When Language Throws You To The Dogs

, , , , , | Friendly | June 10, 2018

(I’m about 16, and regularly chatting with a high school friend through an instant messenger. He logs on one day and this is the first thing he writes. It should be noted that Spanish is a common second language where I live, but I do not speak or understand it at all.)

Friend: “Mi perro es muerto.”

Me: “C’mon, man, you know I don’t speak Spanish. And I don’t feel like having to run this conversation through a translator, so can you use English?”

Friend: “My dog is dead.”

Me: *feeling suddenly guilty and somewhat ashamed* “Well… s***.”

(Thankfully, it didn’t ruin the friendship.)

He’ll Give You A Computer Virus

, , , | | Right | June 1, 2018

(I am a moderator for a very large anime-based website, centered primarily around forums and the customizable avatars that sit next to user’s forum posts. The site has a PG-13 rating, which among other things means a ban on posting, linking, or requesting sexually explicit content. A user has posted a thread looking for cybersex — sexually explicit online roleplay. I delete the thread and send him a private message.)

Me: “This is a formal warning from [Site] staff. [Site] forbids the posting of sexually explicit material, including cybering. Further warnings may result in your account being banned, possibly permabanned.”

User: “I’ll cyber with you if you lift the warning.”

Me: “This is a formal warning from [Site] staff…”

Craig Needs To Have A Word With That One

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 1, 2018

(I’ve been looking to rent a room or find a roommate to rent with, so I’ve posted an ad to Craigslist. Due to getting endless offers from guys who seem to not be able to understand what “female only” means, and feeling like I’m being harassed, I’ve had to get extremely explicit and repetitive in stating I’m absolutely unwilling to live with men in any way, shape, or form, and unwilling to live with any female roommates with boyfriends who ever stay overnight or hang around excessively. It’s not due to religion; I’m atheist. I just have strong comfort preferences for roommates. Let’s face it: boyfriends who sleep over or hang around a lot ARE roommates; they just don’t pay rent or have to clean. I word it politely — for Craigslist — but quite insistently. I quickly get an email from someone whose name indicates she’s female, but it seems not actually for the purpose of offering me a room.)


“What the hell is wrong with you? Do you really hate men? You must be some crazy terrorist Muslim [slur] recluse woman! Imagine, hating all men like that! No one will ever want to sleep with you or even be friends with you with that attitude! Loser!

And how dare you even state anything that sounds like you’re trying to tell me what to do in my own house?! It’s my house! And an extremely lovely and expensive house it is! In the best part of Santa Monica! And I’ll do anything I like in it and invite whoever I like! How dare you have the gall to try to tell me what to do in my own home?! If I deign to invite you to live in my house, you are a guest and have no rights to decide anything! You must treat me deferentially! I’ll do whatever I please in my house! You must be as much of a worthless loser as you sound like! Loser!”

My Reply:

“’Guest: [standard dictionary definition, i.e. someone who stays for free.]’ So, [Woman], if you’re willing to be kind enough to allow me to live in your house completely and totally for free, I’d love to take you up on it, and of course I’ll then not ask to make any decisions at all about what goes on there. Otherwise, however, if you would in fact expect me to pay an equal share of the rent, then I’d actually not be considered a guest at all, but a proper house resident with all the rights that you’ve got. And I will very much expect anyone I live with to have just as much regard for my rules and preferences as I’m expected to for theirs.

Of course, [Woman], that certainly won’t be you, as you’ve made clear you’re a giant xenophobe and racist, and I consider myself to be quite lucky to have been so quickly and effectively warned off you, by you, yourself. Good riddance to utter trash. Don’t contact me again.”

(I blocked her email immediately after sending the reply. I always kind of wondered whether she was an utter nutter trolling random folks on Craigslist, or if she actually was a — nutty — Santa Monica homeowner with an expensive house, renting out a room. The latter isn’t out of the question, sadly, but no matter how nice the house and neighborhood, I severely pity anyone she dupes into living there. You’d have to live like a vampire to get any peace from her.)

That’s My Name In Black And White

, , , , | Working | May 7, 2018

(I am having a conference call with several people in my department. We are using PCs and the webcam feature, so whoever is speaking appears on everyone’s screens. I have been quiet throughout most of the meeting, as I am taking minutes. I quickly answer a question.)

Colleague: “Ooh, I didn’t know [My Name] was black!”

Me: “Umm, yeah.”

Colleague: “You don’t sound black, and your name isn’t black. That’s such a shock.”

Me: “I guess.”

Colleague: “You should have said!”

(There was an awkward silence before the meeting continued. After we wrapped up, she emailed me, asking me to visit her, because there weren’t enough black people in her local department and she’d been receiving complaints of discrimination. She said there just weren’t any black people applying for jobs. She works in London, the most ethnically diverse city in the UK.)

Queen Of The Dead

, , , , , , | Romantic | May 6, 2018

(My anatomy and physiology class has started cadaver dissections, and although the professor is on hand to help or answer questions, he tries to let us do as much of it as possible. When a student accidentally nicks his palm with the scalpel, the professor ducks out of the lab to help him disinfect and bandage it, and since I have to change my gloves anyway, I take the opportunity to text my boyfriend.)

Me: “Warning: unsupervised undergrads with scalpels.”

Boyfriend: “It’s important to stab someone first to establish superiority.”

Me: “Nah, [Classmate] managed to stab himself with no help from me, which is why we’re currently unsupervised. My superiority is already established by my ability to properly wield the tools of dissection. I rule as Queen.”

Boyfriend: “Enjoy your reign of the land of corpses, and for any potential mutineers, threaten that they shall share the fate of the unwilling subjects of evisceration!”

Me: “The dissection cadavers donated their bodies to science, though; they’re not unwilling.”

Boyfriend: “Oh. Well, enjoy your stint as the queen of the dead things, then! Stir-fry tonight?”

(This counts as normal for us. He may be The One.)

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