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So Cute You Just Lose It

| Singapore | Children, Sons & Daughters

(My mum is recounting a story of the time my brother was small and they had accidentally lost him.)

PA System: “Will the parents of [Brother] come to the customer service centre? We have [Brother] here, wearing [description of clothing].”

(My parents and two of my aunts, who are with them, rush over to the customer service centre.)

Staff: “Your son is really smart! He came up to the counter to ask us to call you.”

Mum: “Oh? What did he say?”

Staff: “I asked him if he was lost, as I saw him without an accompanying adult. He said ‘No, I’m not lost. But my mama, my papa, [Aunt #1], and [Aunt #2] are all lost! I’m the only one who’s not lost. Please make an announcement to find them!’ So I got his name and made an announcement that he is here.”

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Ad-versarial

| London, England, UK | Parents & Guardians

(My mum’s on her tablet, browsing eBay, when she sees a gambling advert she doesn’t like. It’s in the middle of the screen with bright, flashing colours and an animated leprechaun.)

Mum: “How do I get rid of this ad? I don’t like it.”

Me: *not really paying attention* “If it’s offensive or something you can report it to the company that’s hosting the ad.”

Mum: “Oh, there.” *starts typing*

(I glance over; she’s gone to the eBay feedback page, rated the entire page ‘very dissatisfactory’ and typed in the feedback box ‘Offensive. Gambling! Racial stereotyping.’)

Me: “No, Mum, that’s the eBay feedback page. They don’t control the ads that are shown; they just have the billboard. I think Google runs the ads on eBay. Is there a link to the Google ads’ feedback page? It should be under the ad.”

Mum: “What? eBay should do something about it.” *goes to click ‘submit’*

Me: “No, wait! That’s like, if you got a nasty Facebook message and you phoned up BT Broadband and told them their service is terrible and offensive. Google has the ads; eBay just provides a place for Google to put them.”

(She clicked ‘submit’ anyway! She has a doctorate in a scientific field, so I wonder if people get to a certain age and then all technology just becomes a total mystery…)

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Busted By Modern Technology

| Tulalip, WA, USA | Parents & Guardians

(Dad calls Mom over to look at a photo on the Internet.)

Dad: “What is she?”

Mom: *instantly* “A robot.”

Dad: “How do you know?”

Mom: *pauses briefly* “Her boobs are too perfect!”

(It was a Japanese robot in extremely modest dress and posture.)

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