The Cake Is Not A Lie; You’re Just Stupid

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2020

I own a cake shop. There is a display at the front showing various cakes we provide. None of them are real. This happens one morning just after I have opened. 

Customer: “You have a cake in your window.”

Me: “Yes. Are you interested in buying?”

Customer: “Can I look at it?”

Me: “Certainly.”

I pull a catalogue from under the counter.

Me: “Which cake caught your eye?”

Customer: “No. I want to see the cake in the window.”

Me: “All of the cakes in the window are in this catalogue.”

Customer: “But I want to see the one in the window. Why can’t you show me?”

Me: “I can, but it isn’t real. The only difference between a cake in the window and one in the catalogue is that it’s 3D.”

Customer: “If it isn’t real, then what’s the harm?”

I agree and ask her to point out which cake she wants. I bring it over and place it on the counter.

Customer: “And how much is this cake?”

Me: “It comes in several sizes; I’ll just check.”

In the two seconds I look away from her, she picks it up and takes a big bite out of it. I turn back as she screams.

Customer: “THIS IS FAKE! IT’S STYROFOAM!”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Customer: “You tried to sell me a fake cake!”

Me: “I told you it wasn’t real. You even said it wasn’t real before I brought it over.”

Customer: “YOU COULD HAVE KILLED ME! I’M SUING!”

She threw the cake to the ground, which caused the glass stand it was glued to to shatter. She stormed out, leaving me to fix the mess. 

My daughter was in the back the entire time and asked if she should call the police. I decided against it and instead printed a picture of the woman’s face that was in clear view of the camera which overlooks the shop. The picture of her, taking a bite out of Styrofoam, now hangs on the wall behind the counter. While I had to get the cake remade, I think the laughs I get from the picture are worth the cost.


This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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A Detour To Kindness

, , , , | Friendly | May 28, 2020

The bus I am taking is detoured due to an event. The end stop has also changed. I’m on the bus and it starts to deviate from its normal route. One of the passengers runs to the front. At first, she only yells at the driver that he is wrong and he should turn back.

The bus driver tries to explain but she is having none of it, and the situation quickly escalates as the passenger becomes violent towards the driver.

A good number of people are sitting closer to the front but nobody reacts. As the situation is quickly turning unsafe, I get up to the front. I’m not sure about this woman’s diagnosis, but it is clear from the young lady’s actions that she has a disorder that makes it difficult for her to deal with changes.

Me: *Speaking reassuringly* “Due to [event], the bus is rerouted, but it will be all right.”

Lady: “No, no, no, I don’t know how to get to my work now and I will be late.”

Me: “It will be all right. I’ll explain to you how to get there.”

Lady: “I need to go to [usual end stop]! I cannot get to my work otherwise.”

By now, it is clear to me that the girl is stuck in her mind. I lead her away from the driver as she is still lashing out to him but a bit less violently.

Me: “Come, sit here. It will be all right.”

Although the passenger’s panic was subsiding, it was not far away and needed little to rekindle. I tried to explain to her how she could get to her work but she was not responding. I resigned myself to arriving late to work myself. I kept talking to her, repeating that it would be fine.

I led her from the bus as she seemed unable to take action herself and walked with her until we got to a point she recognized and I was sure she would be able to get to her job — in the opposite direction of mine. All the time, I was responding to her mutterings, telling her it would be all right and that her boss would understand.

I was bolstered in that idea by the actions of a coworker of hers that happened to come by. She did not respond to him but it was clear that he knew her and knew of whatever she was dealing with. I got her safely where she had to go and made it with a second to spare to my own job.

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Thanos’s Good Ideas Continue To Pay Off Somehow

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 26, 2020

I’m a ski instructor that works in the Austrian Alps. I’m in charge of a group of ski students from a boarding school in the UK.

One of my students is wearing a suit of motocross armour under his ski clothes — a full neck guard, breastplate, shoulder armour, elbow and knee pads, gauntlets, buttplate, and calf armour. They are all made of the same reinforced plastic as his ski helmet. He wears it as he is “paranoid that he’d get hurt on the slopes.” We all laugh and call him a wimp. As his armour is painted bright gold, everyone calls him “Thanos.”

This happens on the third day of skiing. Thanos manages to get into the ski lift ahead of us, and there’s a group of what looks like university-age girls speaking in obvious American accents. They’re quite loud and when in the queue, they use their poles to disconnect the skis of the person in front of them before shoving them aside before taking their spot. It’s gotten more than one person angry, but the girls ignore them.

They reach Thanos, but when they try to disconnect his skis, he moves his leg out of the way, lightly knocking one of them on the ankle in the process. Those girls go ballistic, shouting about him being rude and a jerka**. They start swearing, but Thanos has reached the front by then and goes up the lift.

I think that’s the end of it, but that is not the case. When Thanos reaches the top, he patiently waits for the rest of us, but the university girls get up there first. They see him and start shouting and swearing at him, calling him rude and demanding an apology.

Naturally, all they get is a flat refusal. They take that poorly, to say the least. They then start hitting him with their ski poles and punching him with their fists. He turtles up and takes the hits, calling out for help while telling his assailants to desist. The girls push him over and then they notice that he is Chinese and add accusations about the recent health crisis — this is during the outbreak in Italy.

At this point, I arrive with a few more students. Seeing us and some ski patrol guys rushing toward them, the girls run off, leaving Thanos behind.

Thanos says cheerfully, getting up, “Well, thank goodness for my armour.”

[Student #1] asks, “Did that even hurt?”

“Nope,” Thanos responds. “Barely felt a thing.”

“Dang, that armour’s tough,” I observe. “I’ll be more worried about the person that rams into you than you.”

“Told you all that my paranoia was justified,” Thanos says smugly.

[Student #2] asks, in an appalled tone, “This was what you were paranoid about?”

I ask him, “Should we go to the police? Press charges?”

Thanos just says, “Nah. It’s our holiday. Let them go. Besides, they’re long gone by now.”

We reluctantly agree with him and continue skiing, but I just wonder what would have happened if Thanos wasn’t wearing his armour or if they had gone after one of the other students. Would they be unharmed and treat the whole thing as a joke? Those girls could have hurt someone badly, and I can only hope that they face justice at some point in the future.

Related:
Thanos Had One (1) Good Idea

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Decency Isn’t His Priority

, , , , | Friendly | May 24, 2020

I work a lot of conventions around the country, which means a lot of airport trips. I’m disabled, though I know how to handle airports by this point. I’m at my gate, ready for them to announce pre-boarding. They call for those with priority boarding: people with small children, active military, and people with disabilities. I start to get up to head towards the gate.

Passenger: “You aren’t priority! Wait your turn!”

I’m used to premature judgment, so I ignore him and use my cane to get in line. Instead of leaving me alone, he comes over and gets in my face.

Passenger: “I SAID, WAIT YOUR TURN! IF I CAN’T GET ON YET, YOU CAN’T, EITHER!”

I’m a little freaked out at this point. The man is obviously taller and stronger than me. A flight attendant rushes over.

Attendant: “Sir! I need you to back off!”

Passenger: “Tell this b**** to sit down! She ain’t priority!”

Attendant: “We will determine that. You need to sit down, sir.”

He takes a step back but refuses to go further.

Passenger: “If she can board early, I get to get on early, too! Ain’t no way she’s disabled!”

Attendant: “Ma’am, can I see your boarding pass?”

I hand it over.

Attendant: “All right, it shows that you did request priority boarding due to mobility disability. And you are obviously using a mobility aid.”

Passenger: “SHE’S LYING!”

He tries to rip my pass out of the attendant’s hand. Luckily, she steps out of the way.

Attendant: “I’m going to be calling security now. Ma’am, I’ll make sure you get on the plane with no problems.”

She walked me to a coworker and then called airport security. I boarded before seeing them arrive but did not see the man board the plane afterward. Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with anything like that since.


This story was featured in our May 2020 roundup!

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You Could Also Blame The Parents

, , , , , | Learning | May 24, 2020

Twenty sixth-grade students from a specialized interest school — in this case, aquaculture — are touring the library in general and the children’s area in particular.  

Most of the kids are well-behaved, but there are four boys who just don’t want to follow the rules. My colleagues and I are not supposed to chastise kids if they are with their (theoretically) responsible adults. We try to guide them back into the activities but they are determined to jump on tables, run up walls, and climb up on the backs of chairs to get at our windows.

I have had it. After I catch one of them trying to pull apart a large stuffed animal that is our mascot, I round the four of them up and march them into the little kids’ room.

“You will sit there, mouths closed, until your bus comes. And if I see you move again, I will get your names from your teachers and you will be banned.”

This is a pretty empty threat as I am a lowly junior librarian, but even my boss doesn’t say anything because she is sick of them, too. They aren’t perfect, but at least they aren’t destroying public property anymore and they aren’t putting any more sneaker treads on the walls.  

It is their teacher who ultimately gets my goat, though.

She comes over with a big smile.

Thank you for talking to them,” she says. “I was getting annoyed with them, too, but it wasn’t my place to say anything.”

I stare at her in disbelief, and then my boss says, “Why not?

“Oh,” says the teacher, “it’s your library, not mine. It’s not my place to discipline them in your space.”

“It might be our space,” says my boss, “but they are your students and your responsibility.”

The teacher just waltzes off with another group of barely-behaved children.

It was a long time before my boss ever allowed that school back for tours and programs.

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