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You’re On The News? That’s News To Me!

, , , | Right | May 10, 2022

I was working the door at a hockey game once. They usually had local celebrities or public figures come and drop the first puck. One of the local newscasters came in.

Newscaster: “I’m here to drop the first puck.”

The team hadn’t notified the doors yet. She figured since she was a newscaster, we’d recognize her and let her in. The game was about to start and they did really need someone there to drop the puck, so there was no time for verification.

Well, the problem was that none of us watched the local news. Then, all of a sudden, I recognized her; I had gone to school with her sister.

Me: “I know you! You’re [Former Schoolmate]’s sister! Sure, go on in.”

And I told her where to go.

She came back ten minutes later. She really had been there just to drop the puck, which I knew was the case once I recognized her. She was actually very sweet and understanding through the entire thing. I could tell, though, that it did set her back half a step because I knew who she was because of her sibling and not her career.

Uh… Boys Will Be Boys?

, , , , , , | Romantic | May 4, 2022

Back in her high school days, Mum was the most beautiful girl in school, to the point where there was a gentleman’s agreement among the boys that Mum was for everyone to equally enjoy from afar — off-limits to confessions and everything.

Me: “Then how did Dad get you?”

Mum: “He punched me in the face.”

Me: “What?”

Mum does kendo and karate. That I already knew. But apparently, their high school didn’t have a kendo club. It did, however, have a fencing club. Mum decided to challenge a few of the fencers to an informal swordfight.

Mum trounced three fencing club members, including the captain, before Dad, a new transfer student, stepped up.

Dad: “All right, so we agree. First to fifteen points. Anything goes.”

Mum: “Sure.”

Dad actually put on quite a good showing. He was in the lead for most of the fight. Mum was stronger than him — still is stronger, actually — but Dad was and still is faster than her. His sword had a longer reach, and he scored by stabbing, not by slashing, compounding that advantage. Dad leveraged his speed to keep himself out of range of Mum, slowly but surely racking up the points.

But eventually, Dad tired out. He started making mistakes, and Mum, who had been conserving her stamina for the whole match, stopped holding back.

13-11 in Dad’s favour slowly tipped to 13-13, and then 13-14. Getting rather desperate, after Mum parried his sword, Dad used his free hand to slug her straight in the face, and then he stabbed her with his sword before she could react.

14-14 now. Anything goes. They had both agreed to that. The punch didn’t count, but the sword stab did.

Mum reared back from the left hook and angrily retaliated by removing a hand from her sword and throwing a right straight right into Dad’s face. She hit him so hard he was thrown off his feet and onto the ground.

Despite being stunned — and half-blind as his glasses had been bent quite out of shape from how hard his mask was hit — Dad still managed to leap to his feet and somehow not just parry Mum’s shinai but actually score the fifteenth point at the same time. 

He had blocked the slash with his sword’s guard, and the tip had carried on to stab Mum’s breastplate.

Me: “What, really?”

Dad: “Yeah, I’ve still got the scar to prove it.”

He shows me his right hand where there’s a keloid scar over the knuckle of his thumb.

Dad: “I got that because I parried [Mum]’s last blow with the guard of my epee. She hit it so hard that the guard slammed into my hand and cut me through my glove.”

The guard of an epee is essentially a metal bowl that covers the top of the wielder’s hand to prevent the opponent from stabbing them in the fingers. The rim of the bowl is pretty sharp, as my Dad clearly found out firsthand. Literally.

Me: *To Mum* “So, you fell in love with Dad because he beat you.”

Mum: “No, I fell in love with [Dad] because he apologised for punching me and baked me cupcakes. It was pretty sweet.”

Me: “The cupcakes or the gesture?”

Mum: “Both.”

Me: “Okay. Okay. I know Dad’s baking is awesome, but seriously? That’s all it took?”

Mum: “No, he was also the only boy in school that treated me as an actual human being and respected me for my thoughts and opinions instead of just my looks or athletic talent.”

Me: “Really? Over a hundred boys in school, and only Dad wasn’t charmed by your looks?”

Mum: “Oh, he was charmed. Couldn’t look straight at me without blushing and stammering. But unlike the rest, he actually listened when I talked and tried his best to treat me like everyone else.”

Dad: *Shrugs* “To be fair, I was a transfer student. I didn’t know about the whole ‘gentleman’s agreement’ thing until after we’d became boyfriend and girlfriend.”

Mum: “You nearly got lynched by the boys.”

Dad: “Thrice. That I know of. And [Teacher] tried to get me suspended for confessing. I think he was jealous.”

Mum: “Oh, he was.”

Me: “So, was it worth it in the end?”

Both Of Them: “Absolutely.”

They never married each other, even after a decade and two children, but are both still very much madly in love. And to think it all started with a punch in the face.

That Was My First Thought, Too, Honestly

, , , , , | Learning | April 27, 2022

I’m teaching a unit on the Winter Olympics.

Second-Grader: “What’s biathlon?”

Me: “It’s a combination of skiing and shooting.”

The student’s eyes go wide.

Me: “Not at the same time!”

Some Sports Fans Need To CHILL

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 27, 2022

Our pediatrician’s office has an odd setup where you park across from the clinic in a separate parking lot and have to cross the street in order to get to the front door. While there are several blinking signs to inform drivers to stop when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk, people often speed down the street, and I have been almost hit several times.

Today, I am taking my one-year-old for a checkup. As it’s winter, he is wearing a knit hat with a logo for an NFL team that is the rival of the local favorite team. I hit the walk button and, seeing no one, start to walk across the street while holding my son.

Suddenly, a large truck comes racing down the street. They don’t look like they are going to stop, so I hurry across. They do stop at the last minute as I get to the front of the clinic.

The guy driving rolls down his window.

Guy: “Now that I see your kid’s hat, maybe I should have hit you guys! Go [Local Favorite NFL Team]!”

He laughed and drove off.

I stood there in disbelief. Who says that to someone, but especially about an obviously very little kid?

Germans Don’t Joke About Sports

, , , , , , | Working | January 10, 2022

I work for a small company in an “at-will” state, meaning you can be fired at any time and the person firing you doesn’t have to give a reason. The owner of the company is of German descent, though this isn’t publicly known; I know it because he grew up on the same block I did and our families are friends.

We’re all eating lunch together in the break room and watching a tennis tournament on the TV. A German player loses, and one of my coworkers speaks up.

Coworker: “That must be one sour Kraut.”

Owner: “[Coworker], you’re fired.”