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    A Computer Crash (And Burn)

    | Washington, DC, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters, Theme Of The Month, Top

    Four-Year-Old Son: “Mama, I’m going to be the mama and you can be the baby.”

    Me: “Oh, okay. Mama, will you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

    Four-Year-Old Son: “No. I’m going to sit in my chair and look at my computer.”

    Me: “Ouch. Burn.”

    A Banana Republic Solution

    | PA, USA | Aunts & Uncles, Grandparents, Top

    (For over twenty years my grandparents have had a gorgeous chandelier with a stained glass fruit pattern. My grandmother loves to tell the story about the time it was first brought home and hung up. My uncle was living with them after coming back home from the Army. He was, and still is, notorious for being a huge smart-aleck.)

    Uncle: “What’s wrong, Dad? Mom heard you screaming in here for about twenty minutes. Do you need help hanging up the chandelier?”

    Grandfather: “The d*** thing is crooked! Every time I straighten it, it keeps going crooked again!”

    Uncle: “Mm-hmm… I think I can easily fix this problem for you.”

    (He walks over to the kitchen counter and grabs a banana. He then proceeded to tape it to one side of the chandelier so that it is quite noticeably hanging down off of the side. The weight of the banana turns out to be exactly as much as it needs to balance the chandelier perfectly.)

    Uncle: “Just change the banana every three days and you’re good to go!”

    Holy Man-child Batman!

    | Long Island, NY, USA | Children, Parents & Guardians, Top

    (I’m an avid comic book fan, in my early forties. I’m in a large chain bookstore browsing the graphic novel section. Sitting on the floor nearby is a boy about 13 or 14 years old, reading a Batman book. His mother, a woman around my age, approaches.)

    Mother: *to son* “We’re almost ready to go. Did you find a book you want?”

    Son: “I don’t know. Just a few more minutes.”

    (As the mother turns around, she sees me standing a few feet away… reading a Batman book. She stares at me for a few seconds.)

    Mother: *to me* “So what you’re telling me is, he’s not going to grow out of this?”

    Me: *grinning* “Probably not.”

    (The mother walks away, shaking her head.)

    Joining Rivers

    | Durham, NC, USA | Children, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters, Top

    (I’m a graduate student, but I work nights and weekends as a children’s entertainer. I am painting a little girl’s face at a Christmas festival as her parents stand behind me.)

    Me: *to the girl* “So, what’s your name?”

    Girl: “River!”

    Me: “Oh, what a pretty name! I have one, no, two favorite TV characters named River!”

    (Her father raises his eyebrows.)

    Dad: “Which two?”

    Me: “Oh, River Tam from Firefly and River Song from Doctor Who.”

    (The father laughs and points at his daughter.)

    Dad: “That’s who she was named after, River Tam.”

    (At this point, I’ve finished the little girl’s face paint, which has glitter in it. She is admiring herself in my mirror.)

    Dad: *to the girl* “Now, what do you say?”

    Girl: “Shiny! Let’s be bad guys!”

    (Parenting, you’re doing it right!)

    Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

    | Ireland | Children, Parents & Guardians, Siblings, Top

    (We are in the car, listening to ‘The Boxer’ by Simon and Garfunkel. It includes the lyrics, ‘Just a come-on from the whores on 7th Avenue. I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome I took some comfort there.’ I am maybe eight or nine, singing along with gusto.)

    Mum: “Maybe we shouldn’t be listening to this.”

    Brother: “It’s fine. She doesn’t understand it anyway.”

    Me: *indignant* “I do, too!”

    Brother: “Oh yeah? What does it mean, then?”

    Me: “He’s sad and lonely because he moved away from his family. But he made friends with a horse who lives on 7th Avenue, and when he’s sad the horse says, ‘Come on! You can do it!’ And that comforts him.”

    Mum: “… you are 100 percent right.”

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