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Sounds Like A Good Way To Lengthen That List

, , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2022

I was driving through a busy inner-city road in the early evening. There was plenty of traffic, but it was moving well. 

A billboard caught my eye. It was deliberately attention-grabbing; it had a big, teaser headline, “WILL YOU MAKE THIS YEAR’S LIST?”, and then some smaller writing underneath. I looked at it for a moment longer, dying to know (as they intended) what list I might be able to join.

When my attention returned to the road, I saw that the car in front of me had stopped, and I had to quickly apply the brakes. I was a heartbeat away from causing a collision.

So, what list was it? The “road toll” — the list the government keeps of all traffic fatalities. Yup, the government put up an eye-catching billboard in a busy area in some misguided attempt to improve road safety.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 108

, , , , , , | Right | April 12, 2022

I’m at work overseeing the self-serve checkouts. Two young women scan through a few things on one of the machines, and then [Customer #1] pays with her card.

Customer #2: “I could have paid with your card. You told me your PIN number and bank details, remember?”

Customer #1: “That was for my old card. I had to get a new one.”

Customer #2: “Why’s that?”

Customer #1: “My old one got hacked. I have no idea how.”

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 107
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 106
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 105
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 104
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 103

Take The Money And Run

, , , , , , | Related | April 5, 2022

I am the author of this story about my mum.

Brother: “Mum, it’s not fair that you have my laptop. It’s mine. I need it.”

Mum: “I paid to fix it, so it’s mine now.”

This goes back and forth for some time.

Me: *To my mother* “So, I’m going to be moving out this month, and seeing as I paid to replace the oven when it broke, does that mean it’s my oven and I get to take it with me when I leave?”

The amount of steam blowing out of my mother’s ears is enough to power a small train. Accusations of filial impiety are hurled, nostrils are flared, and there is much shouting and yelling and stomping about. But when the dust finally settles, my brother does get his laptop back, and we think that’s the end of it.

Later that evening, my dad, my brother, my husband, and I are all sitting in the living room when my mum waltzes in.

Mum: “So, [My Name], you want your money back that bad? Here.”

She puts $1,000 cash on the coffee table.

Mum: “That’s what you paid for the oven, isn’t it? Have it all back. I won’t have you suggesting that I owe you either the money or the oven.”

Me: “Er, no, I never wanted the money back. I was just trying to make a point that you owed [Brother] his laptop back because, at the end of the day, it was still his laptop, even if you fixed it. Just like that oven is yours even though I paid to fix it!”

Mum: “No, you think I took your money and won’t give it back to you! So now I’m giving it back to you!”

Me: *Facepalm* “Oh, my God, this is ridiculous. You are ridiculous.”

Brother: *Barely suppressing his laughter* “Mum, you’re missing the point entirely.”

Dad: *Patiently* “[Mum], [My Name] was just trying to give you an example. She agrees that that money is your money; she was just trying to show that by the same logic, [Brother]’s laptop belongs to him. She was just making a point.”

Mum: *Snidely* “Oh, no, I understand her point completely. I’m giving the money back. Now you can no longer accuse me of anything. It’s finished.”

Everyone starts talking at the same time.

Brother: “Mum, you don’t get it—”

Husband: “You don’t understand; she wasn’t asking for any money—”

Dad: “It was just an analogy—”

Me: “I don’t want it! Take it back!”

My mum throws her hands in the air and walks out, leaving the cash on the table.

Dad speaks after her and trails off.

Dad: “It… was just… analogy…” *Looks at me* “She doesn’t understand what an analogy is, does she?”

Me: “Nope.”

All four of us stare at the money on the table.

Brother: *Clears throat* “Well, [My Name], what’s it gonna be? Your pride, or $1,000?”

Me: *Crossing my arms* “Obviously my pride.”

Dad: “You should just take the money. Might as well.”

Me: “Can’t. I’d lose my moral high ground.” *Smirks*

Brother: *Teasingly* “It’s calling to you… It’s saying, ‘[My Name]… pick me up…’”

Dad: *Sighs* “I’m going to bed. Good night.”

He leaves. My brother stretches and makes a show of getting up off the couch.

Brother: “Welllll, I mean, if nobody wants it…”

Husband: “F*** that.” *Swipes the cash off the table* “I don’t give a s*** about moral high ground. This is payback for that time she talked smack when my brother was in hospital.”

Brother: “There you go.”

We moved out the week after, and the money ended up going toward our first month’s rent.

Some People Get Hospitalized For Saying Things Like That

Pushing Humanity Forward

, , , , , , | Right | March 30, 2022

I’m a cashier. It’s a very busy Friday afternoon and I have just checked out a young woman in her late twenties to early thirties who is gathering her shopping. I greet the next customer, an older woman in her sixties.

Me: “Good afternoon, how are you?”

Older Woman: “I’m good thanks. You?” *Her expression changes* “Oh, b****r.”

Me: “Is everything okay?”

Older Woman: “I forgot my card. Can you please save my groceries while I run home?”

I see nothing that needs to be refrigerated.

Me: “Sure, we can hold it at the service desk.”

Young Woman: “Is everything okay?”

Older Woman: “I took my phone out of its case because the case broke and I forgot my card.”

Young Woman: “Can you pay with your phone?”

Older Woman: “No, I’ll just run home and get it.”

Young Woman: *To me* “How much will it be?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Young Woman: “You know what? Put it through; I’ve got it.”

Older Woman: “No, no. It’s okay. I’ll run home.”

Young Woman: “It’s fine. I’ve had people help me recently. I’m just paying it forward. Put it through.”

Older Woman: “It might be more than $80, though.”

Young Woman: “It’s fine. Put it through. Just pay it forward when you can.”

I started scanning the older woman’s items while they chat. The older woman teared up and offered to take the younger woman’s phone number to repay her, but the young woman refused, instead insisting she was just paying it forward from the people who helped her.

The younger woman paid the $65 total (almost $20 more than her own groceries).

I watched as they left the store together before going their separate ways. I’m not ashamed to admit that it bought a tear to my eyes to see that there are good people out there.

High Notes, High Flights, Low Brains

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 22, 2022

In 1978, our grade-ten band and choir did a week-long exchange trip with Stratford, Ontario. I hadn’t been on a commercial airline before, and it was amazing. The pilot seemed to do a wheelie on the runway, and takeoff was like forty-five degrees!

Upon our return to Victoria, we shared all our photos via slides.

One of the pictures was this gorgeous view of a DC-10 in the clouds; think “The Simpsons” theme. 

Classmate: “Is that our plane?”