Didn’t Succeed In Escaping Those ‘Feelies’

| Ocean City, NJ, USA | Popular, Teenagers

(I am on the boardwalk, walking. There are designated lanes for bikers, runners, et cetera. Suddenly, a teenage girl comes riding next to me on purple light-up Heelies sneakers, going the wrong way in the biking lane.)

Teenage Girl: *screaming* “WEAR HEELIES TO ESCAPE YOUR FEELIES!”

Girl’s Mother: *running after her* “God d**mit, Tay. How come you always act like a hyperactive child on drugs?”

Teenage Girl: “Yeah, my brain is weird. Anyway, it saddens me to think that most turtles will never know the sweet taste of a bagel. Feelings are hard. Bagels don’t have feelings. Why can’t I be a bagel?”

(I later saw the same family at my hotel, and I can confirm that this girl always acted like this. Once she skateboarded into the continental breakfast screaming about how she’s emo now, while wearing pastel blue and pony hair clips. I last saw her telling a long-winded story to an old lady about her hermit crabs named Shmi Skywalker and Breha Organa.)

The United Kingdom Of America

| Washington, DC, USA | Cousins

(I am walking around Washington DC with my cousins, who are British, and showing them the attractions. They have been to the US a few times before. The youngest is in her early teens when this happens.)

Cousin: “Does America have a king?”

(I stare at her and she tries to guess from my expression.)

Cousin: “Yes…? No…?”

(She seems to realise something.)

Cousin: “It has a queen? That’s it, right? There’s a queen? No. A king, then?”

Me: “Don’t you know about the American Revolution? Do they teach you about it in history?”

Cousin: “Um, not much. So is there a king?”

(I explained and took them to the history museum. I still wonder how she thought there could be a monarch that nobody talks about.)

Keeping Up With The Dow Joneses

| DE, USA | Children, Sons & Daughters

(I am taking a walk with some friends and their kids. The oldest is ten or eleven years old. She is looking on her mom’s smartphone, presumably at news.)

Daughter: “Mom! Look! These stocks went up $18,000 today! You should get some!”

Dad: “That’s the Dow Jones, sweetie!”

Daughter: “Yeah! You should get some!”

A Pterrible Sound

| Powell River, BC, Canada | Popular, Sons & Daughters

(My son and I are hiking. A blue heron flies overhead, making its usual hoarse call.)

Me: “They sound like pterodactyls, don’t they?”

Son: “They definitely do.”

Me: *after a pause* “Of course, how either one of us would have any idea what a pterodactyl sounds like…”

All Talking Bull

| Copenhagen, Denmark | Popular, Siblings

Me: “Mummy, you’re much stronger than me or [Brother]! You’re strong.” *in very fake Eastern European accent* “Like bull!”

(This becomes a running gag in the family leading to moments like…)

Me: “Mum is strong like bull!”

Brother: “Clever like bull!”

Me: “Eye like eagle.”

Brother: “No, eye like bull! Is why they call it ‘bull’s eye’!”

(And after a broken arm…)

Me: “So you’re not as strong as you usually are, which means it’s more like ‘Mummy, strong like calf.’”

(And after figuring out that there’s a second part to the joke…)

Me: “Mummy, strong like bull, smart like tractor!”

(The last was her favourite by far.)

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