A Realization As Cold As Ice

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 7, 2017

(We are learning about the Vikings in English class. The teacher has just begun talking about how the Vikings were great explorers and reached America in circa AD 1000. [Classmate #1] is quite rude and thinks everyone should be on her side.)

Teacher: “They came from Iceland, which they discovered 150 years earlier…”

Classmate #1: *rather accusingly* “But they didn’t discover it, did they, Miss?”

Teacher: *bewildered* “What do you mean? It says so right here—”

Classmate #1: *smugly* “It says nothing about the native Icelanders. Is it like with the Native Americans, and the Vikings just—” *makes finger quotes* “—’discovered’ Iceland first? Did they erase their culture from the history books?”

([Classmate #1] is smiling, as if she has stumbled upon a great secret.)

Teacher: “Okay, just humour me for a second.”

(She brings up an online video of where each place was discovered, from the first humans in central Africa. At Viking exploration, she pauses it.)

Teacher: “Just concentrate for a second.”

(The video clearly states that the Vikings were the first to reach Iceland, due to its remoteness. [Classmate #1] is shrieking in uproar as we struggle not to laugh.)

Classmate #1: “That can’t be right! It’s a conspiracy! The Vikings were white! White people never arrive anywhere first!”

Classmate #2: “What about the Moon?”

([Classmate #1] ran out, screaming that she was going to get the principal and that the teacher was racist.)

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My Wife The Lobster

, , , , | Right | October 19, 2017

(The accessible stall in our museum’s bathroom is made of two regular stalls, minus the interior partition. One of the existing doors works; the other is bolted shut. Innumerable customers enter the stall, forget which door they entered from, and believe themselves to be locked in. I am at my desk in my office when a man comes to the door.)

Man: “My wife has been locked in your bathroom for 15 minutes!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I’ll call maintenance and send them in to unstick the door, right away.”

(I call maintenance, and they say they are on their way.)

Man: “I’m back. My wife crawled under the stall to free herself. You really should be ashamed of yourself.”

(Later…)

Maintenance: “The door wasn’t stuck. She must have been trying to get out through the old bolted door.”

Me: “Yeah, that happens a lot. I used to think lobster traps were absurd, but after seeing humans forget where their door is, I’m rethinking things!”

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