The Name Game
“I was got in an argument about how to spell my own name. My teacher in middle school insisted I was spelling my name wrong and would write it wrong on all my papers. After a few weeks, I gave up and just let her do it. The real kicker is I have a pretty average name. There are a couple different spelling variations, but mine is the most common (my name is Maddie and she wanted to, and did, spell it Maddy).”
Kids These Days…
“I’m a high-school teacher, and I once taught a very unwilling group of grade 9 students who displayed an alarming level of entitlement and apathy to most things going on in the world around them. I frequently had to have many conversations I thought I would never have.
My favorite was on the day of a unit test. One of the slackers wasn’t prepared at all because he hadn’t done any of the class work leading up to the test (it was open book). He spent the entire test period sitting there, staring at his page.
At the end of the period, he handed me a blank test. I asked him if he realized what handing me a blank test meant (I just wanted to establish that he knew he’d get a 0 so he didn’t flip out later).
He says, ‘Yeah, I’m just gonna finish this tomorrow in class.’ I chuckle, because I thought he was joking. ‘You can’t finish it tomorrow.’ ‘Why not?’ Surprised I have to say this, I continue, ‘Today was the test. The time to write the test was today. Tomorrow we are moving on to something else, so you can’t write the test tomorrow. You’ve already seen the test today, so if you write it tomorrow, it’s no longer a test of your abilities, but a test of your ability to memorize and prepare answers.’ Extremely mad and disbelieving, he says, ‘Well, I want to write it tomorrow, I didn’t want to write it today!’ What?!”
No Such Place, Eh?
“I studied in China for a while. One of my friends was moving out of town and asked me to round up any stuff she forgot and send it to her parents in Europe. Sure thing! Packed her stuff in a box and went to the post office.
Me: ‘Hello, I’d like to send this to Europe.’
Postal Clerk: ‘Okay, which country?’
PC: ‘There is no such place.’
Me: ‘Umm…I’m pretty sure there is. My friend is from there.’
PC: ‘Can’t be, there is no country by that name.’
Me: ‘Yes, there is. It’s located east of Italy and the capital is Ljubljana.’
PC: ‘It’s no use.’
Me: ‘Would you please humor me and check?’ and I spelled it out for him in Chinese.
PC (sourly): ‘That’ll be 114 yuan.'”
Battle Of The Baggers
“A couple of my friends and I all worked at the same grocery store when we were in high school. One day, one of my friends, we’ll call him Sean, was bagging for me as I was checking out a customer.
This customer had a pretty big order, which isn’t a big issue, until I scanned her cucumbers. I’ll never forget those cucumbers. Sean went to bag the cucumbers by laying them in the bag vertically, which 8/10 times punctures the bag, causing it to rip and all the groceries to fall out.
After the lady’s order was complete, I told him how to bag them horizontally, or at the very least at diagonally. Sean didn’t like this, and we continued to argue about it until the next school day, where we got all of us who worked at the grocery store involved.
For the next few weeks, those who sided with the vertical bagging scheme or the horizontal bagging mechanism either argued or straight up ignored each other. We never came to an agreement, and still fight over it anytime it’s brought up.”
Adolf The Animal Ally
“Some younger friends of mine once asked me to teach them some basic facts about WWII, Nazism, and the like (they must’ve been in 10th grade, and I was in 11th). Everything was going smoothly while I covered the main points of the Nazi ideology and Hitler’s first political actions.
Then I mentioned that, aside from the known-by-all (but them, apparently) antisemitic actions, Hitler put many animal protection acts into place.
One of them started going crazy and telling me that, despite all of Hitler’s horrific measures, he was a good guy ‘because he helped the little animals.’ It ended up with her calling me a speciest who didn’t appreciate Adolf-the-animal-hero-Hitler’s deeds towards helping animals, and who didn’t value animal life, just focusing on the bad things he did to human beings. Needless to say, this improvised lesson of mine ended there and then.”
Putting A Baby In Danger
“You know how babies put any and everything in their mouth? Some unorthodox things you go ahead and let them, like a back scratcher. Well, my daughter didn’t see the harm in letting her gnaw on a size D battery. She said it ‘was too big for her to swallow’ so what’s the big deal. No matter what I said to the contrary would get her to admit defeat as my kid will never admit I’m right about anything. I’m pretty used to it. I rarely even say anything anymore, I just do what I got to do to keep that baby safe and carry on.”
That’s Showbiz, Baby
“I work for an entertainment company, and the owner is a professional magician. That’s how he’s made his income for the past 10-15 years. Doing everything from Vegas styles shows in casinos, to weddings and birthday parties.
One night, he was performing close up magic (think David Blaine or Criss Angel) at a bar. He sees this smoking hot blonde and introduces himself. He starts off with the basic card tricks. After he gets her interested, he does one of his biggest hits: turning $5 into $500.
She flips her lid. For the rest of the night, she doesn’t leave his side, flirting heavily and asking how he did the trick. He’s used to people asking, so he politely steers the conversation in a different direction.
After the gig, he’s about to leave when she comes up asking if he wants to go to her house and relax. Once they get there, things start getting hot fairly quickly. As soon as she’s almost naked, she stops and asks him how he did the trick.
After telling her about 15 times that he won’t tell her, she goes ape wild. Screaming and flipping out like a toddler who has to have a candy bar. So he gets up, dresses, and leaves.
About an hour or two later when he gets home, his home phone rings. He picks it up and it’s her. He didn’t give her his number, but it isn’t hard to find since he uses it as his booking number for events.
She is extremely apologetic and doesn’t want him to think she is crazy. She lets him know that she still very much wants to hook up So he hops back in his car and heads to her place. Once again, things get very hot very fast. Right before they’re about to do the deed, she stops him and asks, ‘So, how did you do it?’
Once again, he declines. So she starts kissing him all over and about 45 seconds later asks again. She repeats this 3-4 more times. He bluntly tells her he is down to hook up, but he will not tell her how the trick is done.
She flips and goes crazy on him. He grabs what clothing he can and ditches for his car. When he gets home, he has about 8 messages from her in varying forms of ticked off to apologetic. A lot of us suspect that she literally just wanted the money.”
He Likes To Fly In The Face Of Reason
“I had an argument with my stepdad when my family and I were playing a game where you hold a card with a word in front of your forehead and you have to guess what it is based on clues others give you. My sister’s word ‘a fly.’ The usual hints were given until my sister asked if it was an animal. I said yes, and he said no. That’s when I looked at him and said, ‘Yeah, it is.’
He continued to argue with me about how a fly isn’t an animal. I then said, ‘Well it’s not a plant, and it’s not fungus or bacteria, what is it?’
This guy replies: ‘Insect.’
‘Oh my God, insects are animals!’
My stepdad has a short temper, and things were getting heated. He finally decided to prove me wrong and look it up. He grabs his phone and uses Siri out loud to ask if flies are animals. First thing it says is that they’re animals. He then casually admits he wasn’t wrong because he thought we were talking about mammals. I was so done, and went to my room.”
“I had a friend who was red-green colorblind and he was talking about it and some girl just started laughing. And we were like… what? And she was telling us that that’s ridiculous and that’s not possible that someone sees colors differently….what? She also told me to stop being so anxious and I’ll feel better. Oh, and she ALSO told someone who would completely dissociate and self-harm to ‘stop doing that, it’s bad for you!!!’ Duh, you dumb witch he isn’t doing it on purpose!”
“I was driving a friend home from a party (less than a year ago) and we started talking about the alternative medicines that he believes in: essential oils, sound therapy, crystal medicine, etc.
That was rough for me, but what really got me was when he said that you shouldn’t vaccinate because vaccines are made with aborted baby fetuses.
At first, I thought he was trying to mess with me, but when I asked him if he actually believed that, he just said, ‘Well, there are some horrible people in the world that do horrible things like abortions, and it only takes one more horrible person to put them in vaccines.’ I just about lost it.”
Ever Been Outside?
“I was about 6 years old and we were doing an art class where we had to draw a picture of a house. Next thing I know, some girl was pointing and laughing at me because my drawing was ‘wrong.’
How was it wrong? Well, instead of doing the classic kid thing of a strip of green along the bottom of the page for the ground and a strip of blue across the top for the sky, I’d colored the horizon properly, with the blue of the sky meeting the green of the grass at the horizon. Apparently, I was an idiot for thinking that ‘the sky touched the ground’.
I argued for a solid 20 minutes. I pointed out the window. I showed how the sky and ground met at the horizon…but nope, this girl and her friend just wouldn’t have it and kept calling me an idiot.
Oh, and the same year I got in trouble because my teacher insisted a dolphin was a fish because it swam in the sea, and I argued with her that dolphins are mammals. I was given lines as punishment, and when my parents complained to the school, they were told that it didn’t matter that I was right, I shouldn’t have contradicted the teacher and disrupted the class.”
In This Industry, You Can’t Slack Off
“There used to be a guy at my work who was a real sloth. For months, he made stupid mistakes that basically boiled down to a single root cause: he didn’t care. He didn’t care about what he was doing, he was there just to punch a clock.
Maybe that’s good enough if you just want to work at a Walmart or something, but we make structural steel and buildings. Like the office building you’re sitting in right now, or that bridge you drove over to get there. So you can imagine there needs to be a certain level of care and quality in what you do.
Anyway, I’d found some more of his mistakes (part of my job is to find issues before they become expensive problems) and showed the guy so we could fix them, and I try to be real nice about it.
I try not to make him feel stupid, but he gives me this huge attitude and tells me not to check his work. I tell him, ‘it’s my job and quality is everyone’s business here, we’re a small shop and our clients give us repeat business because we output quality parts’.
He’s almost fifty years old and hasn’t held a job longer than two years in his entire adult life. How am I the one who’s got to have this conversation with him? How has he made it this far? He spent the next two hours of the day trying to ‘bad mouth’ me to the other guys in the shop. Someone complained to the general manager, who promptly fired the guy.”
Denial Of Entropy
“I was 22, my brother 24. He asked if he could borrow my battery charger. I said it was broken, and I’d thrown it out. Cue an escalating argument that ‘things don’t just break’, and that I had to have broken it somehow (not that it was even any of his business, given that the item had been mine).
As the argument escalated, it became obvious that, at 24, he hadn’t heard of, say, metal corrosion, or heat cycles, wear and tear, or component life. He insisted, to the point of shouting and fury, that things only break because a person inflicts damage on them e.g. vandalism or carelessness.
He seemed to believe that if you don’t drop an electronic item, get it wet, or otherwise damage it, then it will last forever. We’d argued about many things over the years, but the denial of entropy was a new one on me.”
A Disturbing Debate
“In history class my junior year of high school, the teacher told us we were going to practice debating that day. Another kid and I were picked to go first, and this is how the exchange went.
Teacher: ‘Ok so the topic here is slavery, and is it good or bad. Tommy, you go first.’
Tommy: ‘I think slavery is bad because it killed a lot of people.’
Me: ‘Well, I also think slavery is bad.’
Teacher: ‘You can’t have the same side as your opponent.’
I proceeded to make the best argument I could debating FOR slavery, and was then sent to the principal’s office for my ‘racist remarks.’ I loathe that teacher.”
The Stuff Of Feuds
“My mother and her four sisters had two feuds that each lasted for over a year, all about the stupidest stuff.
The first was whether Yoohoo, the chocolate milk drink, was really Yoohoo, or, as my aunt demanded, was Yahoo. The second was about one of Sheryl Crow’s songs, where the lyrics go, ‘All I wanna do is have some fun,’ or, according to that same aunt, was ‘All I wanna do is chew some gum.'”
She Was Not Army Strong
“I had a fight with my husband while he was training me during our workout. We had just begun exercising and I’m NOT an athlete, and would never describe myself as ‘athletic,’ if you catch my drift.
My husband, on the other hand, was a personal trainer and is an Army Vet. During our workout, he tried to make me do push-ups. I told him I literally CANNOT do a push-up. My twiggy weeny weakling arms and crappy core muscles would literally not let me do a push-up if my life depended on it.
He did not understand this. He just did not understand that someone could be so weak and not be able to do the exercises he could do. It was very frustrating. And yes, if anyone is curious, I can now do push-ups. I’m very proud of my 10 in a row.”
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree
“When I was young, I once had an argument with my cousins about whether or not mercury is a metal. They said it couldn’t be a metal because it was a liquid. I kept trying to explain that metal and liquid were not mutually exclusive properties.
They finally went to their mom and asked the question, and she replied, ‘No, it can’t be a metal because it’s a liquid.’
That was the day I learned without a doubt that my aunt is an idiot.”
These People Do Exist
“I got into a flat earth argument with someone. I didn’t believe these people actually existed and I wasn’t prepared. My go to was ‘if we started digging right now, how deep would we have to go before we fall through the hole and into the abyss.’ He said my shovel would melt. I said ‘so the earth’s core is still there? Is that flat?’ And he said no. It was baffling. I never thought it was a real thing. The stupidity was amazing.”
“I actually made a babysitter quit when I was three because I kept arguing with her. The phone call went something like this.
Mom gets a call at work: ‘Hello?’
Babysitter: ‘Hi. I think tonight will be my last night babysitting your son.’
Mom: ‘Oh no! What has he done?’
Babysitter: ‘He won’t stop arguing with me. I just can’t deal with him anymore.’
Mom: ‘You’re the authority figure, my son has no reason to argue. Just tell him what to do.’
Babysitter: ‘I do, but he just keeps arguing with me!’
Mom: ‘…you’re arguing with my three-year-old? I mean… you’re literally arguing with a three-year-old?’
Babysitter: I’m sorry, tonight will be my last night babysitting your son.’
Mom: ‘Okay. I’m going back to work now.’ click
My mom was flabbergasted.”
So Ridiculous She Quit Her Job
“I taught French and found out that a girl had taken an article from an English site and then pasted it into BabelFish (one of the worst translators!) and then handed that in.
She didn’t even read it through once because every once in a while there was a formatting error, I think from line breaks in the webpage not pasting properly, so a word would have a period in the middle and didn’t translate. So it would be, ‘French French French English.English French French French…’
So, I found the site she copied, pasted it into BabelFish, screenshot everything, give her 0 for not doing the work and tell her she can redo it if she wants a better mark.
Her mom takes me to the principal, and her argument is, ‘Did you tell them they couldn’t copy/paste?’
Welp, no, I guess I didn’t specifically say that. I just told them to write something and to credit sources like we learned. How silly of me.
The principal stayed on the mother’s side. I left teaching shortly afterward. What a freaking joke schools are becoming.”
Sounds Like A Personal Opinion
“In 4th grade, we had a test on ‘fact or opinion.’ One of the questions was: ‘The chocolate cake is delicious. Fact or opinion?’ I marked opinion. I was marked wrong.
When I asked my teacher about it, she said, ‘Well, it’s a fact that the cake is delicious.’ I asked, ‘What if I don’t like chocolate cake?’ She said, ‘Do you not like chocolate cake?’ I said I did indeed like chocolate cake, and she asked what the problem was.
I argued with the teacher over this for weeks. I never got my points back. Hrmph. I’m 37 years old now and I still get irritated remembering that. Overall I really liked that teacher, but oh my God, what a strange, cake-related blind spot.”
He Thought HE Was The Pregnancy Expert
“I was at the DMV when I was about 8 months pregnant, definitely visibly pregnant, but I carried my bump really high. An old man asked me when I was due, I said ‘beginning of next month,’ and he tried to tell me I couldn’t possibly be due that soon.
I brushed it off as being friendly, albeit misguided, but then he said, ‘You young girls can’t even figure out when you got pregnant, and expect the baby to come when you want it to!’
I just stood there kinda dumbfounded, and said ‘Well, my OBGYN told me he’s due then,’ and the guy said, ‘Well your doctor is a quack, you aren’t that pregnant!’ Ok…”