Surreal Conversations

Poignant philosophical statement on a public park bench:

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What is the most surreal conversation you’ve ever had with a stranger? I had a very odd discussion with a door-to-door cleaning solution saleswoman once. She had ignored our prominent “No Soliciting” sign and launched into her presentation.

I tried to cut her short by saying, “I’m as broke as the Ten Commandments.” She took great offense at that turn of phrase and accused me of mocking God.

“I did nothing of the sort,” I replied, and pointed out that if one believes the Judeo-Christian account of events, the Ten Commandments were literally broken by Moses in a snit over the golden calf idolatry and figuratively broken on a daily basis by the majority of human beings on the planet.

This did not seem to mollify her, but she asked if she could use our restroom, and like a stupid bumpkin, I let her.

She took a massive crap that clogged up our toilet and stole a whimsical fish-themed toothbrush caddy, thus breaking at least one goddamned commandment herself.

I’m not sure what made me think of that, but it’s one of the weirdest conversations I’ve had with a stranger. If you exclude pharmaceutically enhanced discussions anyway.

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138 replies
  1. 1
    David Koch says:

    since this is an open thread:

    President Obama may yet end up on Mount Rushmore.

    √ Regulating CO2

    √ Ended the war in Iraq

    √ Ending the war in Afghanistan

    √ Keep the US out of war in Syria and Iran

    √ Repealing DADT

    √ Overturning DOMA

    √ Raised car millage to 55 mpg

    √ Rescued the Auto Industry

    √ Prevented a 2nd Great Depression

    √ Ended Bush’s tax cuts for the rich

    √ Brought health insurance to 10s of millions of people

    √ Ended rescission, pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps

    √ Fair Sentencing Act

    √ Ended gender discrimination in the Military

    √ Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    √ Lilly Ledbetter Act

    √ Mathew Sheppard Hate Crimes Act

    √ Credit Card Reform Act

    √ Food Safety Act

    √ Eliminated banks from federal student loans

    √ Captured bin Laden

    √ Reduced Nuclear arms by 66%

    √ Provided crucial finacing for Telsa’s electric car

  2. 2
    Felonius Monk says:

    Ah, the Klepto-Crapper strikes again.

  3. 3
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @David Koch:

    For a supposed rat-fucker, you sure do work in mysterious ways sometimes.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    She took a massive crap that clogged up our toilet and stole a whimsical fish-themed toothbrush caddy, thus breaking at least one goddamned commandment herself.

    She also had sex with your husband, so that’s actually two commandments.

  5. 5
    Jay C says:

    Ummm.. “Thou shalt not clog thy neighbor’s [*]”. Isn’t that Commandment 7.5?

    [*] – ancient Hebrew term usually transliterated as “sheisspotz” – Gk. “kakaborum“, Lat. “merdeplenum” ?

  6. 6
    Ash Can says:

    This would have been a far better story if you had discovered the damage in time and run after her, dragged her back to your house by her hair, made her unclog the can by hand, and slammed the lid down on her head while she was doing it. And had recovered your toothbrush caddy in the process of holding her open purse upside down and emptying it into the toilet bowl.

  7. 7
    Betty Cracker says:

    @David Koch: Great list. But I’d change “captured bin Laden” to “killed that mofo.”

  8. 8
    GregB says:

    Support our troops!*

    *Unless that person was freed by President Obama then smear the troops as traitors, cowards and criminals.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I was in college during the (first?) heyday of the Moonies (Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.) I have always liked to eat by myself, still do. One day a very earnest young lady sat down at my table in the dining hall to talk to me about the Unification Church. I was familiar with them. By the end of our conversation she was practically crying.

    Yes, I am a bad human being, unapologetically.

  10. 10
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    She took a massive crap that clogged up our toilet and stole a whimsical fish-themed toothbrush caddy, thus breaking at least one goddamned commandment herself.

    I am not one to defend all of Sarah Palin’s actions in this case, but I rather think St Augustine would consider the er… un-negotiated acquisition of your so-delightful ethnically Floridian toothbrush caddy to be a case of “spoiling the Egyptians”.

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    This would have been a far better story if you had discovered the damage in time and run after her,

    You been binge-watching old Charles Bronson movies again?

  12. 12
    Jay C says:

    @David Koch:

    Your point No. 21 ought to be edited slightly to reflect the various definitions of “executed”.

    And of course, point No.23 is regarded by a notable percentage of the electorate as cause for impeachment, not celebration….

  13. 13
    lamh36 says:

    @psddluva4evah now
    @SenFeinstein is so dismayed on POW exchange, is she agreeing with some GOP bout “impeachable” offense? cause she sure is aiding their cause

  14. 14
    🌷 Martin says:

    Zephyr Teachout on Chris Hayes.

    DougJ should definitely vote for her. She’s smart and kind of out there, but cool. Like my Governor Moonbeam, who I adore.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @David Koch: Ssshhh… The teabaggers might notice that Mt. Rushmore is in the Black Hills and decide to try to move it.

    But OTOH, Wikipedia says that the Lakota name means ‘six grandfathers’ so here might be room for two more. So after Obama goes on, who wold be next? Not a big HRC fan, but if she ends up with the crummy job, I would root for her to make the short list.

  16. 16
    John Revolta says:

    Yeah, sure, but…………

    BENGHAZIIIIIII!!!!1111!!!!!III!!

    I win.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @David Koch:

    There’s a reason Mt. Rushmore is situated in the Black Hills after all.

  18. 18
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I guess you could say she was full of shit. And probably have, many times.

  19. 19
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Zephyr Teachout on Chris Hayes.

    Hot lib-on-lib action is the work of Satan. It can make grown men marry their dogs. Or sometimes features of the local landscape. Or sometimes all three. Ronald Reagan taught us that.

  20. 20
    Peter says:

    A few months ago I was waiting outside of a club; there was no line to get in, but I had promised to pay cover for someone else, and we had come in separate cabs. While I’m waiting I look up the sidewalk and see this middle-aged woman get into an altercation with another pedestrian. They seemed to bump into each other, some shouting, I couldn’t really tell.

    Then she proceeds up the sidewalk towards me. And I mean, right towards me. A fucking beeline. She walks up to me and says, “hey, you,” and I’m like “yes?”

    Awkward silence so I follow up: “Can I help you?”

    And then swear to god she asked me, “You like young girls?”

    Okay so at this point I think I’m being solicited for prostitution. I mean, why else should you walk up to a total stranger and ask that? So I say “No, I don’t.”

    “Oh yeah?”

    “Yeah.”

    And then, I swear this is true, she demanded, all accusatory: “Then what’s your girlfriend’s name?”

    I tell her I don’t have one, she responds like she doesn’t believe me, and then walks away.

    I look over a second later and she walked in front of a car, and then swore at the driver who nearly hit her.

  21. 21
    🌷 Martin says:

    @David Koch:

    President Obama may yet end up on Mount Rushmore.

    Well, I should hope so, given that it’s in the Black Hills.

    But we need to start that campaign just to witness the wingnut freakout.

  22. 22
    FridayNext says:

    Most surreal conversation I ever had was with some in-laws at a Christmas dinner. My brother-in-law’s, father-in-law (which may or may not make him technically MY in-law) kept an argument going for over an hour that included a) He knew someone that had hiked Mount Ararat and had not only touched Noah’s Ark but had also brought back pieces and he had gotten one, b) He knew that our world was a poorer state of grace because back in biblical times people lived for hundreds of years, but not now. So therefore we were much more sinful. (At one point I tried to point out that since we live shorter lives, and therefore were due to attain heaven sooner than those in the old testament we were more loved by god. That didn’t go anywhere) and c) God hated blacks because his only son was sent to a white country and god parted the Red Sea so that the Jews could escape Africa, therefore the US is doomed because we had elected a [fill in racist slur here, he got around to all of them, not just the “N-word.”]

    We don’t go to Christmas dinner there anymore.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    Jl won the “Black Hills” race. Thanks to everyone for playing.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    OT>. Since we are a top ten blog, although number ten, where are the trolls?
    Just wondering

  25. 25
    tybee says:

    “pharmaceutically enhanced discussions”

    yeah, i’ve had a few of those that we won’t discuss without legal representation.

  26. 26
    Ash Can says:

    As far as surreal conversations with strangers go, I’m not sure, but I do know I had a beaut with some poor dumb gal who called me on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The call started out with a recording of Mike Huckabee exhorting folks to “take a jackhammer” to the United Nations in New York. Needless to say, this did not strike the right tone with me on a day when I couldn’t help but think back on the trauma of that horrible day. I stayed on the line long enough for a live voice to come on and just absolutely fucking lost it. I hope it gave her something to think about, but if she was working for that asshole group in the first place, I’m not holding my breath.

  27. 27
    Ash Can says:

    @efgoldman: Hey, did I mention gunfire? And please don’t blame poor Betty for my nastiness.

  28. 28
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    Well, I once got mistaken for some poor woman’s “Master Calvin from Nebraska”. That was a monumentally embarrassing way to spend 20 minutes in what used to be my favorite coffee-house.

  29. 29
    Central Planning says:

    One time while courting my not-yet-wife, we got home late after dinner and a movie. I parked the car and we headed towards our apartment. This is around midnight.

    I hear from across the street “Youonadate?!?” Which I hear as “You on a date?”

    I say “Yes with my girlfriend.” The woman yells at me slowly “No! You wanna date?”

    “No thanks,” I say, and head inside.

    That’s the weirdest conversation I remember, although I tend to have strangers come up to me in stores and ask me where things are.

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @tybee: Is this a question about patent laws, if so, there is no way staying in a Holiday Inn will help me answer your comment.

  31. 31
    idahogie says:

    “You ever been hit in the head with a persimmon?”

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    (Actual though partially paraphrased from memory phone conversation which took place a bit over 30 years ago.)

    “[redacted] Gas Company, how may I help you?

    “Hi there. I’m moving to a new apartment and would like to arrange for the gas to be turned on.”

    “You should’ve called on Monday.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “You should’ve called on Monday.”

    “Um, this is Thursday. There is no way I can call on Monday on Thursday.”

    “You should’ve called on Monday.”

    “Hold on. Let me ask you what day this is.”

    “Thursday.”

    “All righty. It’s Thursday. Monday is gone. It has passed. Monday is now history. Cannot get to Monday from here.”

    “But you should’ve called on Monday.”

    “We’ve already established that is outside the realm of possibility. We’ve also established that today is Thursday. When can someone swing by to turn on the gas?”

    “Tomorrow.”

    (confirm account name, address and apartment number)

    “Thank you.”

    (Gas was turned on Friday.)

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    I once got a late night phone call that I thought (half-asleep) was a friend playing a joke, because it was theatrical heavy breathing and the question, “What color are your panties?”

    I said with great solemnity, “They are mauve.”

    The voice stopped breathing and said, “Whut?”

    “Mauve.”

    “Whut?”

    “Mauve! Mauve! Purple-red!”

    There was some fumbling and he hung up. It was then that I realized it had been an actual obscene phone call.

  34. 34
    Brian R. says:

    Baseball Crank has a nice tweet up about how if every Indian voter can produce a photo ID, why can’t Muricans?

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that in India, (a) the photo ID is completely free and (b) easily obtainable with a simple paper form accepted anywhere or an equally easy online application.

    Fucking moron.

  35. 35
    esc says:

    A clerk at the convenience store I frequented in college once asked me if I had a tan suit of any kind because he had a dream about me going on a job interview in such a suit and I had done very well. He said he wouldn’t normally have brought that kind of thing up, but ever since he had been shot in the head, his dreams had become kind of prophetic. It was sweet in a way.

  36. 36
    FridayNext says:

    @FridayNext:

    Oops! Missed the part about “with strangers.” I only met the guy once, does he count as a stranger?

  37. 37
    the Conster says:

    Sitting outside eating Thai takeout from the Faneuil Hall marketplace on my lunch on a quiet fall afternoon. A middle aged guy – a street guy – younger than myself walks past me and in an instant, and in a voice that only I could have possibly heard, says to me, “I’d taste better than that”, walks on, and I didn’t even process what he said until it was all over.

    I’m not gonna lie, my interest was piqued.

  38. 38
    Brian R. says:

    @David Koch:

    This is good, but any list of Obama’s accomplishments should simply end with “put a bullet in Bin Laden’s head.”

    I’ve found that shuts wingnuts the fuck up.

  39. 39
    lamh36 says:

    It’s a damn shame, but now the town where Bergdahl and family live can’t even enjoy the homecoming. Why, cause this is what the “serious” reporting has wrought!

    Officials in Bergdahl’s Hometown: Stop the Hate

    In Hailey, Idaho, the hometown of freed U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, the joy at his release has turned for some into shock and fear — the fear of picking up the phone.

    That’s because some town officials have been deluged with angry calls from people who think that
    Bergdahl is an Army deserter or traitor who doesn’t deserve a hero’s welcome.

    Jane Drussel, the President of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, has been fielding dozens of angry calls.

    “Well, (I feel) disappointment number one, just absolutely total surprise at how bad
    some of them are,” she told NBC News on Tuesday.

    When the news that Bergdahl had been freed from five years of captivity in Afghanistan in
    exchange for five Taliban commanders broke on Saturday, most reactions were happy, but the nebulous details of how he wound up in enemy hands in the first place in 2009 has caused some — both civilians and military — to turn against him and his family.

  40. 40

    @Felonius Monk:

    The AMAZING Klepto-Crapper! It kleps, it craps, it lectures you on morality which it is unable to itself practice! Using the julienne attachment, it cranks out fries by the bushel! Friends for dinner? No problem, the onion splitter turns your ordinary yellow onion into a gastronomic work of art in JUST SECONDS! Cogitate on Moses and evacuate all that vegetable matter while stealing the silverware with the AMAZING Klepto-Crapper!

    Ever since the bug-eyed string bean historian talked his way into my rental because “it’s a real century house in fabulous condition,” I never, ever let strangers through the door unless they are carrying a badge, a stretcher, or a fire ax.

  41. 41
    Brian R. says:

    In a bar on the Upper West Side, 1998. Playing pool, and a barfly comes right up to me from across the room, says “You know who’s behind this? Fucking Guiliani,” and then walks all the way back.

    I have no idea what the rest of the rant before or after that was, but I’m pretty sure I’d have agreed with him all the same.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @idahogie:

    “You ever been hit in the head with a persimmon?”

    What is surreal about that question? An oldster in my family had a persimmon orchard. It was an issue, whether they were hard or soft.

    BTW: I got nothing that stands out for surreal convo here. Because either all of my conversations are surreal, or none of them are, or something like that. But I will think on it.

  43. 43
    KG says:

    Not me, but my dad once had a conversation with a blind woman during a rain storm and actually said to her “you should see the rain out there”

    This was a decade ago, if not more… I still can’t believe he said it

  44. 44
    smintheus says:

    Summer of my 18th year, working in a dry goods store, I carried a package to the curb for a middle-aged woman. She: “The store owner said you’re going to Brown (University) in the fall; you know I’m Swedish?”

    She seemed to think there was a logical connection between those two things.

  45. 45
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JPL: We are?

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    For some reason, street people and other odd folk talk to me. Not the usual panhandling stuff – I mean coming up to me and saying things like, “Do you know today is St. Nicodemus Day? You should make sure you eat three apples for good luck.”

  47. 47
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @KG:

    I had a similar conversation two days ago. I went to the nearest florist to buy my wife some blue irises, of which she is very fond, as a surprise. While I was there, two Hispanic ladies, aged about 50 came in and wanted some yellow carnations as part of a bouquet. Eventually they and the store manager negotiated their way to a combination of yellow, white and red flowers, which sounded quite cheerful. In a spirit of goodwill to the world, I asked what they were celebrating. One of them looked at me and said “It’s a funeral.” I then heard my own voice say, perfectly seriously, “Not such a celebration then.” How the earth failed to swallow me up, I shall never know, but I skulked out of there feeling like every sort of idiot in creation.

  48. 48
    Robert Paehlke says:

    Never let Christians into your house.

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @Betty Cracker: This blog does have a hilarious and risible claim to being a ‘top ten’ blog. Cole or DougJ wrote a post about it some time ago. Sorry. Sometimes you have to deal with the shit fate deals you.

    Using it to promote the blog will bring disgrace and ridicule, so, in grand BJ blog tradition, probably best to run with it for all its worth.

  50. 50
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: That was part of a discussion last night about the quality (or lack of same) of the trolls here.

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:

    @Ash Can:

    And please don’t blame poor Betty for my nastiness.

    Oops. Click fail. Apologies all around (except to Charles Bronson.)

  52. 52
    Elmo says:

    I’ve told this story before, but here goes.

    I’m a little hard of hearing. Not much, but sometimes words run together. So my wife and I are in the checkout line, and the cashier says,
    Have you seen the nudist play at Sea World?
    The what now? I asked.
    The nudist play, she said. At Sea World.
    I blinked at her.
    Really? I said.
    At which point my wife took pity on me, and said very slowly and clearly,
    Honey. There is a New. Display. At Sea World.

  53. 53

    My father once said, “I can’t understand what’s wrong with Republicans. They’re for everything that’s bad and against everything that’s good.”

    I’ve quoted that many times in the ten years or so since he said it. He died in late 2007, so he never got to see the back end of Bush, for which I’ll always feel sad, but he saw all kinds of Republican awfulness in his 91 and a half years. But, I swear, I don’t know what the fuck he’d say if he came back today and saw the way the Republicans are behaving today.

    Shit. I’ve said, and only half jokingly, that the Republicans would try to impeach President Obama for curing cancer. But after seeing them shit themselves in rage over bringing a fucking prisoner of war home, well, fuck. I don’t think that qualifies as even half a joke any longer.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    lamh36 says:

    Secret Videos Prompted Bowe Bergdahl Taliban Prisoner Swap
    Rapid Deterioration of Soldier’s Health Persuaded Leaders to Back Exchange

    An intelligence analysis, based on a comparison of Taliban videos of Sgt. Bergdahl in captivity in 2011 and December 2013 that were provided to the U.S., found that the soldier’s rate of deterioration was accelerating. The latest video, provided to U.S. officials by mediators in Qatar, has never been publicly shown. Officials who have seen the video described Sgt. Bergdahl’s condition as “alarming.”

    Evaluations of the two videos didn’t allow officials to estimate with any precision how much longer Sgt. Bergdahl might have to live without adequate treatment. But in the analysis, intelligence agencies identified several possible ailments to explain the change in his condition. Officials with access to the analysis declined to provide details about what those ailments were and what treatment Sgt. Bergdahl is now receiving at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

    Three things changed between time Mr. Panetta rejected the arrangement and Mr. Hagel signed it, a defense official said: The health assessment, additional security assurances from Qatar, and the realization that Sgt. Bergdahl’s value as a prisoner was declining as his health deteriorated and U.S. troops pulled out of Afghanistan.
    “We believe they saw Bergdahl as a golden egg. That is why they kept him alive and as healthy as possible. But as he deteriorated, some people believe he became more of a burden to them,” a U.S. official said. “And as the war was ending some of them [Taliban] came to doubt his value. He was more of a liability as his health declined.”

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Ha! It seems like your standard clueless wingnut story until you see the billboard.

  57. 57
    Hal says:

    When I was living in San Francisco I once had a homeless guy walk up to me at a cross light, look me up and down, and remark about my big fat bearded self; “You sure is pretty.”

    I was so shocked all I could say was “I’m not pretty!!!” and stomp off across the street. I laughed hysterically over my lame comeback later at home.

    Also, I was just reading the NYTIMES readers comments on one of the Bergdahl stories and every wingnut is so easy to spot. Almost every single winger comment:

    1. Impeach

    2. This is a distraction over the VA.

    3. Benghazi.

  58. 58
    Anoniminous says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Alabama-based Life-Savers Ministries (LSM) has admitted that it was probably a poor decision to select a quote from Adolf Hitler for use on a billboard supporting children’s education…

    NS, S.

  59. 59
    Long Tooth says:

    Maybe 20 years ago, a guy set-up a veritable kiosk worth of literature on a sidewalk that contended John Lennon had been assassinated by the CIA. He had obviously put a lot of effort into building it (it was a half block off Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco). Being a Beatlemaniac, I stopped to chat (I forgot to add he was a multi-instrument street musician). There was no one within 200 yards of us- I mean, we were alone. I interrupted an acoustical number to ask a question about the diabolical plot, and he barely paused to say, “Wait till I’m finished playing”. I laughed and walked away, him strumming away on his guitar and playing his harmonica.

  60. 60
    beth says:

    I was pushing my baby daughter in her stroller on a busy street in Chicago when some old Slavic looking woman wearing a kerchief stopped me, told me how beautiful my baby was and proceeded to press dollar bills in my hand. I told her I didn’t want to take her money but she started crying and telling me something about a tradition so I took the money and quickly walked away.

  61. 61
    NotMax says:

    @Elmo

    Cute. It tickled me, Elmo.*

    Comedian/monologist/actor Taylor Negron did a short but very funny bit on the same type of mishearing.

    *apologies, but just could not resist.

  62. 62
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Baud: Damnit! Always too slow around here…

  63. 63
    Baud says:

    Twitter is telling me the MS GOP primary is going to a run-off between the tea party guy and Cochran.

  64. 64
    AliceBlue says:

    I lived in Manhattan for a few years, late 70’s early 80’s. I was standing on a sidewalk corner one day when a homeless woman shuffled up to me, looked at me with utter disgust and said “in my opinion, you need a bath.”

  65. 65
    jl says:

    @Baud:

    ” Twitter is telling me the MS GOP primary is going to a run-off between the tea party guy and Cochran. ”

    OK now, that is surreal. Or at least it should be.

  66. 66
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Baud:

    Cochran must be one of the least savvy campaigners in that part of the world. He had the guy’s little buddies bang to rights for trying to abuse his wife – and he couldn’t even finish him off cleanly.

  67. 67
    jl says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): Might be more complicated. I think good chance that part of the GOP primary base has become so depraved and barbaric minded, that the tea party ethics outrages were a net plus for voters.

    Not sure what the logic is. Maybe a kind of vigilante mob justice gone wild mindset. You should bring Hell and wield satanic weapons to fight the Devil, or something.

  68. 68
    Suffern ACE says:

    I’m not going to ask us to change our blog colors in support of the resistance in Thailand. I have no idea which most likely corrupt leader I’m supposed to favor, but I might be inclined to get three friends to protest the coup, hunger games style, just for the hell of it. I wonder if my defense of doing so together with fewer than five people would work.

  69. 69
    beth says:

    David Gergen on CNN said “in days gone by a General Patton would have ordered this man shot”. Can’t these supposed rule of law fuckers at least wait until he’s had a trial?

  70. 70
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @JPL: If you believe AL, he was in at #1

  71. 71
    Mike R says:

    Once while scuba diving in Arkansas, stopped by the local store and mentioned that we had killed a small scorpion in our cabin. A woman who was stocking shelves came over and told us about her sister and bother in law who hadn’t had sex in several years were about to engage in a little whoopy when a scorpion that had been in the bed stung him on the sack. Politely excused ourselves and went back to the lake.

  72. 72
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @jl:

    I was just thinking along those lines. Somehow as a nation we seem to have degraded ourselves to depths that would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago. I suspect that most of it is down to talk-radio and Fox News, but not all.

  73. 73
    Eric U. says:

    I got tired of getting sales phone calls even though we are on the do not call list and told some guy that called me he was working for a criminal enterprise. He started talking to himself, “why some people can’t just hang up the phone?” Then he started threatening me. Actually, the best call like that was when a burial plot salesman got mad at me and hung up because I kept insisting that I wasn’t going to use his product.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 3m

    Right or far right, you need to look at MS-SEN from perspective of news industry. And News biz needs this clown show to continue.

  75. 75
    Ruckus says:

    Once had a 45 min phone conversation trying to talk a woman out of suicide. That was pretty bizarre.

  76. 76
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @Eric U.:

    You should have used your inner Khrushchev and snarled “Ve vill bury you!”

  77. 77
    jl says:

    @beth:

    ” David Gergen on CNN said “in days gone by a General Patton would have ordered this man shot”. Can’t these supposed rule of law fuckers at least wait until he’s had a trial? ”

    How ignorant do you have to be in order to be a respected TV pundit? Patton was disciplined and had to apologize to his troops for slapping one his soldiers who Patton just ‘knew’ was malingering.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:

    @Mike R

    Believe that is one of the later and lesser-known commandments:

                Thou shalt not teabag a scorpion.

  79. 79
    Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers) says:

    @jl:

    In days gone by, David Gergen would have been tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail to the applause of the townsfolk and the delight of the children.

  80. 80
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beth: did Patton ever actually have anyone shot? I know he lost it and slapped around a wounded soldier. But the one soldier executed for desertion in WWII wasn’t involved with Patton at all. And Patton beating a soldier was considered a bad thing.

  81. 81
    Felonius Monk says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    The AMAZING Klepto-Crapper!

    It even comes with its own purloined, whimsical fish-themed toothbrush caddy. What a deal.

  82. 82
    Ruckus says:

    @Eric U.:
    When I used to get these I’d interrupt and say “I don’t fucking need that” The good ones just keep on talking. Most hang up. I must be on a pretty good list some where now because I don’t get sales calls anymore.

  83. 83
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike R:
    Scuba. In Arkansas?

    There are several stories there.

  84. 84
    lamh36 says:

    @beth: and did anyone on the panel or the host speak up against that bullshit?

  85. 85
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @lamh36:

    Feinstein is saying that Congress should have been consulted, that the law should have been followed. The only downside of that would have been Sgt. Bergdahl’s death of old age while still in captivity. Fucking Feinstein. I look forward to the day that Kamala Harris or some other member of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party sends her home to spend more time with her family.

  86. 86
    🌷 Martin says:

    What is the most surreal conversation you’ve ever had with a stranger?

    Three:

    1) When I was a kid – maybe 10-12 or so, I was leaving school while most of my classmates were in catechism. This guy, probably someone’s dad, asked me pointedly why I wasn’t in catechism and I casually mentioned that I didn’t believe in God. He proceeded to angrily tell me that someone should do me a favor and kill me now, because God will accept kids into heaven, but not adults that don’t believe. Or something to that effect. Scared the fuck out of me and I turned and ran home as fast as I could. I never considered that anyone would react so aggressively toward someone that didn’t believe, particularly a kid. To this day I’m pretty discreet about my atheism in meatspace.

    2) A few years ago (post 2008) I was waiting in line at Ace Hardware when the woman in line in front of me started talking to the cashier – small talk, and I believe the cashier mentioned that she was hoping the rapture would come soon because she had so much debt. The woman in line agreed saying that she hated her job and where the country was going and was ready for it all to end. She turned to me, apparently expecting that everyone standing in line in a SoCal hardware store would be eager to be raptured over any life hardship. Frankly, I’ve never been invited into a ‘lets root for the rapture’ club (you can understand why given my above experience) and wasn’t quite sure what to say so I told them I thought they were both insane and just wanted to buy my sprinkler parts. The cashier was fired a week or so later.

    3) Every contractor, dad of one of my kids classmates, or other random interaction that turned into a ‘hey, two white guys, let’s have a Klan meeting!’. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a conceal-carrier. I’m at the point I’d probably just shoot the racist out of their stupid fucking face.

  87. 87
    smintheus says:

    Come to think of it, I had a much stranger, painfully long conversation at an ancient history job interview. Full dept. of 15-20 people took me to lunch, and for no apparent reason a junior faculty member (who was highly insecure) took over the conversation and began talking about her interest in Ian McKellen’s acting career. Then she began to describe at length how she’d spent a lot of time in grad school taking in his stage performances everywhere she could. Then she described all her methods for trying to casually run into him after performances. And after about 20 or 25 minutes, when she began recounting his reactions to seeing her (“Oh it’s you again”) we all realized she’d been stalking him. And still she continued for at least another 10 minutes describing her further McKellen adventures while everyone else at the table held their breath and looked back and forth nervously.

    The Chair finally cut her off and said he had to get to a meeting. And everyone else jumped up and rushed away, sort of leaving me in the lurch.

  88. 88
    jibeaux says:

    Why are there still door to door salesman? I honestly had a guy try to demo a vacuum cleaner on me, or at least that’s what he said. It’s not 1950. People 1) have vacuum cleaners, 2) don’t let strange men into their homes too often, and 3) are going to probably assume, rightly or not, that you are casing for a burglary rather than just doing a nearly impossible job, and are going to report you to the neighborhood listserv or nextdoor site.

  89. 89
    Ash Can says:

    @beth: That happened to me a couple of times with elderly Italian folks when Bottle Rocket was a baby/toddler. I just thanked them and put the dollar bills in BR’s piggy bank when we got home.

  90. 90
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jl: of 49 soldiers sentenced to death for desertion in WWII, 48 were commuted according to that Wikipedia source. The soldiers we have executed since the civil war were executed for rape and murder of civilians. Are they accusing someone of rape now?

    A search of “Patton summary executions” brings up nothing. It’s bad enough that we rewrite history to cover up atrocities, but Gergen is rewriting history to make us more atrocious than we were in this case. How is that not nuts?

  91. 91
    scav says:

    @jl: Basic logic would suggest that In order for Patton’s apocryphal shot to be at all effective, the target would have to be in relative proximity and not a half-world away under the control of others. Or does Patton’s apocryphal gun shoot something like Thor’s bullets? Jesus, their mythic military heroes now swagger about doing extra-judicial preemptive anti-fragging (as it’s the X%brass running the death panels).

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE: Well, those commie wimpy GIs and generals believed in due process back then. Even in the military! It’s a wonder that those wimpy simpy liberal weaklings ever won the war. Probably, Ronald Reagan’s work in the army film service was what really won the war. Yessir.

  93. 93
    Birthmarker says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): This is exactlywhat I said to my husband last night as we were discussing the outrage of the day. “If the man cured cancer…”

    Brief solicitor story– years ago a young guy came by in the summer selling books. I said I already had the books he was selling. (I was a librarian, so no shortage of books.). Well, he just went off, screaming at me that I was a liar, etc. I shut the door and called the police. Not the most surreal conversation I ever had, but kind of unpleasant.

  94. 94
    🌷 Martin says:

    @jl: Didn’t just have to apologize, lost his command for a year, and wound up used as a decoy for D-Day rather than a commander for it. There were many calls for him to be thrown out of the Army including members of Congress. Remember, this was a successful 3 star general in the middle of WWII, and people still wanted him kicked out.

  95. 95
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    Not sure what the logic is.

    Pure spite and meanness. Everything else has been abraded away.

  96. 96
    hildebrand says:

    A couple of weeks ago a guy selling home security systems knocked on the door, and like a chump I actually engaged him in conversation. After a bit of preliminary piffle about whether I had chatted with his ‘sales team’ a few weeks back (I had, they were harmless), he went straight to the hard sell – a great deal of ‘OMG, you live so close to Mexico, what if the cartels decide to use your cul-de-sac as some kind of staging ground for their criminal activities.’ I politely told him we had a lovely system that we were very happy with. Then it got odd.

    “You don’t have a security system, do you?”

    ‘Yes, its company X – they just upgraded us to a wireless system, blah, blah, blah, very nice, love the IPhone app to turn it off and on.’

    “Does it have XYZ capabilities?”

    ‘Yep.’

    “You have no idea what I am talking about, do you?”

    ‘Seems to me that condescension is not a good sales tactic.’

    “Kinda of an over-educated prick, aren’t you.”

    ‘Now you’re really not going to make the sale – have a lovely day.’ And I closed the door and walked back to the dinner table. My kids were laughing so hard they couldn’t breathe.

  97. 97
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    @scav:

    Gergen’s statement makes no sense at many intersections, and on multiple levels, as Lil’ Newtie might say.

    Is there is permanent file of mind bogglingly moronic pundit statements anywhere? Gergen’s must be added to it, if there is any justice. To be fair to Rush and Tweetie and Nornin’ and most of the Fox News news actors.

  98. 98
    Betty Cracker says:

    @🌷 Martin: One time I went out in the front yard to haul the garbage cans out to the curb wearing my bedroom slippers. I stepped in dog shit and abandoned my slippers in disgust (temporarily!).

    I went inside to shower, change and deal with the shit crisis properly. Meantime, the mister came home. He saw me in the house and said, “Thank God! I saw your empty slippers outside and thought you’d been raptured up to heaven!”

    Maybe you had to be there, but I laughed.

  99. 99
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin: Brings to mind the question, did we, as such a nation of traitors, with no respect for the Warrior Code, deserve to win? I want to see a sitrep on that, stat and pronto.

    Edit: With the reactionary ethos of today, Patton would have been fantasized to have been an indispensable man, who therefore could do what he wanted. Allowances would be made. No way commies and bumblers like Eisenhower and Bradley could have pulled it off without Patton. And question that would be Treason, with a capital T. Shooting offense!

  100. 100
    Long Tooth says:

    @Eric U.: At the height of the obtrusive sales call era, I began to quietly explain that I had been killed in a sky diving accident the earlier weekend (usually in Phoenix). I was also a close friend of the family, and respectfully asked that in the name of common decency my name be taken off the call list, as my family was understandably distraught. The phoney baloneys always reverted to their “oh, I’m so sorry” tone of voices, and swore that my name would be excised. Which never happened, of course, but it was amusing to evoke fake sympathy from the poor bastards whose job it was to make those calls. [Disclaimer: I was one of those poor bastards at one time].

  101. 101
    beth says:

    @lamh36: and did anyone on the panel or the host speak up against that bullshit?

    No, it was just Anderson Cooper. I used to like him, began to doubt him during the BP spill and lately I just think that maybe he’s a moron.

  102. 102
    lamh36 says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    this is how you do it and NOT give ammo to the other side. Feinstein should take a damn lesson.

    White House first discussed Bergdahl prisoner exchange with lawmakers in 2011

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he first learned about the prisoner swap on Saturday and that a formal written White House notification arrived on Monday.
    Asked if he would have liked to have known sooner, Levin said: “If possible, sure, but the president says he has the authority, if necessary, to move more quickly, under the Constitution,” he said. “That’s been a presidential position under various different kinds of circumstances as long as there have been presidents.”

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @jl:

    Gergen’s statement makes no sense at many intersections, and on multiple levels,

    What part of aging white male power trip fantasy do you find nonsensical?

  104. 104
    Gin & Tonic says:

    This thread needs a good aspect of human nature story. Big local news item concerns a high school boys’ track team winning the state championships for the second year in a row. Then everybody went home, the coach reviewed the scoring and noticed a mistake, which meant that his team didn’t win after all. So without hesitation, he contacted the state interscholastic league to correct the record and return the trophy. As far as I know everyone on the team and everyone in the community is fully in support of his action. The captain of the team, a senior, was on the local news praising the coach for doing the right thing.

  105. 105
    danielx says:

    She took a massive crap that clogged up our toilet and stole a whimsical fish-themed toothbrush caddy, thus breaking at least one goddamned commandment herself.

    Of course she did.

    And I’d say she broke two Commandments at least, under the theory that if someone clogging up your commode with an overload of shit isn’t an offense against god, it ought to be.

    And the park bench philosophy is on the money, I’m sorry to say.

  106. 106
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @danielx:

    To me the commode clogging was proof positive that she was full of shit.

  107. 107
    Rachel in Portland says:

    Good country people.

  108. 108
    jl says:

    @danielx:

    ‘ And I’d say she broke two Commandments at least, ‘

    The dump seems like it was a ‘silent but deadly’. So, violation of ‘Do not murder’.

    BC is surely survived it only through the grace of God!

  109. 109
    Culture of Truth says:

    What is the most surreal conversation you’ve ever had with a stranger?

    Today I had my first ever Twitter fight with a right-wing loon. (I got re-tweeted by Joan Walsh, leading my to wonder what kind of weirdos she must deal with on a daily basis.) He “beat” me by invoking Hitler a few tweets in and then announced the U.S. should always demand and achieve “unconditional surrender” in any and all conflicts with our adversaries. So, you know, that’s happpened a lot since WWII. But he’s an online tough guy.

  110. 110
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Culture of Truth: the U.S. should always demand and achieve “unconditional surrender”

    My definition of that came in Hanoi a few years back, seeing a Chevy Blazer parked directly underneath a socialist-realist banner commemorating April 29, 1975. Let’s dissect who “won” and who “lost.”

  111. 111
    Sly says:

    The most interesting conversation I had with a stranger was back in 2000, in a bar in DC with a chef who just got off work at a restaurant across the way. He told me he worked in the Bolivian secret police under General/Dictator Hugo Banzer Suarez in the 70s. Claimed he actually met Klaus Barbie. When I asked him what he did for the secret police, he said he was basically a bodyguard and assured me (without prompting) that he was never in a death squad.

  112. 112
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Culture of Truth: god. These guys are getting on my nerves. Has any of these war lovers been following the GWoT at all since 2001? Also, too, they should fucking make up their minds whether they want unconditional surrender or annihilation, because they seem to be confusing the two. What steps have we taken at all to get either outcome? Well, none, actually.

  113. 113
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Central Planning: One of the weirder conversation I’ve ever had was back in 1976 at a Star Trek Convention in NYC. I was in charge of the gopher room where the helpers hung out on the con floor between work assignments. A con is very casual and relaxed, attendees/fans tend to be open and free in their activities. Two of the larger, young 20s guys come in with an older lady. They’ve been trying to get her to leave the con floor. She wants to speak to someone “official” about setting up a hospitality suite.. I take a look at her and exclaim “no one pays for it at an SF convention.” And beside there are a lot of young kids at the con and we want it to PG rated. The funny stuff goes on in hotel rooms late at night.

    I told the guys to escort her out of the hotel and to a cab.

    Ah, the good old days.

  114. 114
    Culture of Truth says:

    Of course, I’ve had other weird conversations. Including at Clinton’s inauguration demanding Clinton impeachment. (No, really).

  115. 115
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @beth:

    David Gergen on CNN said “in days gone by a General Patton would have ordered this man shot”.

    Gergen. Broder. Brooks. Gregory.

    I love the name David and it makes me very sad that so many useless idiots bear it.

  116. 116

    At the drugstore with my mom who was visiting from out of town. My mom was wearing yellow crocs (I’m gonna embarrass the crap out of my kids too). In front of the store a rather drunken lady (understandably) made some cracks about them in Spanish. I was willing to let it slide. But she kept at it and followed us in the store and kept getting louder and more profane. I stopped, turned around and said, “quitate borracha” (take off ya drunk) and her face dropped. She turned to the people in line for the cashier looking for support and they all shrugged. She let me know that my mom was a member of the world’s oldest profession and left in a huff.
    My mom asked, “What just happened?”
    “Nothing, Mom.”

  117. 117
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Suffern ACE: Yes, and Patton lost his command. The next important assignment he got was to head a false flag invasion by the Pas de Calais in France in conjunction with D-Day.

  118. 118
    ankh hotep says:

    A well-dressed man came up to me on the street.
    Stranger: Young man, do you go to school?
    Me: No sir, I’m a working man.
    Stranger: You ought to go to school. Study to be a lawyer. Then you can learn how to lie.
    Me: You don’t have to go to school to learn that, do you?
    Stranger: You do if you want to be good at it.
    With that, the stranger walked away.

  119. 119
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I had a long and pleasantly goofy conversation once on a train in Germany with a dude who was all about the principles and practices of Rudolph Steiner’s anthroposophy. Afterward, the friend I was traveling with told me the whole thing had seriously freaked him out. Which was odd because I found the guy peculiar but not nearly as disturbing as your average evangelical Christian getting in his witnessing duty, and I’d had the analogous talk with many of those.

    Samantha had one of those “assume the other white person is just as racist as me” conservations in a supermarket in town: a stranger remarked on the extreme blondness of our daughter and started going on about how it was nice to “see a blond baby for once, if you know what I mean.” Sam said she could guess what they meant and wasn’t sure she wanted to continue speaking in this vein, and extricated herself somehow.

  120. 120
    RSA says:

    This was back in January, when I was in an independent living community. I keep a journal, and I used to write down notable conversations with the residents.

    “Hello. I don’t think we’ve met. My name’s Rob.”

    “I’m Louise.”

    It’s the dead time between lunch and dinner. I’ve come downstairs to the dining room for a cup of coffee. Louise sits at a table alone; she’s the only one in the room.

    “I’ve been here for a month,” I say, “but there are still a lot of people I don’t know.”

    “I’ve lived here for, oh, more than a year, and I don’t know everyone either. I sit with Mr. Carlton–” she points at one of the empty chairs at her table, “and his wife sits there, unless she’s sick. Joanne sits there.”

    She gestures over her shoulder. “Regina sits over there. I don’t like her.”

    “Regina can sometimes be… mean,” I say. When Regina gets into the elevator, she presses two buttons: to choose her floor, and then to close the door, even if other residents are waiting behind her. Louise may be remembering one of Regina’s outbursts at a recent meal. Regina is a demanding 90-year-old. I think she’s lonely and unhappy.

    “She’s a good little Nazi,” says Louise.

    I’m surprised into silence.

    “Oh, she’s following orders,” says Louise. “She grew up with the Nazis in Poland, and she always has to be the girl at the head of the class.”

    “Um.”

    “She steals napkins. I tell her, ‘Regina, when are you going to give back to the Polish people what you’ve stolen?’ But she doesn’t listen.”

    “I–”

    “Some people are just bad. Evil,” says Louise.

    She pauses. I take a step back.

    “My favorite saint is St. Paul,” she says. “He was on his horse, on the road to…”

    “Damascus,” I say.

    “Damascus,” she continues, “and a voice told him to go visit this man. And he did, and he became St. Paul. I’m always happy when I meet a St. Paul today. Someone who has accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

    “I have to go,” I say. “It was nice to meet you.”

    It was a disturbing conversation to be having with a grandmotherly old lady.

  121. 121
    Silencio says:

    “She took a massive crap that clogged up our toilet…”

    One of the funniest phrasings I’ve read in ages. Especially given the context. (A most holy bowel movement?)

  122. 122
    Trooptrap Tripetrope says:

    One afternoon during my final year at UC Berkeley I was sitting on an outdoor bench doing some reading when another student approached me. We were strangers but he struck up a conversation as though I was his best friend. He quickly segued into a 20-minute rave about a woman from his home country who had been named Miss Universe some previous year. He went on and on about what a triumph it had been for his country when she won the title, how proud they all felt. He got a bit misty-eyed talking about her. He even took out his wallet and showed me about a dozen photos of the woman in question, all clipped from magazines.

    I realized that he would continue on the same topic forever if I let him, so I told him that I had to leave to go to my next class. At that point he asked if I wanted to follow him to the men’s room to watch him urinate. (I politely declined.)

  123. 123
    Original Lee says:

    Most surreal conversation with a stranger:
    I was supposed to call my grandmother to wish her happy birthday. I dialed the number, and a man answered the phone. The bachelor who lived in the apartment across the hall from my grandmother would stop by for a cup of coffee several times a week, so I didn’t really think anything of it, just asked politely for my grandmother.

    I was a little surprised when he made a big production of getting her to the phone. IIRC, I even rolled my eyes. Jeez, I was just calling her to wish her a happy birthday! Eventually, he handed the phone off to her, and it wasn’t my grandmother at all – it was some other little old lady!

    OLOL: Hello, sweetie!
    Me: You’re not my grandmother!
    OLOL: And you’re not my granddaughter! Stop calling me right now!

    *slammed phone*

  124. 124
    Grover Gardner says:

    Years ago when I was a grad student in DC I went to visit the Botanic Gardens near the Mall. On the way home I was sitting on the bus next to a tiny, frail-looking old lady with enormous, thick-lensed glasses. We struck up a conversation, She asked me what I was studying and where I had been that day. When I mentioned the Botanic Gardens, she grew rhapsodic, talking about the beautiful flowers and plants. I was developing a warm spot in my heart for the sweet old thing, who seemed lonely and eager to meet new people. Then I mentioned the orchids. Orchids!! Oh, they’re marvelous, aren’t they? Just imagine, they’re able to splice different breeds together and create whole new flowers! And such beautiful ones! Wouldn’t it be marvelous, she gushed, if they could breed people that way? Make everyone beautiful, with no disease or ugliness? I tentatively agreed that this might be a good thing. Then she got very confidential, lowered her voice and opined that it would be so wonderful if all the ugly people in the world could be bred away, like the ugly flowers. Especially, you know…she paused to glance around the bus…the BLACKS, she hissed. Well, I wasn’t so sure that was a good idea, and tried to be polite about it. She grew vehement. Yes, yes! It would be wonderful if there were no more BLACKS…!!!

    At this point I yanked the bell cord and jumped up to get off the bus. She called after me, saying how wonderful it was to talk to someone who UNDERSTOOD!!

    Yeesh.

  125. 125
    MissWimsey says:

    Long-lurker but I couldn’t resist chumming in. Some of these stories have been hilarious. I was opening the garage doors one afternoon when I see a car turn into the alley, drive midway and turn in front of me onto another alley (chicago neighborhoods) and drive to the end if the block. I proceeded to drive out if the garage slowly since alleys in chicago are streets/sidewalks/playgrounds. I see that a woman got out if the car that I had seen and began walking in my direction. I got out of the car to close the garage doors. The woman kept getting closer and I could see her more clearly. She was a prostitute. She passed me as I finished closing the doors and I began walking to my car. She looks at me and says, “Nice shoes.” And she walks away. Totally unexpected.

  126. 126
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @David Koch: Standing O for President Obama! Great list you got there.

  127. 127
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @🌷 Martin: “I believe the cashier mentioned that she was hoping the rapture would come soon because she had so much debt.” This made me laugh out loud since I feel the same (although I don’t believe in the rapture). But sad to hear that she was fired.

  128. 128
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @FridayNext: Not sure that surreal quite describes that conversation. Effing disgusting and ignorant works for me.

  129. 129
    Paul in KY says:

    @Morzer (0th of His PseudoName and Founder of the Walter Sobchak Peacekeepers): I think the ‘David Koch’ moniker is ironic.

  130. 130
    Paul in KY says:

    @WereBear: Mauve panties are a real turnoff ;-)

  131. 131
    Reflectionephemeral says:

    “My son’s over there in Iraq. Killing a lot of communists. The media won’t tell you about it, but they’re doing a lot of good, building a lot of schools.”

    – Announced a propos of nothing to me by an older man at the urinal next to me, in a Federal office building in Washington DC, summer 2004.

  132. 132

    How much time do you have? I have three weeks worth of stories to recount. I am back to the home base with the kittehs and hubcat.

    ETA: The entire political debate as driven by the MSM in surreal, from austerity to climate change and everything in-between. Indian politics is perhaps uglier but the debate is not based on made up issues and faux outrage for the most part.

  133. 133

    @RSA: How is your wife?

  134. 134
    Polymath Father says:

    Back in the day when I worked at a large corporate video store, I was helping a grandmotherly lady find a movie. I’m a big white guy with a goatee and since I’d developed a crop circle in my mohawk I’d just started shaving my head.
    The woman and I were exchanging chit chat when she rather cheerfully said to me,
    “You look just like a member of the Ayrian Nations! ”
    Thinking I’d misheard I blinked and said,
    ” Excuse me?! ”
    She patted my arm and gushed,
    ” Yes! With your bald head and your beard you look just like a member of the Ayrian Nations! ”
    I sort of choked out,
    “My Jewish wife and Korean son might disagree with you.”
    Her face fell, “I meant it as a complement!”
    To which I replied, “It was incredibly offensively, now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to be in the break room trying to grow hair.”

  135. 135
    farmette says:

    I was in the grocery store musing over which pasta sauce to buy when an elderly man came up to me and started to tell me about his long and happy marriage to his wife. They never fought. He went to work every day. She worked at home keeping hearth and kids happy. They were childhood sweethearts and loved just being together. She made the best spaghetti sauce. And she died 2 years prior. As he spoke to me his tone gradually became more impassioned, his volume increasing. Finally he paused, took a deep breath and loudly exclaimed ” A house without a woman is NOTHING!” That hung in the air for a bit before he pulled a jar of spaghetti sauce from the shelf and shuffled away.

  136. 136
    farmette says:

    I was in the grocery store musing over which pasta sauce to buy when an elderly man came up to me and started to tell me about his long and happy marriage to his wife. They never fought. He went to work every day. She worked at home keeping hearth and kids happy. They were childhood sweethearts and loved just being together. She made the best spaghetti sauce. And she died 2 years prior. As he spoke to me his tone gradually became more impassioned, his volume increasing. Finally he paused, took a deep breath and loudly exclaimed ” A house without a woman is NOTHING!” That hung in the air for a bit before he pulled a jar of spaghetti sauce from the shelf and shuffled away.

  137. 137
    RSA says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Thanks for asking. My wife is about the same; she’s adjusted to moving back into the house, so everything is pretty stable. That’s a good thing.

  138. 138
    Betty Cracker says:

    @farmette: Great story!

Comments are closed.