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There Is No Flip-Side To This Argument

| MA, USA | Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

(It’s Christmas. I’ve gotten my dad a CD collection of some of his favourite radio programs from the 40s and 50s. I return to the family room after helping my mom in the kitchen to find my dad on his hands and knees in front of the stereo cabinet, trying to figure out how to play his present.)

Dad: *plaintively* “Help.”

Me: *kneels down* “Start by opening the tray.”

(I push the button and it pops out. Note that it’s a 5-disc changer.)

Dad: “So, I put one in each slot?”

Me: “Yup! There you go. Just make sure you load them in order.”

Dad: “But if I put them all in at once, won’t it only play one side before going to the next one? Does it tell you when to flip it over?”

Me: “Erm, dad. CDs aren’t like records. They only have one side.”

Dad: “Really? Isn’t that a waste of space?”

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Bro

| Scotland, UK | Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters, Spouses & Partners

(I have two grown sons, identical twins, who are both married with kids. They have both come back home for Christmas. Living in the highlands in Scotland, the snow can be quite thick, and we have been snowed in. It is time to open the Christmas presents. Both sons have presents for each other, in identical-sized boxes.)

Son #1: “Here’s a present for you.”

Son #2: “And here is a present for you!”

Son #1: “How kind!”

Son #2: “And you!”

(They both proceed to open each others present, which is the exact same thing, a PlayStation console. Even the bundled games are identical.)

Son #1: “Well, brother! You absolutely shouldn’t have!”

(The wives of each of my sons share a knowing look of disdain.)

Me: “What’s the matter?”

Wife #1: “I told my husband that he could not buy himself a games console. It would be a bad influence on the children.”

Wife #2: “I told mine pretty much the same thing.”

Son #1: *chiming in* “But I didn’t buy myself one! My kind brother bought one for me! I can’t be penalised!”

Son #2: “Now, lets get these bad boys set up. I’ll take the TV upstairs, you take the one in the living room.”

Son #1: “And you have my PlayStation network account name?”

(The wives glare at them.)

Son #2: *noticing* “Why, yes, I do indeed happen to have the PlayStation network account details that you HAVE NOT YET CREATED, because how could you? You had no idea you would be getting a PlayStation today! I trust you also have my NOT YET CREATED network name?”

(Both of my sons and their children were hooked on the games for the rest of the time we were snowed in, a good three days. I just told each of the wives to buy themselves expensive jewellery for each other next Christmas.)

He’ll Be Receiving The Gift Of The Gab

| Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Children, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

(We have been explaining to my friend’s three-year-old son about how Santa Claus has a list of good and bad children.)

Me: “So, he only visits the children who have been good.”

Friend: “So if you want Santa to visit you, what do you need to be?”

Friend’s Son: “Patient!”

Best To Note The Present Clauses

| Finland | Children, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

(Like many Scandinavians, we’re an atheist family, and I’ve sworn never to lie to my kids. I have never tried to convince them that there are tooth fairies, Easter bunnies et cetera, and have instead taught them that these are just ancient customs that people follow for fun and for the tradition. Our family celebrates all holidays, just not in a religious way. It’s just before Christmas; it’s snowing heavily as we’re driving in the darkness on a back road with my three young sons. Old Christmas jingles are playing on the radio, creating that warm and fuzzy Christmas feeling.)

Me: *jokingly* “Well boys, have you been nice this year? Do you think Santa Claus is going to bring you presents or just charcoal?”

(Note: naughty children traditionally get charcoal from Santa in some countries.)

5-year-old son: *upset* “There is no Santa Claus! It’s just a fairy tale, just like Easter Bunny and Jesus!”

Me: “Well yes, that’s true.”

(I’m quickly deprived of my Christmas spirit and start thinking, “You reap what you sow…”)

5-year-old son: “Besides, you buy the Christmas presents, and not elves!”

Me: *smiling* “All the more reason not to be naughty, isn’t it?”

Five Gold Rings

| Vienna, Austria | Siblings

Sister: “Hey, what is the name of the Santa Claus in ‘Lord of the Rings’?”

(She meant Gandalf.)