Windows 95

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2019

Way back in the late 90s, my grandma treated me and my younger cousin to a class to learn HTML. I was 18 and my cousin was 15. It was an all-day class with an hour lunch break in the middle. There were five or six other people who all seemed to be taking the class as part of their job training; my cousin and I were the only people under 30.

This was back when computers had just started having those scrolling text screensavers, and I’d learned how to change the text — not hard, I know, but it was new enough that many weren’t used to them at all. Over lunch, my cousin and I were the first ones back because we’d just brought lunch rather than driving to a restaurant and coming back. We were bored, so I changed some of the scrolling text screensavers, mostly to things like, “HI!!” or some Simpson’s quotes, but on one guy’s computer I change it to say, “I know what you did and you’re not fooling anyone.” Typical but tame high-school-prank type stuff.

I don’t know if anyone noticed the silly or simple texts, but the man at this last computer was one of the last ones to return from lunch. He sat down and saw the text, and sat there for a few moments, reading it as it repeated across his screen. He said to the woman next to him, “Did you do this? Who did this? How do they know?!”

He seemed really shaken, and of course now that I’m a proper grownup I feel a little guilty, but I still laugh hysterically every time I think of it.

You Can Hear The Bells Of Bow From Saint Peter’s

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 10, 2019

(My wife and I are on our honeymoon and have just finished a tour of the Vatican. We are making our way through people trying to join the entry queue. I try to speak — bad — Italian, complete with accent, and weave through the crowds, wife in tow. I am over six feet tall and from London, and I have my arm out to part the crowd.)

Me: “Scusi… Scusi… Prego… Scusi.”

(I spot some British tourists up ahead trying to join the back of the line by climbing over the barrier, rather unsuccessfully. I keep an eye out, prepared for the inevitable.)

Me: “Scusi… Prego…”

(I drop into a thick London accent with no time to deal with idiots.)

Me: “COMING THROUGH, MATE!”

(The family parted faster than the Red Sea as we came through, my wife laughing her head off!)

Not Just Full Of Hot Air

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2019

(I am in the sixth grade, around age twelve. The teacher enters the room to find one of his students standing on a table.)

Teacher: “[Student], what are you doing on the table? Get down!”

Student: “I’m escaping a fart!”

Teacher: “Well, don’t you know that hot air rises?”

Student: *without missing a beat* “Well, that’s what I come to school for! To learn!”

(The student hopped down and class went on after everyone stopped laughing.)

Ptizza

, , , , , , | Right | April 9, 2019

(This happened several years ago at the call center for a local pizza chain. We stop taking orders at 11:00 pm but most activity dies down at 10:00, so most of the employees have gone home. I’m alone, aside from the manager, and bored at 10:55 pm when I get a call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pizza Chain]. My name is [My Name]. What can I get for you today?”

Customer: “Hi, [My Name]. So, we have a bet going.”

Me: “Um, okay.”

Customer: “Can you spell ‘pterodactyl’?”

Me: “Yes? P-T-E-R-O—“

Customer: “Thanks.” *yelling* “She got it! I knew [Pizza Chain] could spell.” *to me* “Thanks again.”

Me: *laughing* “You’re welcome. Have a great night.”

Like Millennials Who Can’t Tell Analogue Time

, , , , , , | Related | April 9, 2019

Back a decade or so ago, I was home from college between semesters, lounging with my brother, when I got a call from my mother. She sounded worked up, which isn’t usual, and asked me rather insistently if I knew how to count change. My confused response must not have inspired confidence because she said she was going to come home and make sure.

Sure enough, when she got home she started grabbing change to put on the table, asking us again if we knew how. My brother and I were able to talk her down a bit with several assurances that we did, in fact, have a basic understanding of currency, and we finally got the reason for all this. Mom had been out shopping and the cashier had given her the wrong change, and had apparently been entirely clueless about how to count it out. This had worked my mother up to the point where she apparently felt the need to make sure her sons weren’t in the same boat.

I can certainly understand why that would be a frustrating experience. But I can’t help but be amused that she feared that a student who had run As in the advanced math track, tested out of every math requirement in college, and was routinely referred to by friends and family as a “human calculator” would be incapable of counting change!

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