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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Stripped Of Your Childhood

    | Canada | Sons & Daughters

    (I am walking with my friend and her two year old daughter when we pass an old closed down strip club. Her daughter runs up and tugs on the door.)

    Friend: “No, don’t go in there. You’re not a stripper.”

    Daughter: *curious* “Stripper?”

    Friend: *looking at me* “Whoops…”

    (Neither one of us could stop laughing, and I think my friend has learned to be a little more careful what she says around her daughter, who is clearly in the “repeating everything I hear” phase!)

    I Smell A New Train Of Thought

    | OR, USA | Sons & Daughters

    (We go to a pumpkin patch at Halloween and the kids ride a farm ‘train,’ which is a tractor pulling a wagon. The driver stops the train part-way along the route, pretending to run out of gas.)

    Driver: *to the kids* “Oh, no! This train runs on gas and SMILES! I’ve run out of gas, so you all need to SMILE!”

    My Five-Year-Old Daughter: “Or we could all fart! Farts are gas, too!”

    Poetry Getting A Frosty Reception

    | USA | Grandparents

    (I’m on a walk in the woods with my grandparents, and we come across a fork in the road, one of the paths clearly more often used.)

    Me: *strikes dramatic pose* “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled by…”

    Grandmother: “What?”

    Me: “Oh, I was just quoting Robert Frost. You know, ‘The Road Not Taken’?”

    Grandfather: “Who’s Robert Frost? Is that from a song or something?”

    Me: “No, he was a famous poet.”

    Grandmother: “Oh. Well, you can’t expect me to keep up with all these modern celebrities.”

    Me: “…he died over fifty years ago…”

    I Like Big Words And I Cannot Lie

    | Copenhagen, Denmark | Siblings

    Me: *reading aloud from a headline* “Yelling ‘nice a**’ after a woman is never a compliment.”

    Brother: “I suppose it would be, insofar as it’s pontificating a trait the speaker considers positive.”

    (Pause.)

    Me: “All those big words for ‘nice a**’?”

    Brother: “Trust an academic to make anything into a brain twister.”

    Unsurprising Overreaction

    | FL, USA | Parents & Guardians

    (My mom and I are walking our dog, Jake, around the neighborhood.)

    Me: “Hey mom; look that’s a sign for the invisible fence we wanted to get for Jake!”

    (I look over at her pointing at the sign in someone’s yard.)

    Mom: *looks in the general direction of where I was pointing and says very surprised sounding* “OOOH!”

    Me: “Wha… what’s wrong?”

    Mom: “What? Oh. I wasn’t listening to you so I just gave you a general response and I guess I overreacted…”

    (We both start to laugh. I still tease her about it to this day.)

    Coloring In His Ignorance Gaps

    | IA, USA | Parents & Guardians

    (My dad tends to say casually racist and sexist things because he was raised on a farm in Idaho in the 1960s. I have taken to pointing this out by asking him what he means when he says something offensive and usually he realizes he is wrong. This happens after he, my mother, and I have voted in the midterm elections and are walking to the car.)

    Dad: “So, who’d you vote for?”

    Me: “Well, the obvious ones for major seats but I didn’t know any of the judges so I just voted for the women and one guy because his name was Casey Jones.”

    Dad & Me: *start singing Casey Jones by the Grateful Dead*

    Dad: “You know the funny thing is, he’s a colored man.”

    Mom: *starts walking really fast, anticipating what’s coming*

    Me: “Really? How is that funny?”

    Dad: “Well, you know, because that isn’t a name that really sounds black.”

    Me: “Really? What’s a ‘black’ name sound like?”

    Dad: “Well… ya know, most Jones’s are white guys.”

    Me: “I don’t understand.”

    Dad: “From his name you wouldn’t know he was colored.”

    Me: “I don’t understand why his skin color matters. Please explain.”

    (My dad just stands there looking confused.)

    Mom: “[Dad], drop it. Please? And don’t try to figure out anyone’s skin color by their name.”

    Dad: “I just don’t understand.”

    (The next day he apologized to me because my mother explained to him that what he said was racist and he had ‘no idea that could be offensive.’)


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