No Need To Pardon This French

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 6, 2018

(My father and I are coming back home from church. We are speaking English because we attend an American church and just didn’t bother going back to speaking French. We’re both fluent and speak English with no accent at all. We take seats in the underground and go on with our conversation for a few minutes until I notice that the lady in the seat next to mine is glaring at us. Keep in mind that we’re in Paris, one of the cities with the most tourists in the world.)

Lady: *in French, to her friend, obviously thinking my father and I don’t understand* “These foreigners are way too loud! Why are they here? If they want to speak English, they should go back to their country. They should make an effort to speak French.”

(She keeps going on like that for quite some time. I tell my father, who was politely going to tell her to shut up that it’s not worth it, but her rant is starting to annoy me. At that point she’s speaking very loudly, and the other people around are looking at us.)

Lady: “Ils croivent qu’ils peuvent venir ici et nous envahir avec leur culture!” *They think they can come here and invade us with their culture!*

(There is an enormous grammar mistake in that sentence. Our stop is next, and my father is fuming by that time. I stand up and start towards the doors, but I can’t resist turning around to face her.)

Me: *in French* “Ma’am, you have been incredibly rude, and you’ve been disturbing the other passengers. If you don’t want to see foreigners, don’t live in Paris. Oh, and by the way, ‘croivent’ is not correct French, so maybe you should think twice before telling people to speak French, given that you are obviously unable to speak it correctly yourself.”

(She turned red, and some of the other passengers started laughing, including her own friend. I got off the underground with a huge grin on my face. My dad was laughing his a** off and ended up buying me a cookie on our way back.)

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Start The Car Or Get The Girl

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 5, 2018

(When I am eighteen it is deemed necessary for me to buy a car. I buy one from a neighbor that is over twenty years old, but in good enough shape to get me back and forth to college. The car won’t start after a long day at school. My school has a driver assistance program for simple fixes. I call them, and within fifteen minutes a van pulls up. He tries to jump the car, which doesn’t work. The battery isn’t dead, so I assume the starter is having problems. I resign myself to calling a tow truck. I walk to the main entrance to wait for him. When he arrives, the tow truck he has brought is far too large to make it to the top floor of the parking garage.)

Tow Driver: “This one is too big. I’ll call my partner to bring the smaller truck.”

(While he is doing that, I notice a very pretty female student, who has gotten a flat tire in front of the garage. I offer to help. She grabs the jack and spare tire from her trunk and I go to work. My tow truck driver is now standing on the bed of his truck, screaming directions angrily into his phone for the smaller tow truck driver. It is comical, and the pretty girl and I both have a laugh. It is then that I notice that one of her lugnuts is a wheel lock, and I will need the special tool to get it off. This tool is usually kept near the spare.)

Me: “Do you have the adaptor for your wheel lock? It should be in the trunk where the rest of this was.”

Pretty Girl: “Oh, yeah. I didn’t know what that was, so I didn’t grab it.”

(She tries to open her trunk but it is locked. She goes for the drivers door… which is also locked.)

Pretty Girl: “Oh, no! I locked my keys in the car.”

(Sure enough, all the doors are locked, and the keys are on the front seat.)

Pretty Girl: “I think I am just going to call my dad; he has my spare keys and will be able to fix the tire.”

Me: “Are you sure? I would be happy to wait with you until he gets here.”

Pretty Girl: “No, that’s all right. I think your ride is here, anyway.”

(Sure enough, the second tow truck had showed up, so the two drivers and I piled in and made our way to my car. The original driver asked for my keys, sat in the driver’s seat, and tried the ignition. Nothing. He then tried again, this time mashing the gas pedal to the floor a few times, causing the car to start up with a roar like I had never heard from this car. Having never driven an older car to this point, giving it a little gas had never even occurred to me. I was on my way home five minutes later. So, to sum up, I paid over $200 to have another grown man teach me how to start my car. It wasn’t until I was halfway home that I realized my other mistake: I had been assisting a very pretty damsel in distress, and I never even thought to ask for her number.)

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Driving Down Hookup Lane

, , , , , | Related | December 4, 2018

My dad loves to tell this story. Back before any of us kids were born, my parents lived in an apartment within easy walking distance of a car shop. One day, Mom had to drop the car off for repairs and decided to just hoof it back home. It was only a mile and a half, but part of the sidewalk did border a busy main road.

Mom started walking home, and noticed a car driving slowly up to her. It reached to level with her and drove alongside her, and she saw it was a man driving the vehicle. He looked at her, then sped off. Mom shook it off and kept walking.

A bit further on, a different car did the same thing: slowed down, drove up until it was level with her, drove a bit alongside her, then sped off. It was also a man driving. Now, Mom was starting to worry.

A third car, driven by a third man, did the same thing, and Mom just kept walking forward, not turning her head. The car drove away, and Mom finally got home.

When Dad came home, Mom told him about the three cars, which set Dad off laughing. He explained that the area she was walking through was a known hotspot for prostitutes. Mom, still a bit rattled, said, “But I wasn’t wearing any sexy clothes or makeup! I was sweaty and hadn’t washed my hair. How did they think I was a hooker?!”

I guess they were really desperate.

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The Very Model Of A Modern Major Pain In The A**

, , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2018

I went to a performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan play at a community theater. In the front row, there was what appeared to be a mom with two adult children, likely in their 20s, a son and a daughter. It became apparent that the son had little experience watching live theater and knew nothing of theater etiquette, such as the rule that you don’t talk back to the actors. Besides that, he’d laugh at the wrong moments and look confused when others were laughing. Oh, and did I mention he’d talk back to the actors? All the while, he generated less than favorable looks from his sister.

At intermission, all three got up and left, and only the mother and daughter returned, sans son. I only wish I could have heard that conversation.

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Your Husband Is Not In Union With You On This One

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2018

(I’ve been asked to help out at my husband’s work for a couple of weeks. I am shown to a room where I can complete the work. I’ve been working for a few hours when the phone rings on a nearby desk. There’s been no one else in the room.)

Me: “Hello. [My Name] speaking.”

(I notice the caller ID is showing that the call is coming from my husband, but the voice at the other end is not his.)

Caller: *very stern and gruff male* “This is [Caller] and I am a representative from [extra-long Union name]. I’ve had a phone call reporting that you are working over there at [work site]. I need to know who you are and what you are doing on those premises.”

Me: *frightened* “I am [My Name] and I am working on [job].”

Caller: “And are you a member of [Union]?”

Me: “No.”

Caller: “Well, that’s unacceptable; you are here taking jobs away from union employees.” *goes on rant about it, ending with…* “…you’re in big trouble. We’ll be handing this matter over to our lawyers, and you can expect a call from them. You’d better get yourself a good one.”

Me: *even more frightened* “Uh, okay.”

(As I hang up, I notice the time and see that it’s lunchtime. I decide to go and meet my husband. When I get there he is sitting at a table with another man, who looks at me and starts laughing.)  

Caller: *laughs* “I got you good! I bet you were scared getting that phone call from the [Union].”

(He laughs, and keeps crowing about how he got me.)

Me: *when I can get a word in* “Wasn’t scared.”

Caller: “What? Yes, you were.”

Me: “The phone has caller ID; it said [Husband]’s name on the screen.”

(The man went bright red as [Husband] and his boss cracked up. My husband told me that he had dialled the number to let me know it was lunchtime, and the other guy had taken the phone from him.)

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