They Should Be Sent To Bootcamp

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 8, 2018

My entire family used to be avid campers. Two or three times a summer my parents, aunt, uncles, and grandparents would all rent a large, shared campsite at a local family campground for a weekend. This is the worst camping trip we ever had; it was bad enough that my grandmother never went camping with us again after that.

Normally, it would just be the aforementioned people, plus my cousins, my sister, and me. This year, we got invited to camp with the college-age son of a family friend and all of his friends. We knew this son very well, but didn’t know his friends, but since he and his father were awesome and well-known to us, we didn’t think it would be a problem. First mistake.

First day there, they stole all of the expensive beer that my uncle brought — despite being underage, and despite the fact that he didn’t bring it to share with anyone but my grandfather — then got drunk and started throwing up all over the place. I also found out, years later, that my aunt had yelled at them when she caught them smoking pot around my sister and cousins and me.

My mom always over-packed snacks because she wanted to make extra sure my sister, cousins, and I always had something to snack on if we got hungry. The friends saw me get a box of granola bars from the back of our car to share with my cousins and realized there was food in there, then helped themselves, completely clearing out all of the snacks in our car by the next morning. They never once asked for permission.

The next morning, my grandmother made eggs for my diabetic grandfather’s breakfast. The second they were cooked, the friends walked over to her stove, took the skillet, and ate the entire thing themselves without even saying a word to her. My grandfather had nothing to eat and almost had a sugar low. They didn’t even bring the skillet back when they were done, and she had to figure out where they left it; apparently someone just tossed it aside in the dirt. They then ate the cereal, cereal bars, and oatmeal my mom brought for our breakfast, so there was nothing for my sister and me to eat. We had to get breakfast from a neighboring campsite where, thankfully, we had become friends with the children of the campers in the site the day before, and they were sympathetic enough to give us some trail mix.

The friends wouldn’t stop leaving all the coolers wide open, so all the ice for our meat and drinks melted completely in the summer heat of noon. They offered to go out to a store and get more, so everyone pitched in money to pay for it. They came back with tons of raw chicken that no one asked for and not a single bag of ice, because they “forgot.” We ended up having to cook the chicken, plus all of the burgers and hot dogs everyone brought that day — otherwise it would have spoiled without ice — and it was way too much food for everyone. They then took the leftovers and threw it all into the woods, so we had tons of feral cats, raccoons, foxes, and even a freaking black bear in our camp in the middle of the night that night.

The absolute worst thing they did was forget me in a boulder field. One of the main draws of the campground is a prehistoric boulder field left behind by the Ice Age. People will go down there and climb on the rocks during the day and look at stars during the night. Our campsite wasn’t that far from the boulder field, so they decided to go climb on the rocks and brought my sister, one of my cousins, and me with them. We were only allowed to go because my parents assumed that the family friend was going with them and would watch us; they had no idea he was actually headed somewhere else on his own. When the friends left the rocks, they failed to do a headcount and left without me. I wasn’t even that far out on the rocks and was still within their line of sight, and they still didn’t notice they were leaving me. I didn’t even realize they had left and was still sitting there on a rock by myself, staring out at the rest of the field, when a father with three kids walked by and saw me alone and called to me to get my attention out of concern that I might be lost. By then, my mom and aunt were running frantically down the path, screaming my name, after they returned to the campsite without me. My parents told me we weren’t allowed to go with them anywhere, anymore, even if the one person we knew said he would be with them.

By noon the next day, they had drunk every soda, bottled water, and juice box that my mom had brought for my sister and me, ate every bit of food that they hadn’t already devoured the first and second day, drank every bottle of beer anyone brought, and not once did they ask if it was okay for them to take any of it. My sister and I were six and eight years old respectively, so we started crying because we were hungry and thirsty. My mom was furious because, even after all the food and drinks she brought, she couldn’t feed us at all due to their theft. My dad was boiling creek water so that we wouldn’t get dehydrated because of how hot it was that day.

We were supposed to be there for three more days, and already we were out of everything, so my family called it. We packed up the tents and gear. All the while, the friends couldn’t understand why we refused to stay there with them any longer, having completely ignored all of the complaints from my family members throughout the weekend. My grandmother says it was likely they assumed we’d stay and just give them more money to replace what they stole so they could steal it again, but after the chicken incident, no one trusted them to actually buy what we asked them to. If we went out and bought what we needed ourselves, they’d just take it without asking, and we’d be back to the same problem again.

We’ve been asked to go camping with them again several times since, but we have all made it clear that we’d sooner share our campsite with the black bear again than with them.


Mahu Do You Think You Are?

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 7, 2018

(My family are native Hawaiians, and we live in Hawaii. Since we work hard to keep our culture alive, it didn’t upset us when my identical twin came out to be mahu, or what other cultures would describe as transgender. While some would take hormone pills or surgery, he never does that. Instead, he feels okay with a binder, short hair, and correct clothing. While this has confused people, he has been more than happy to explain it. This happens at the beach, where the two of us decide to hang out with my female friends. Of course, one of them does get confused by my brother, so he explains it to her.)

Female Friend: “I just don’t get it. I mean, I do. But why did you guys stop believing in it?”

(Before he can explain it to her, a beach ball lands near us. He picks it up, and we see a man running up to us.)

Man: “Hey, babe, you mind throwing that here?”

Brother: *tosses the ball* “Sure thing, but I’m not a babe.”

Man: “Aw, don’t sell yourself short. Hey, how about your hot self joins my friends and me in a friendly game?”

(It’s at this point I can feel a confrontation happening, so I get up and stand right next to him.)

Me: “Hey, do you mind backing off from my brother?”

(And just like that, you can see the man’s face go from perverted to disgusted in a matter of seconds.)

Man: “That’s wrong. She doesn’t even look like a dude.”

Me: “That’s your opinion. How about you keep it to yourself?”

Brother: “I just don’t want to get any treatments. Doesn’t make me less of a man. Our culture believes in this.”

Man: “Your culture is wrong. You want to know what dictates a man or a woman? This.”

(And just like that, the man tries to touch my brother in a very personal area. I stop him by punching him before he does. He falls to the sand, and I can hear our friends behind us shrieking.)

Man: “You’re going to Hell, you know that?!”

Me: “Sorry, but we don’t believe in Hell.”

(He stomps off, and the both of us walk back to our friends. I worry about my brother being upset, but the first thing he says once we get back to our friends is:)

Brother: “And that is why we stopped believing in it.”

(We all burst out laughing, and the rest of our time at the beach was amazing.)

Makeup Won’t Cover Up That Kind Of Ugly

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2018

(I am standing two customers at a posh department store.)

Customer #1: *a rather pretty, larger young woman* “Do you have any liquid foundation to help cover my blemishes? I’m going on a date.”

Sales Lady: “Of course. Let me show you our range.”

([Customer #2] is impatiently waiting to be served, standing behind [Customer #1]. She mutters loud enough for everyone to hear.)

Customer #2: “Yeah, it’s called sandpaper. No one could cover that much ugly. Who’d want to date a fat someone like that?”

Customer #1: *turns around and glares at the woman, who just looks smug* “Fat is better than being vindictive, nasty, vain, and jealous.”

Customer #2: *turns red in the face* “How dare an ugly b**** talk to me like that? People like you don’t belong in places like this; go home and eat another hamburger!”

(Being larger myself, I get very angry when others are judged on their looks, so I speak up.)

Me: “Hey, lady. A pretty face can’t hide how ugly and nasty you are inside. It’s basic human decency to treat others with respect; if you can’t do that, then you’re the ugliest person on Earth.”

([Customer #1] and I high-five.)

Customer #2: “I see ugly and fat b****es stick up for each other.” *glares at the sales lady* “What are you going to do about this?”

Sales Lady: “I support human decency, ma’am.”

Customer #2: “Well, I’m not going to shop in a place that serves that kind of person and has rude staff.”

(She threw her items — a bottle of liquid foundation and a bottle of perfume — on the floor, where they smashed open, making a mess. Then she headed toward the department store exit. The sales lady quickly called security and stopped the woman, telling her she had to pay for the items she destroyed. As she was dragged off by security, we could hear her yelling throughout the store about the fat, ugly people, and how it was their fault.)

I Know Where You Can Stuff Those Smudge Sticks

, , , , , | Right | March 26, 2018

(Lately there has been a commercial going around for a popular glass cleaning brand. In it, birds use a “smudge stick” to make the glass not clear.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. Welcome to [Store]. What can I help you find today?”

Customer: “I need one of those smudge-stick thingies as a Halloween decoration. I want to put fake hand prints on my windows.”

Me: “I’m guessing you saw that in a commercial.”

Customer: “Yes, I did! Now where would they be?”

Me: “Actually, that commercial is advertising [Popular Glass Cleaner], ma’am. Smudge sticks aren’t a thing. May I suggest just placing your hand on the window repeatedly?”

Customer: “No, no, no! That makes no f****** sense! If they wanted to clean the window, why would they smudge it?! Your lazy a*** just doesn’t want to help me!”

(She then proceeds to slam her shopping trolley into me, clearly enraged.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “NO! I have done nothing to deserve being kicked out. Now, take your lazy a*** OVER TO THE SMUDGE STICKS!”

(The security guards near the entrance heard the commotion and escorted her out. She is now banned from our store, and I haven’t heard from her since.)

Giving New Meaning To The Graveyard Shift

, , , , , , , | Working | March 26, 2018

This incident took place in 1973. I was employed at the time as an answering service operator in a small answering service located in the downtown area. I was also attending the local university, and this job fit in well, because I could work swing and graveyard shifts. This incident took place on a Sunday, early in the morning.

The answering service I worked at had two units in a small office building on the first floor: the answering service office, and behind it, the switchboard room. We had four PBX work stations, each station with 80 accounts. The switchboard room was situated at the back of the building and faced a narrow alley. Outside the switchboard room, at the end of the hallway, was a back door that led to the alley. On weekends and after hours — 6:00 pm to 8:00 am — this was the only way to enter or exit work.

On this Sunday, I was the day shift relief for the graveyard operator. I was working overtime that Sunday. Part of the “benefit” for working overtime on a Sunday was that the covered parking — only four spaces — in the alley was available.

I parked my car in the covered parking, and then walked over to the back door and knocked to let the graveyard operator know that I was there to relieve her.

I knocked for one minute. No answer. I moved away from the door and stepped to the left a few paces. There was a “transom” window set high in the back wall of the switchboard room, and it was open. So, I yelled out that I was back there, waiting to be let in.

No answer.

I went and got my car, and parked alongside the back wall. Then, I climbed onto the trunk, and then up onto the hood. I could just barely see into the switchboard room. There was no one inside. I yelled some more and then climbed back down and honked my car horn

Now I was very concerned. I drove over to the nearest payphone down the block (no cell phones in those days), as I had the phone number for the office manager. I explained what was going on. I told her I was going to call the police, and she said was going to contact the owner of the building to have someone respond with a key.

The police showed up. If I remember correctly, they had the fire department make entry into the building. Around the corner from the answering service office was the first floor bathroom. My coworker was found inside, passed out from an overdose, with her baby inside the stroller next to her.

Fortunately, she survived the overdose, but she was immediately fired. She was only 19 or 20 and had taken the job because she would be working graveyard, and could have her baby with her.

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