At Least You’re Not Your Own Grandpa

, , , , , | Related | April 9, 2021

You know how some people say that they’re related to pretty much everyone in some way? My mother is one of them, and she’s actually not exaggerating when she says that. Nearly everyone in her hometown is her cousin or extended family. According to her, and corroborated by her siblings, it’s easier to count the number of people she isn’t related to than the ones she is.

Back during World War I, all the men in town were called on to serve the nation and defend France against the Germans. They all fought, and died, in the trenches. I’m not sure the exact number, but of the thirty or forty men that left, less than half a dozen came home in something other than a coffin.

Including my great-grandfather.

With the death of nearly 80% of the young men in town, there was a whole motherlode of widows and young women facing spinsterhood, and many families without heirs, so the surviving men got busy rectifying that.

My great-grandfather, in particular, was the most virile of the lot. He was married to at least four women at the same time. Seven wives is the most commonly accepted number, with nine as the highest. More, if the one-night stands and mistresses are counted.

He then proceeded to have nearly fifty children with them, which made up basically half of their hometown’s next generation. And when those kids grew up, they married the other half of their generation. That meant that, by the time my mother was born, nearly every other kid in town was her cousin.

She half-seriously told me that when we were at her hometown, she could point at a random person on the street, and chances were he or she would be a blood relative. In fact, she actually did that, after a night of drinking, and indeed, that person was her half-cousin once removed — her mother’s half-sister’s grandson.

All in all, I’m told that my mother has nearly two hundred aunts, uncles, and cousins. And if that isn’t enough to be related to virtually everyone in a town, then I don’t know what is.

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Being That Lazy Must Be Exhausting

, , , , | Friendly | April 9, 2021

My housemate is the living personification of laziness, from what she eats and her lack of cleaning and personal hygiene, to her work ethic and effort with other people. Laziness is a real bugbear of mine, but luckily, she spends most of her time in her room, so she can be as lazy and disgusting as she likes where she can’t bother anyone.

I’m in a particularly good mood and decide to give the common areas of the house a good clean. I’ve just finished washing up dishes and drying my hands and, as if by magic, my lazy housemate shows up with a load more from her room and drops it in the sink in front of me. 

Thankfully, I’m on the ball this morning.

Me: “Good morning! Don’t worry. The water is still nice and hot for you.”

Housemate: “You’re not going to wash them up?”

Me: “I would, but I’m going to take that old desk to the bins next.”

Housemate: “You would rather lump that around than do a couple of plates?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t mind. It’s good exercise, and smashing it up will be fun.”

Housemate: “Pfff, like anyone actually enjoys exercise.”

I feel like I’ve seen behind the curtain a little here; she genuinely cannot fathom how anyone could enjoy putting effort into something.

Me: “Oh, I think you might be wrong there. We (the other housemates) have been out for a run this morning. It is really nice out; you should join us.”

Housemate: *Sarcastically* “Oh, sure, I would looooove to. Idiot.”

She slumped off back to her room for the day. The plates never got washed. I think someone threw them away as they sat in the side for so long that they grew “things” on them. We made her buy her own plates after that, but I don’t think they have ever been washed, either.

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Say RIP To That Book

, , , | Right | April 9, 2021

I work in a library with a good selection of books for children. It is five minutes until we close and a woman comes in with her young girl.

Woman: “Hello. I’m looking for a copy of Little Red Riding Hood?”

Me: “We don’t have any on the shelf, but I think we have one out back that was just added.”

I go to fetch it and give it to the woman, who looks pleased with it.

Woman: “So what happens with fines?”

Me: “Well, as with any library, there are overdue fees if you bring the book back late, but you can have it for two weeks and renew it up to five times.”

Woman: “No! I mean when she rips the book!”

Me: *Taken aback* “Well, we ask our customers to please take care of the books. If the book is damaged it has to be withdrawn and the customer will need to pay the cost of the book or—”

Woman: *Interrupting* “Wait! I have to pay?! [Other Library] doesn’t do that! What does the book cost?”

Me: “£9.99.”

Woman: “Oh, I won’t bother! I’ll just buy the book myself!”

She stormed out right before I was about to tell her she can buy a replacement copy if she finds it cheaper somewhere as I was quoting the full retail price. But honestly, why not just teach your kid NOT to rip up books, or supervise her?

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Why Won’t You Just Please Take Your Items?

, , , , , | Right | April 8, 2021

I am on the bus. A group of teenagers are at the back and talking rather loudly, so I hear one say the following:

Teen: “You are being such an unexpected item in the bagging area now!”

After hearing more of the conversation, it turned out she works for the local supermarket!

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He’s Not A Good Fit(ting)

, , , , | Working | April 8, 2021

I work on a moving assembly line. It’s easy enough work: the part comes into your station, you follow the instructions on screen, and if you do it right, it passes to the next guy.

A new guy starts on the section before me. Most people pick up what to do in a few weeks, maybe making the odd mistake after that. But this guy is constantly screwing up nearly two months later.

I figure he might need help, and maybe he’s not getting it from his boss, so I catch up with him on breaks.

Me: “Hey, you’re new, aren’t you?”

New Guy: “Yeah, started a couple of months back.”

Me: “How are you getting on?”

New Guy: “Yeah, it’s boring, init, but all right, I guess.”

Me: “You know those [small fittings]? Are you all right fitting them?”

New Guy: “Oh, I don’t bother. Someone else can do them.”

Me: “That someone else is me; I’m having to run round and do it for you. I could show you a trick to getting them on?”

New Guy: “Nah, you can do that as you’re so good at them.”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

New Guy: “Just do it, all right! D***!”

I’ve been running around for months struggling to do his job as well as mine. If he can’t be bothered to do it, I am not about to. 

The next day, I see more fittings missing. I look down the line and five more are the same. I let it get into the station, do my bit, and then hit the big red button. The line stops, big flashing lights go on, and there is a cheer from the guys as they get to see who messed up. The line manager rushes over to see what is going on.

Line Manager: “What is going on?”

Me: “All these bits are missing.”

Line Manager: “So, fit them! That’s why you have the box of spares — in case the odd one slips through.”

Me: “It’s not the ‘odd one.’ It’s every single one!”

He went up the line and found dozens of parts not done properly. The new guy was called back and made to do them all again. [New Guy] lied and told them that we’d agreed to all this, but he was shot down straight away.

He kept trying to “forget,” normally right before breaks or home time, making me late to leave, but I kept calling him on it until he got transferred off the line. He quit five months later as it was “too much work.” Some people.

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