When The Meme Hits Home

| UK | Children, Sons & Daughters

(My six-year-old son came home from school the other day all excited about the story they had read in school that day, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”.)

Son: “Daddy, it’s just like that song!”

Me: “Which song?”

Son: “The one we listen to on the iPad!”

Me: “Do you mean ‘Flash Gordon’? How is it like that?”

Son: “Because it’s just like it! “Flash! He’s a billy goat!””

Me: *laughing for half an hour, rolling around on the floor and completely losing control of certain socially important sphincters*

Dad Doesn’t Baby You

| OR, USA | Parents & Guardians

(I’m showing my mom and sister cute pictures of baby animals. Dad has been disinterested, and was not impressed with the baby orangutans at all.)

Me: *to Dad* “Are there any babies you DO like, Dad?”

Dad: “Well…”

Me: “There IS a right answer, by the way.”

Mom: “Think carefully before you speak.”

Dad: “Hmm…” *reaches over and pets one of the cats* “I like these babies.”

Mom: *laughs*

(We were actually thinking about his own children, but this was found to be an acceptable answer.)

Where Social Awkwardness Meets Social Anxiety

| Singapore | Parents & Guardians

(I’m an extremely awkward and quiet 14-year-old. Usually, I can handle communicating with adults and sometimes even small children but the one type of person I can never, ever, talk to are people my own age.)

Dad: “Come with me. I have to visit my colleague.”

Me: *reluctantly* “All right…”

(We get into the car. Now, I’m slightly confused because I’m dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, definitely not proper attire to meet another person’s family, but my dad says nothing about it.)

Dad: “Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention — my colleague has kids about your age. You should talk to them. Socialise.”

Me: *goes pale*

(We stop at a store and collect some parcels, which we carry back to the car. Apparently these are gifts for his colleague. During this time, I completely freak out in my brain and wonder what I’m supposed to do or say when I meet these kids of his/hers.)

Dad: *parks the car* “Okay. Thanks for your help.”

Me: “We… we’re home. Aren’t we supposed to meet your colleague?”

Dad: “I lied about that.”

Me: “Huh?”

Dad: “You should have seen your face.” *laughs*

(Turned out my dad just needed me for the parcels, and only mentioned the “colleague” and the “kids” to watch me squirm for the whole ride!)

The Shouting Makes Him Enfilade

| Detroit, MI, USA | Children, In-Laws, Nephews & Nieces, Siblings

(I am a retired Marine, and I have never lost the habit of using military terminology. My five-year-old nephew has taken his bath and is on the family room sofa, lying pressed up against the cushions so that he can’t be seen from the kitchen.)

Brother-In-Law: “Where’s [Nephew]?”

Me: “He’s in defilade.”

Nephew: *yelling* “No, I’m not! I’m in my underwear!”

Sprouting Common Sense

| London, England, UK | Parents & Guardians

(My dad is very intelligent but somehow manages to do daft things. He is relating to me the story of his work’s Christmas dinner when the following happens:)

Dad: “It was really very good. They had a great vegetarian option and I got plenty of brussels sprouts!”

Me: “Well, great. I know you like sprouts.”

Dad: “Yes, but they took it away before I was finished!”

Me: “That’s terrible. Was there some kind of time limit on how long you could have your sitting?”

Dad: “Not that I knew… Everyone else was on dessert but I was still working on my main course, so I got up to speak to people who had finished and when I came back it was gone!”

(It can sometimes take him AGES to eat a meal. Since he doesn’t like sweets or desserts he will usually make his main course last the length of the whole meal.)

Me: “Dad… let me get this right. You got up from your seat in the middle of a meal, walked around talking to other people who had finished their meals, and were surprised that the wait staff took this as an indication you had finished?”

Dad: “But… uh… um, right… That does make sense!”