Lending An Ear

, , , , | Hopeless | June 15, 2017

I’m very young at this time — maybe six years old — and unfortunately haven’t grown into my ears, so they stick out far. At the resort is a koi pond and I love fish. The pond is barred off to prevent over eager children like myself from falling in. Not one to be deterred I manage to squeeze my head through the bars to get a close look at the fish.

That’s when trouble strikes. I can’t get my head back through the bars with my huge Dumbo ears. My parents try to fit my head back through without making too much of a scene. I’m crying and in pain from my parent trying fit me back through the bars. I’m sure we are beginning to draw a crowd.

That’s when a huge man walks over grabs the bars with his bare hands and bends them! I’m freed.

I don’t remember much being so young but to that huge, strong man, thanks. My parents have told this story so many times and we’re all grateful you were there that day.

This Story Will Haunt You Forever

, , , , | Related | June 6, 2017

(One year while my husband’s younger brother (who is a big guy in his 30s) is down visiting us in Florida, he expresses an interest in going to the Halloween event at a big theme park. Leading up to it, he jeers and laughs and rolls his eyes at how corny all the advertising is, and brags about how he’s not scared of anything. We all get along very well and like to joke with and tease one another in a friendly way. I can’t help but notice as we walk up to the first haunted house of the event that he seems a little less braggy that evening. He’s right behind me in line, and, sure enough, he has my shoulders in a death-grip the entire time. This repeats through every house for the night. He never makes a sound, but I can feel him flinching and jumping, even though whenever we come out of a house, he rolls his eyes and laughs at it. The next day, we’re at the hotel bar on resort property and he’s flirting with a woman who seems pretty into him.)

Woman: “So did you go to the Halloween event last night?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah. It was fun, but it wasn’t even scary.”

Husband: “You seemed pretty freaked out to me, dude.”

Brother-In-Law: *scoff* “How would you know? I was behind [My Name] all night. I was fine.”

(Wordlessly, I roll up the sleeves of my t-shirt to show my shoulders… where each one has five matching, tiny, fingertip bruises from where he was clinging to me.)

Me: “These are not the marks of a fearless man, sweetheart.”

(He blushed red right up to his hairline, and we all shared a good-natured laugh. I guess the woman he was flirting with thought that was cute, too, so he still got her number. Hopefully she can protect him from all those ghosties and zombies out there!)

, , | General | June 2, 2017

While a student I spent two weeks one summer teaching English to rich European teenagers in Southampton, UK. During the week I spent my time in classes, while one weekend day would be spent accompanying the students on an excursion somewhere. Most of the time the teenagers were fine but every now and then you’d find one spoiled rich kid who was clealy angry at being ‘dumped in Britain’ by his or her ridiculously rich Belgian/Swedish/Russian parents. To make sure the students could easily identify staff, we all had to wear blue polo-neck shirts with the language school logo on both the front and the back.

One of those excursions on a really grey rainy day was to a theme park about an hour or two away from where we were based. Coincidentally, staff uniform at this particular theme park was almost the exact same shade of blue polo-neck shirt as teachers did.

This wasn’t much of a problem most of the day; coralling my assigned group of pupils, making sure they weren’t getting up to mischief and generally keeping tabs on everything while every now and then having to explain to a confused park visitor how I wasn’t actually working at the park was all I had to deal with.

Then some of my group wanted to go on some ‘thrilling’ new rollercoaster. It went backwards. In the dark. Woo. So, waiting in line with a group of the teenagers, a couple of whom were particularly belligerent, we notice we’ve been standing still for a bit of a while without moving. It turns out ‘something’ had happened with the rollercoaster – rumors were going around someone had vomited on the ride, but there was no official word on it.

Being the only person in the queue with a blue polo-neck on I suddenly get inundated with my own European teenagers asking me questions. Which prompted the rest of the crowd around me, and people deciding to back through the line because they couldn’t be bothered to wait, to also ask me questions with a couple (no joke) actually asking ‘what are we standing in line for?

Surrounded by non-English speaking students and British families on a rainy cold day out in a theme park I’d never been to in my life, all of whom saw me as a beacon of knowledge, ‘I don’t even work here’ really just didn’t seem to cut it.

Fast Pass Holders And Hypocrites This Way

| Orlando, FL, USA | Friendly | May 27, 2017

(I am at a big theme park with my family. We go every once in a while and are waiting in line for a kiddie coaster to relive some nostalgia. The line’s backed up to the point that they’ve set up extra outside the constructed line and it gets a little wide and crowded so you have to be aware of where you are in the order. I notice I’m faced with a gaudy leopard print shirt that wasn’t there five minutes ago. I like to people watch and this woman was definitely not in front of us before.)

Brother: *softly* “I think that woman just cut in front of us when we weren’t paying attention.”

Me: “Yeah, I thought something was up but I didn’t wanna say anything.”

Brother: “Should we just… slip back in front of her at a wide turn to avoid an altercation?”

(I am nervous about it, but we do, since she has an obnoxious air about her. We are young teens, and we decide between the two of us that she was DEFINITELY not there before. Her son notices. Yikes.)

Son: “Were those people in front of us before?”

Woman: *easily loud enough for us and probably a few people in front and behind the four of us as well to hear* “No, they were not. People like that just like to cut in line because they don’t care about anyone but themselves, honey.”

(She went on for about five minutes about what horrible, selfish line-cutters we were and never to be like us when SHE cut in front of US! I couldn’t believe the nerve this woman had. I kinda hope she wandered in front of us without realizing so that kid isn’t being raised by such a hypocrite.)

Cranking That Inconsideration Up To 104

, | Orlando, FL, USA | Working | May 19, 2017

(I work for a third party vendor at a theme park. One night around midnight, my four-month-old son wakes me up by screaming. When I check on him, he has a 104-degree fever. I immediately put him in his car seat and race to the emergency room. I watch them do everything they can to try to bring his fever down for hours and finally admit him. Around six am I call the store to let my supervisor know that I won’t be at work that day. I fill her in on everything that has happened, including that he still has a fever of 100.)

Boss: “So I can assume you already have your replacement lined up?”

Me: “No. I don’t even have shoes on, let alone the list. And even if I hadn’t been freaked out that my son was dying, I seriously doubt that anyone would answer the phone at one am!

(My boss proceeds to scream at me that I’m a horrible, inconsiderate employee and that she’s going to write me out.)

Me: “You know what? Go ahead.” *hangs up on her*

(Later that afternoon, the owner showed up at the hospital to offer me my job back, with the next week off to take care of my son. I was there for another two years before that same supervisor fired me for getting sick at work.)

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