Faces or Names

I can't remember names of people if we've only met once. Case in point...

I had talked to one of the leasing ladies in my apartment complex. We'd talked in her office. I was changing my move out date.

A couple of days later, I get a notice under my door about my move out. It still had the old date on it. I remember the woman I spoke with was named Heather*.

I go down to the office and see a woman sitting at the desk.

"I spoke to Heather* before about my move out date..."

"I'm Heather*."

Shit. "Yeah. There was this notice under my door..." I continued talking fast like an auctioneer so I could go die in a corner somewhere.


Making A Non-Scene

The setting: Ruby Tuesday

Just so you know, I didn't particularly want to go to this restaurant. I have standards. I consider Ruby Tuesday to be an increasingly interchangeable establishment, which I lump with Applebees and Chili's. They're probably all owned by the same people. I don't have the interest to even look this up on the Internet.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way.

Some friends and I are eating. One of the guys starts coughing a little bit. He drank a sip of water wrong. It was seriously minimal coughing.

"BREATHE!" I command.

Then I open-palm pound him on the chest. It sounds much harder than I am actually hitting him. There's this nice loud thumping noise every time I hit him. I say BREATHE a few more times. His chest is basically my drum. He's laughing and smiling.

No one in Ruby Tuesdays even looks in our direction. I thought it was weird.


Meeting New People... Maybe?

I was spending some time with the family around my sister's birthday. We had all gotten together for lunch. After lunch, we ended up back at my sister's place. Her dude roommate was home. Begin awkwardness.

Sister: You know my parents. And this is my sister.
Dude roommate (to me): Haven't we met before?
Me: I doubt it.
Dude roommate: No, I think we have.
Me: I highly doubt it.

This continued in a similar vein until everyone was sufficiently awkward. I don't know why I was so insistent that we'd never met. I don't know why I couldn't concede. I had too much evidence that he and I had never met (I spent the last 4.5 years in a different state or out of the country, he only recently moved in with my sister). I couldn't let it pass.


Mouth Open = Not Good

It was a gorgeous sunny day, the first in many weeks. A friend and I were nearing the Polar Bear inclosure at the free zoo. This is the type of zoo where I have a hard time describing any of the animals without using the word "institutionalized".

I had been explaining the OCD behavior of the bears to him the entire way to the zoo. There's this very specific head bob and back flip one of them does in the pool. I was shocked and horrified to find the pool empty when I looked through the fence at the concrete jungle the Polar Bears inhabit.

Me: I wonder why there isn't any water in the polar bear's pool? I guess it has been cold recently.
Him: Cold? For the polar bear?

This is the point I could've saved myself and explained that I meant to say the water would freeze and the polar bear would've been back flipping on ice. However face-saving that might've been, I was not thinking that and did not come up with that until much much later.

Me: Yeah. It snowed last week.
Him: It's a polar bear.


In The Soup Aisle

In the grocery store, I was minding my own business. This young couple (maybe married, maybe not) around my age were coming towards me. I look down and away, because I'm an engineer and this is what we do. This is the only part of the conversation I heard:

Guy to girl: Honey, did you still need the Preparation H?

My eyes immediately flick upward. I make eye-contact with the girl. She smiles enigmatically. I wonder if he had tourettes.


The Drive-Thru Story

My mother, sister, and I were shopping and it was well past lunch time. We call my dad to let him know we're going to Taco Bell. He says that he wants two chalupas and a taco. We pull into the drive through and that's where our problems start. My mom is very flustered from nearly ramming a car to "teach him a lesson". But that's not the story I'm setting out to tell. This is The Drive-Thru Story.

Mom: Do you guys know what you want?
Sister and me: Yes.
Mom: Oh, well I don't.
Intercom Dude: Welcome to Taco Bell...
Mom: Oh, I just need a second... (to my sister)What did your father want?
Sister: Two baja chalupas and a taco. It's the number six.
Mom: Can I get a number six and a burrito... (to my sister)What did you want?
Sister: A baja chalupa and two hard shelled tacos.
Mom: ... and a baja chalupa and two hard shelled tacos.
Intercom Dude: What did you want to drink with the meal?
Mom: Oh, it comes with a drink? We don't want a drink. Can we start over?
Mom: Ok, can I get two baja chalupas and a taco and a burrito... (to my sister) What did you want?
Sister: A baja chalupa and two hard shelled tacos.
Mom: Ok, we're up to three baja chalupas, three tacos, and a burrito... (to me) What did you want?
Me: Two hard shelled tacos.
Mom: Why didn't you tell me that sooner? This could've been so much easier. (to intercom dude) Ok, we're up to three baja chalupas, five tacos, and a burrito. That'll be all. I'm so sorry about this.

Meanwhile, I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. I'm thinking this story doesn't translate so well into text. The idea you're supposed to get is that I'm silent and this irritates my mother. Either that or my family should really be barred from using drive-thrus since we're clearly that family that holds up the line.


Don't Judge, You Judger

I was standing in line... at The McDonalds (I emphasize the "The" when I say it, so you should read it that way). Ahead of me in line was a woman holding a squirming baby. The baby was maybe 8 months. I'm a bad judge of these things. Old enough to have some hair and the ability to hold his head upright. Young enough to not be standing.

The baby stares me down. I do what I always do, which is cycle through a series of faces. I can't not make scary faces at babies. I'm a sucker for that. The baby is absolutely fascinated. It is sitting still. The mother suspects that perhaps something is up. She turns around so the baby can't see me anymore.

I give her the most beatific smile I can manage. There is nothing to see here, lady.

Her turning around makes the baby pissed, though. Since the baby can no longer see me, it starts pulling on her hair. The lady rhythmically chants, "Stop hurting mommy. Let go of mommy's hair."

She faces the registers again and baby has me in full view. I give the baby a stare-down and shake my head disapprovingly. Baby stops pulling mothers hair.

I wish I could deal with adults as well as I can deal with babies.


Nether Regions

My roommate came into the living room. I was calmly surfing the internet, catching up on comics.

He says, "I'm going to invite you to look at my crotch. Can you tell me if my pants are sewn up ok?"

I look at his crotch and confirm that his pants are sewn up ok. I wonder why he couldn't just check himself in a mirror.



I had a guest over at my apartment. I'm leaving this purposefully vague so they can show their face in polite society. This person had acquired, unbeknownst to me, the nickname Two-Flush. They came out of my bathroom and laughed, "Where's your plunger?"

Up until today, I had been living plunger-free.

I jumped in my car and headed over to the Target. I wandered around the store, unwilling to ask where they hid their plungers. I found them pretty quickly, so that wasn't an issue. I picked a mid-range model. It had a stand around the base. I thought that would be a good idea... for sanitary purposes. Talking about plungers makes me slightly uncomfortable.

I head over to the express checkout. A very friendly older man puts down a divider after his items and lets me know I can put my stuff on the conveyor belt.

"Watcha got there?" he is a very friendly guy... joy. I can see how he can't tell what it is. The stand covers the entire plunger and it has an ergonomic handle.

"A plunger," I answer in my traditional manner.

"Oh. It looks like it has it's own little carrying case," his observation is jovial.

"It's very discreet."

I busy myself pretending to be engrossed in women's magazines, hoping he doesn't want to discuss plungers further.


The Unexpected

File this under Not quite the appropriate answer.

A friend and I were on our way to a minor league hockey game. It was raining and generally unpleasant outside. As we neared the arena, we were walking quickly to the box office. We managed to dodge the scalpers on the corner. My friends only comment is that they seemed unusually aggressive today, considering that scalping is banned near the building.

We'd just queued in a short line to get tickets and were approximately 3 feet away from the box office windows. My eyes flick up towards the sign on the wall that says scalping isn't allowed within 500 feet of the building.

Out of nowhere, this dude wedges himself in front of us and asks, "Do you need some tickets?" and shows us his illicit merchandise.

My answer, "No. We're covered." Although we were clearly standing in line to buy tickets. I'm still puzzled by how I was supposed to respond to his question. The only alternative I could think of was "Yes. That's why we're at the box office." I fear that would've only encouraged further conversation.