Metatalktail Hour: Funny story... December 14, 2019 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Like many people, ninazer0 has had a tough time lately, and requests fellow Mefites to please share their "silliest, most pants-wetting, side-splitting moments" for Metatalktails this week. Come on in with your silly or funny stories or just to say hi.

As always this is a conversation starter not limiter. Let us know what's up for you this weekend, etc - just no politics please.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:56 PM (60 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I find it hard to think of stories even though I love hearing others'. I'd also like to open this to small funny things too. Bonus points for kids and pets, imo.

Just a little thing that always makes me laugh -- which just happened -- is when the cat's sitting on a lily pad on the floor (like a piece of cardboard) and tries to launch himself forward off it, but instead ejects it behind him.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:35 PM on December 14, 2019 [9 favorites]

Because I never do these quite right, I'm going to tell a not so funny story, but I promise I'll pepper it with jokes. It's kind of a horror story, really. And the events it describes could eventually lead to my death.

It starts with a snowman. A ceramic snowman with a light inside that makes his buttons, eyes, and carrot nose glow. My wife has been decorating the house and she's a collector and dealer of antiques, so the decorations are amazing. There's almost nothing decorating the house that isn't at least 60 years old, most mid-20th or older. And it's beautiful. Real Victorian Christmas cards, a metal tree from the 50s with Shiney Brite ornaments, Santas of infinite permutations, elves of every persuasion, snow globes, big blub tree lights. But this snowman, this fucking 70s snowman had a dead blub or a bad switch. My wife asked me to fix it, and I went to pick it up from a side table but it has a long twist switch in the back, and as I picked it up that switch bumped a small hand made corner shelf that showcased one of my wife's most precious collections, that of little china figurines from the 1920s, each young lady dressed in the theme of a different flower. That little bump sent eight of the ten perfect specimens (she only needed two more) that she had collected over two decades, off their precious little shelves and onto table and floor. Only four survived the fall, though two of those got chips.

I suck. I feel so bad. She's being a great sport about it but I can remember her delight as she found each one and added it to the collection, and I just broke the heads, torsos, arms, parasols, and hats of the majority of those. She says its fine, and now she'll enjoy hunting them down again, but it doesn't make me feel any less an asshole. If she murders me in my sleep I would totally understand it. If I survive the attack, I'll testify on her behalf at the trial.

I went online and found someone who was selling all 12, in perfect condition, but four about five times what they're worth. Clearly they don't really want to sell them, but I really want to buy them. Maybe I will, but I know that would probably really make her mad at me. It's not so much about the china figurines, it's more about the hunt and the discovery, like a treasure. And if I just buy the whole collection and deprive her of the discovery of the last two she needed (well I guess ten now) and on top of that I greatly overpay, that will not make her happy.


Christ, what a moron.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:41 PM on December 14, 2019 [10 favorites]

Though my wife did share a picture of the carnage on her social and her dealer pals all got a good chuckle and promise to be on the lookout, so I guess that's nice. She used the name my daughter called it, the ceramic French Revolution, because so many lost their heads. That's getting a lot of likes, so I guess there's that.
posted by Stanczyk at 4:20 PM on December 14, 2019 [19 favorites]

That is a huge and awful bummer. Perhaps you can purchase them and hide one a year every year for her as a birthday gift, with complicated clues, if a long-term scavenger hunt in the house is something she might enjoy.
posted by k8lin at 4:22 PM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

I sneezed into a napkin the other day and my bangs blew straight up in the air. I was disappointed no one else saw!
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:33 PM on December 14, 2019 [24 favorites]

Maybe I could give her something precious to me to destroy, and we could do a sort of reverse Gift of the Magi thing for Christmas, like my signed copy of the National Lampoon High School Year Book. I could probably live without that. P.J. O'Rorke is kind of an asshole now anyway, so I could probably give that up. Or maybe my first Carlin album from when I was a little kid, Toledo Window Box. The sleeve is a mess on that one anyway. And it was really scratched. If I really wanted to square up I'd give her Occupation: Foole to destroy, but I think I'd rather a knife in my heart.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:01 PM on December 14, 2019

My in-laws’ fridge/freezer has an ice maker, like many, and there’s a little access panel for this inside the door, close to the shelf where they keep their small dairy products (butter, cream cheese, etc). Like a hole where you can peek in and see if something’s jammed. One day I pressed my water glass up to the ice dispenser and waited and out popped a one ounce container of sour cream. I could not stop laughing for five minutes straight. Several years on, I still giggle in anticipation sometimes when I go to get ice.
posted by eirias at 5:26 PM on December 14, 2019 [50 favorites]

A couple decades ago I was happily walking to the Dean`s office with my freshly printed doctoral thesis, which was to be sent out for binding, whereupon approach of the double glass door I saw my advisor inside at the front desk, and just as he glanced my way and our eyes met and I raised my hand to wave, I tripped on the top step and threw the loose leaf thesis up into the air, slow motion, thesis everywhere.
posted by waving at 5:32 PM on December 14, 2019 [33 favorites]

I don’t have a funny story tonight but I will tell you all that I have found an apartment. When I went to meet the landlord to drop off my deposit last week he asked me what colour I wanted him to paint the walls. I was very unprepared for this question and so I panicked and said white. Afterward I wondered what would have happened if I had asked for turquoise, or something in the flamingo pink family. I don’t know. My bff pointed out that I could just paint my own accent wall(s) at some point later on, which seems like something I can handle.

Meanwhile, packing continues apace.
posted by janepanic at 5:52 PM on December 14, 2019 [7 favorites]

janepanic, I must note with amusement that imgur warned me your picture might be sexual in content and I had to click to say I was over 18 before I saw it. Guess AI thought those were some sexy, sexy boxes. (I mean they were nicely stacked!)
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:00 PM on December 14, 2019 [9 favorites]

My 12-year-old has been falling down YouTube rabbit holes and discovering amazing new bands. "MOM," she says. "MOM! there's this song called 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World,' and I can't get the opening notes out of my head!" "I NEED you to print this album cover, it's by...the, uh, The Clash, do you know them?" "And I'll start singing, and she gives me stinkeye. I have so far been unable to sell her on The The. I have, however, used the phrase "Frankly, Mister Shankly" for years, to preface a strong opinion, or to remonstrate with a cat, or to express An Attitude toward a recent domestic unpleasantness.

Last night, my daughter burst through the doorway, crying "OH, shit, you didn't make that up, 'Frankly, Mr. Shankly' is from a SMITHS song!"

Then, with disbelief: "Oh, SHIT, my mom knows the Smiths!"

And finally, with a ridiculous sense of having been righteously, thoroughly fooled:"OH SHIT, MY MOM HAS BEEN TROLLING ME WITH THE SMITHS FOR TEN YEARS!"

It was a transcendent parenting moment.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:05 PM on December 14, 2019 [144 favorites]

My half of House the Trilogy has changed my attitude to procrastination.

House the Original/House the Sequel: Wow, I have papers to grade. It must be time to vacuum.
House the Trilogy: Wow, I have vacuuming to do. It must be time to grade papers.

The house is not officially haunted (despite dating to 1850), but because the servants' quarters and staircase are no longer heated, I have a cold spot in the kitchen. This allows for all sorts of suitably Gothic speculations (although it also produces literal cold feet).

However, an unexpected positive side effect of the house is that it's helping my cats lose weight. My side is basically two looooong halls going straight back, accompanied by hiiiiiigh ceilings, so the cats are getting a lot of exercise going down one hall, down the stairs, and then down another hall to reach their food.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:10 PM on December 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have a small funny thing! Last night i did "bed check" for the first time at the farm where I am interning, which is one last look at all the animals to make sure everyone is well and happy before slumber. I learned that there is one chicken that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT comes up to the horses' stables and sets up in the ceiling wayyyyy on the other side of the farm from her coop and you have to gently usher her down via the bristles of an old wooden push broom and grab her and lift up half the hay from one of your hay bins and stick her in and cover her back up with hay so she doesn't fly off and drive her back through the dark pastures and quickly grab her from the hay and stuff her in the coop where all the other REASONABLE chickens are already resting for the evening SO RIDICULOUS I was giggling the whole time from the moment the lovely person who was teaching me dropped "so first thing is we have to find the chicken" and started scanning overhead with her headlamp like WHAT these little weird dinosaurs are so hilarious
posted by youarenothere at 6:58 PM on December 14, 2019 [57 favorites]

MonkeyToes, something similar happened to me last year. I was at a college volleyball game with my kid, and an Offspring song came on. We both started singing along to it, then stopped and looked at each other and had a Spiderman pointing at Spiderman moment.
posted by mogget at 7:00 PM on December 14, 2019 [12 favorites]

> Stanczyk: Maybe I could give her something precious to me to destroy
Have you seen Failsafe?
posted by theora55 at 7:14 PM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Years ago I worked in a downtown steel and glass high-rise. Like most of the buildings in the downtown core, it was connected to others by way of a raised, glass-enclosed series of pedways that we locals call the "Plus 15" system, since most of them are raised 15 feet above the ground. This all makes huge sense in a Canadian winter. You can walk from one building to another without needing to gear up like an expedition on Mount Everest. And in summer it's nice to be able to do errands and not leave air-conditioned space.

So my best work friend was a married man about my age (I'm cis-het female; we're still good friends but we know longer work together so don't see each other as often as we'd like). He's a bit of a coffee snob, and while I was content with office coffee, he liked to get his from a special coffee shop about a 10 minute walk away through the Plus 15. One lovely summer morning we sauntered over there, and I treated myself to a $$$ coffee like his. So we're walking back to our office, another ten-minute saunter through air-conditioned glass tubes, crammed with other office workers.

It's summer. I'm wearing a blouse and a knee-length skirt with bare legs; underpants, no hosiery. About halfway through the return trip I start to walk slowly as I feel my dark purple underpants roll down from my waist. This wouldn't have been a big deal if I'd been wearing trousers or even pantyhose. But there's nothing but air between my underpants, the floor, and the gaze of my friend, several scores of office workers in the Plus 15 tube, and at street level below through the glass.

The underpants don't stop mid thigh. We're goin' down! I stand stock-still, knees clamped together hoping to avoid the unavoidable. Friend stops a meter or so ahead of me, looks at me puzzled, and asks, "Is everything okay?" I'm frozen stiff. If I take one more step, purple pants will hit the deck. Friend is male; I'm female. We're in our 50s and office colleagues of our age and opposite sexes don't discuss underpants.

"My underpants have fallen off," I sputter. Friend looks me straight in the eye, never wavering, and asks, "Can I take your coffee back to your desk for you?" He walks over to me, gently takes my coffee, and I use both hands to grab my underpants through my skirt and hobble to the nearest washroom. When I get back to my desk a couple of minutes later, there's my $$$ coffee and Friend, who gallantly only asks, "Everything okay?"
posted by angiep at 7:18 PM on December 14, 2019 [49 favorites]

I like to go birding. I go to the greenway by my house a lot from after work until sundown. I’m often the last person out of the park, because I like to hang out by the beaver dam pond until it’s nearly too dark to see. I like to watch the beavers come out. “Hello Herbert,” I’ll say to the first beaver that comes out (I can’t tell them apart, so the first one is always Herbert). “Hope your night-foraging is productive, Petal.”

I talk out loud to the wildlife all the time. “I hear you, Mr. Towhee.” “Whatcha got, little squirrel?” “I can see you, you dumb deer; standing still doesn’t make you invisible.”

So one day a few months ago, I’m on my way back to the parking lot and I’m rushing a little because it’s already pretty dark. A single bat flies over me, and I say “oh hi Mr Bat, how are you today?” Right before I get to the nature center there’s a big open area, and Mr Bat is swooping low over it so that you lose him in the tree line until he goes back high enough to see him outlined by the dusky sky. “Where are your friends,” I ask, still walking pretty fast. “Are they all dead? Where’s all your friends at?” White nose disease is a thing I’ve heard about so I’m worried about the bat population, but maybe he’s just the scout bat coming out.

Just then I realize that there’s a guy on the trail in front of me that I’m about to run into, stopped on his bike and looking my direction. It was dark and I hadn’t noticed him since he was standing still. I realize that from his point of view, I’m power walking straight at him demanding “Where’s your friends at?” Lord. As I pass him, I try to explain. “I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to a bat,” and I gesture to the bat, but he’s below the tree line again. “But you can’t see him right now,” I add, as though that makes me sound less crazy.

I think about that guy a lot, and wonder if he tells people about the time a crazy woman asked him in the park if his friends were all dead.
posted by oomny at 7:19 PM on December 14, 2019 [97 favorites]

...and I raised my hand to wave, I tripped on the top step and threw the loose leaf thesis up into the air, slow motion, thesis everywhere.

posted by waving at 5:32 PM on December 14

Wait. Your funny story is about falling when you tried to wave and your Metafilter ID is “Waving?”

Now that’s funny.
posted by bkpiano at 7:29 PM on December 14, 2019 [10 favorites]

When my kid was maybe 7, George Bush was on teevee and I randomly made a (n utterly false)comment about how I used to date him. At some point my kid figured out I was fooling, and was pissed. I was delighted.

I am going away for a couple weeks and it's winter in Maine; I want to be able to monitor the heat. I just installed a Nest thermostat and it was quite easy and seems to be working. Which is nice, because all week, things have not worked and taken too much time and been frustrating. So maybe my curse has taken a weekend off.

It will only set the temp as low as 50F, and I would probably set it to 40 in the daytime and 45 at night while away. Ha. Typical frugal Mainer. I wonder how it will cope with the wood stove.
posted by theora55 at 7:33 PM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Well I was feeling pretty down tonight and now I'm cackling, so good job ninazer0!

Once upon a time I hired a receptionist who seemed a bit intimidated by her new employers. I was standing in the doorway of my partner's office having a chat with him, cup of water in hand. As I turned to leave, this poor woman popped out of the conference room, startling me, and my hand flew up, flinging the entire cup of water straight into my face.

She was fine after that.
posted by HotToddy at 7:41 PM on December 14, 2019 [16 favorites]

A few days ago, I got a hedgehog stuck in my hair.
posted by Ruki at 8:26 PM on December 14, 2019 [28 favorites]

I'm sorry if this is your joke, I know I read it on the internet somewhere maybe Reddit..? Hopefully not metafilter.

You need to know the whale joke to get this story: two whales arrive at a bar, and one leans over the bar and says to the bartender "Oooowwweeeeooooooaoooooooo" (when telling this joke make whale noises as long as you can) and the other whale slaps him and says "shut up Steve, you're drunk!"
I've heard this joke before and enjoyed it. However this comment had me rolling:
(I'm paraphrasing)
So I told this joke and got blank and confused expressions, when I realised that I had started with "two giraffes walk into a bar..."
posted by freethefeet at 9:46 PM on December 14, 2019 [30 favorites]

A few days ago, I got a hedgehog stuck in my hair.

I have so many questions...
posted by ninazer0 at 11:06 PM on December 14, 2019 [6 favorites]

I've lived here since 1992 and only twice before has this happened -- there is a real danger outdoors, particularly walking/bicycling/whatever close to the river. And my condo complex is right on the river, and I ride my bicycle daily on the hike/bike path which goes around the river also. I know enough to be prepared but with so many newcomers to Austin every day I feel a certain responsibility to them, to warn them, if I see that they are not dressed correctly. There are signs posted all around town, even relatively far from the river, but people always think it's going to be somebody else that runs into trouble.

It's the damn foo birds. Most years they pass us by, winter in Mexico but this year, for no real discernible reason, they are wintering here, in the trees around the river. I generally wear gloves on my ride this time of year anyways but now it's a must, and no shorts or shirts without sleeves, and I wear a scarf of course, and underneath my bicycle helmet I've a plastic wrap sort of thing, fashioned out of three old milk jugs, heated with a torch and then bent to shape, creating a bill sort of effect, extending out all around my head for six or eight inches. Sunglasses, of course, and clear eye protection at night; though mostly they're settled in at night; to me it's just not worth the risk of not having eye protection. Only when totally outfitted will I head out on my ride.

If you know foo birds you know why we do this; if you don't you're going to want to trust me on this. Because these are large birds. They don't attack, exactly, but should you be unlucky, and one of them poops on you, you're screwed. Screwed, blued, tattooed. A nightmare. A horror show. Because you cannot wipe it off. If you wipe it off, you will at the very least become very, very sick; the very young and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, but really, no one is safe. There have been many, many deaths, and these deaths only after grievous suffering, for days, sometimes weeks, with vomiting, diarrhea, Christmas music, hallucinations, horrific fevers; many have in their fevered state been so far gone as to join the Republican party, and they long to become lawyers, the men asking for wingtip shoes, the women, in desperation, beg for stupidly expensive purses, and eye make-up.

It is so, so sad.

If only they had paid attention to the signs!

The signs which read, of course: "If the foo shits, wear it."
posted by dancestoblue at 12:49 AM on December 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

Nothing funny, but the other day I spilled some cumin on the floor and vacuumed it up. Since then every time I use the vacuum it makes the room smell like cumin. It is lovely.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:52 AM on December 15, 2019 [13 favorites]

In my mid-20s I went to a chiropractor for the first time. I went into the exam room and he was an elderly man and I heard him say "you can leave your socks on," so I stripped down to my socks. He came in a couple of minutes later and said "slacks, I said you could leave your slacks on."

My mom asked me to come to the east coast for the family Christmas and there are so many reasons I don't want to do that and I told her no.

She still came through for me in my time of sorta-desperate need and bought me a new laptop as a Christmas present.

Look at me posting on MetaTalk on my new laptop! Thanks, my mom!

(I may get really stressed out and complainy about my financial situation but my mom's got my back when I really need her to and I know that makes me way too lucky/privileged.)
posted by bendy at 4:28 AM on December 15, 2019 [13 favorites]

I like to go birding.

Not birbing?
posted by obfuscation at 5:25 AM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

Inspired by freethefeet: one of my favorite jokes is “Why does the Frenchman only eat one egg for breakfast? Because one egg is un oeuf!” A few years ago I was in Paris with some friends for an art project and we were all in a shared house making breakfast and it was the perfect time to tell my favorite joke! Everyone laughed politely and then someone pointed out “you said ‘Englishman.’”
posted by moonmilk at 6:29 AM on December 15, 2019 [14 favorites]

This isn't a funny story, but it's my favourite thing from the last month: My friend's been essentially made redundant by her long-term employer, and her specialism is one that's been decimated by Brexit, so the job market has been rough as guts.

She was just offered a three-book deal by one of the world's most famous academic publishers.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 7:06 AM on December 15, 2019 [42 favorites]

It's not so much about the china figurines, it's more about the hunt and the discovery, like a treasure. And if I just buy the whole collection and deprive her of the discovery of the last two she needed (well I guess ten now) and on top of that I greatly overpay, that will not make her happy.
Stanczyk, would making it into a mystery (or at least something weird) by having them arrive in strange packaging from all over the world make it more fun? Or receiving instructions about where to locate them around town from distant strangers? I'm sure we could round up 12 mefites willing to craft elaborate puzzles and maps and mail them in.

Of course, one could always buy the set and hide the last two and pretend they weren't included. (I'm not sure that's the ethical choice.)
posted by eotvos at 8:56 AM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

When I first met my friend's new dog, they had driven down from Vancouver to meet me at the Seattle airport. D was their first dog, maybe a four- or five-month old yellow lab puppy, and I guess they misjudged his bladder control. He peed all over the floor of one of the terminals. The floor was light-colored, so it was actually none too easy to see the puddle. There was a bathroom right across the way, and I told my friend to stay there by the puddle while I grabbed some paper towels so I could put them down and people could at least see and avoid the problem until the maintenance staff was able to clean it.

As my friend was standing there, a security guard approached her. He looked at the floor, looked at D, looked at her, and then said, very gravely, "I assume that's the dog's."

Just the first laugh I would get out of the ever-so-many that D has brought on in my life.
posted by praemunire at 10:46 AM on December 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

This isn't my story, but the story of a friend of mine I've been telling a lot this week as people I know try to find their kids toys for the holidays.

My friend, let's call him Dan, is in Times Square. He is not from New York, he is on a trip with friends and doing the tourist thing. As they wander around Dan become momentarily separated from his group. While he's alone a man sidles up and quietly asks him a question he did not expect to be asked:

"Want to buy a Tickle-Me Elmo?"

It was the 90's, there was a huge craze for the toy, but still. Dan does not want a Tickle-Me Elmo, he has no one to give it too, and his funds are better spent elsewhere.

"Yes" says Dan.

The man gives him a slip of paper, one which is printed directions to a men's bathroom nearby, and leaves. This impresses Dan more than anything else, that they took the time to print the directions to hand out to people. He finds his friends and explains that he needs to go to a specific bathroom to meet someone to buy a toy. Surprising only Dan his friends do not think this is a great idea and try to talk him out of it, but he is undeterred and goes off.

He finds the bathroom. It is a normal public bathroom, except for a guy standing at the sink glaring at him. Dan shows him the slip of paper and the guy nods, then pushes opened a stall door revealing several Tickle-Me Elmos stacked on the toilet.

At this point Dan praises the organization of the group but declines to buy one. While normally I'd say not buying an expensive item you don't need it the right choice I'm hesitant to apply it to a situation where you are alone in a bathroom with organized criminals. But he judged the situation correctly, his little slip of paper was taken, he assumed they reused them, and he cheerfully left to go find his friends to show he wasn't murdered.

I'm know he did other things on that trip, but not buying a Tickle-Me Elmo will always be his favorite experience in NYC.
posted by lepus at 11:00 AM on December 15, 2019 [30 favorites]

Wow, I was QUITE sure that one was going to end with someone eager to tickle HIS Elmo.
posted by praemunire at 11:12 AM on December 15, 2019 [21 favorites]

About a million years ago, I had a temp job at Atlantic Records. One of the secretaries*--a heavy-metal girl from Queens--told me a funny story about having George Clinton** scare the wits out of her coming out of an elevator. He struts out of the elevator, she jumps a foot into the air, and he says, "It's OK, baby ... I'm George Clinton!"

*Era-appropriate terminology.
**Era-appropriate photo.

posted by scratch at 11:18 AM on December 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

In 2002 or so, age 19 or thereabouts, I was attending a job training session in one of the auditoriums on the U.C. Berkeley campus. At the break there was a long line for the women's restroom. But no line at all for the unisex bathroom. Unisex bathrooms weren't common yet (Berkeley was ahead of the curve!), but I decided to give it a shot.

I opened the door, and a fellow was in there using the urinal. Beyond him was an enclosed toilet stall. "Well, this seems awkward, but when in Rome..." I thought to myself, and strode past him purposefully to the stall. Almost immediately afterwards, I realized that there was no way in hell this was how unisex bathrooms worked, and that I had just busted in on some poor guy who had forgotten to lock the bathroom door. I sat in the stall, crimson with embarrassment, and in complete silence, not able to think of anything to say which would improve the situation. The guy finished up his business, washed his hands, and left.

And that's how I learned how to properly use unisex bathrooms! Although I always feel guilty when I see one about having accidentally traumatized an innocent urinal user!
posted by Wavelet at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2019 [6 favorites]

What's the last thing Tickle Me Elmo gets before it leaves the factory?

Two test tickles!
posted by bendy at 4:03 PM on December 15, 2019 [9 favorites]

Wow, I was QUITE sure that one was going to end with someone eager to tickle HIS Elmo.

Here is a (not exactly ha-ha) funny story this reminded me of. I am sure I wrote this on MeFi at point in the past, but I can't find it so I might not have. Anyway, one day I was struck suddenly by the overwhelming need to use the bathroom. I happened to be right by Sindaebang Station, which I know has a public toilet in a small building under the elevated tracks, so I waddle over there. In my dire need I didn't notice that a creepy guy was standing in the bathroom just kind of milling around. Also in my dire need I did notice, but couldn't care that the upper hinge on the stall door was broken.

The broken hinge caused the door to bend inwards leaving like a six inch space between the door and the wall of the stall. I rushed in, slammed the door shut, forced it locked and jumped on the toilet. I immediately noticed that there was a man standing directly in front of the stall door looking at me through the gap between the wall and the door. He was like two feet away from me, and staring directly at me. I had to go so bad, though, that I couldn't do anything about it and had to just evacuate my bowels while making eye contact with this homeless looking guy two feet away. I was afraid to break eye contact because who knows what he might do in my vulnerable position.

Anyway, I finish the deed and try to discreetly clean up without breaking eye contact with this guy and finally my pants are back up and it is time to leave the restroom. But the guy doesn't move. The stall door swings inward, so I can open it but he is standing like right in front of the door frame. I had to squeeze as small as I could and brush by him to get out of the bathroom. Like physically make contact with the creeper.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:05 PM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I recently discovered this Thought Catalog listicle of 60 pun-liners (get it?) that could be good for a laugh.
posted by bendy at 4:09 PM on December 15, 2019

I often think of the story of how my friend J taught his horse not to be afraid of gunfire.

J does reenactment, and he wanted to take the horse (Moomin, large and grey) to mock battles. They have all sorts of regulations to protect horses at these events-- they check the ground carefully beforehand; there's a minimum distance that foot combatants have to keep from any horse, and a distance at which a gun can be fired-- but the noise and tumult will still often disturb a horse if they're not used to it.

When he decided to start training Moomin, J took a starter's pistol (makes a bang, but not particularly loud) up to the pasture and fired it. And when the horse had finished running around and freaking out, J gave him his favourite treat: a doughnut.

(I myself wouldn't advocate giving doughnuts as horse treats-- I'd stick to apples and carrots, mostly. But this was long ago, before I knew J or Moomin)

So every day when J went up to the pasture to get Moomin, he'd fire a gun (reenactors' guns are fired blank with only powder and wadding) and give Moomin a doughnut. Eventually he didn't even have to catch the horse: he'd just fire and Moomin would come running for his doughnut.

You can see where this is going.

By the start of summer, Moomin is fine with guns and J decides to take him to an event. He and Moomin line up with the other cavalry on their side of the field. People have been hailing J because they know Moomin's a first-timer-- is he okay? is he bombproof? you're sure?-- J tells them yes, he is.

The battle starts-- commanders bark orders; foot soldiers go where they're supposed to go and hack away at each other in a showy but non-injurious fashion. Then the first guns are fired.

Moomin doesn't shy away, but starts to prance restlessly in place. J holds him back: the cavalry aren't supposed to move yet. A couple more guns go off, and Moomin's pulling at the reins like a racehorse, ears forward.

Then, behind the other side's lines, they fire a cannon.

At which point the audience gets to witness a heroic charge by a lone cavalryman, as Moomin grabs the bit in his teeth and goes thundering straight across the field towards the cannon, absolutely certain that the BIGGEST DOUGHNUT IN THE WORLD is waiting for him, and no one-- not God nor the idiot on his back-- is going to keep him from it.

(No horse or person was injured, but J had to buy a lot of people drinks that evening.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:02 PM on December 15, 2019 [73 favorites]

I may or may not have burnt myself making a salad once. If I did, the doctors disagree if the burns were second degree or third degree.

(cw: icky pictures.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:59 PM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I’m not one to judge, but you did it wrong.
posted by obfuscation at 6:03 PM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

You did that making salad? OMG. I can't imagine the pain you must have been in.

Maybe next time order in?
posted by angiep at 6:31 PM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Then, behind the other side's lines, they fire a cannon.

I'm dying. I think I just bruised a rib laughing at this.
posted by loquacious at 8:56 PM on December 15, 2019 [9 favorites]

I'm not the best at rehashing funny stories in text, but I have a lot of good news this week and I'm happy and wanted to share it here!

I got very good grades for my first quarter back in college! I always struggled with school (particularly with my anxiety and resulting procrastination) but this time around I got (almost) all of my assignments done on time, and I got great feedback from my professors. I realized that I really didn't like the program I enrolled in, so I switched to a more generalized one, and I'm so glad I decided to do so after one quarter as opposed to changing my mind about my career plans post-graduation.

I paid off all of my credit card debt and my score has already risen by ten points! I'm now debt free! And work is going really well, though I'm overdoing it a little bit, but one of the perks of being self employed is that I can cut back- which I'm going to do next week, I've told my clients that I won't be available at all.

I got health insurance, and it's a really good plan so I won't have to fight to see a doctor like I did when I was on the state's health plan! I currently have an ear infection (ugh) so good timing for that.

And finally, my dad, who lost his job two months ago due to what most likely age discrimination, just got a job offer! And he thinks he's about to get another! And my mom just got a job that she really likes for the first time in four years. So my parents will get to keep their home and won't be nearly as stressed out as they've been lately.

And my dog is happy and healthy and wore her ugly Christmas sweater today, and my spider plant is blooming up a storm. Good things all around.
posted by mollywas at 10:32 PM on December 15, 2019 [35 favorites]

Laughed until tears imagining Moomin.

Also hooray mollywas, that is an excellent collection of happy news!
posted by freethefeet at 2:58 AM on December 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I giggle every time I think back to this - tinybrill is almost 2 and we started letting her occasionally watch episodes of Gummi Bears on Disney+. It actually holds up pretty well! Anyway, she is ALL ABOUT IT. The other day we got home from work/daycare and she immediately asks for the show. We're midway through setting up dinner, handing her a sippy of water, some cheese, a little mandarin orange, etc. I said "no, tinybrill, we're having dinner first then we can watch Gummi Bears." She looks down at her tray for a moment then starts handing back everything we gave her, saying "all done, all done!" I'm sure this kid is going to outmaneuver me plenty in the future.
posted by brilliantine at 5:47 AM on December 16, 2019 [13 favorites]

We have a dog MLE ("em-ell-ee" - Emily) who is mostly yellow lab (I like to say she wears a lab coat), but has something skinnier thrown in (maybe whippet?). She's an old girl, and as she's aged she's become far more frightened of loud noises - so much so that if we're not around at that moment, she bolts. She likes to be outdoors, and has a warm spot in the carport when she gets cold/wet.
My husband had dropped me off for the ferry in the dark/wet last Thursday, and was inside with a cat on his lap when a bolt of lightening struck nearby, with an accompanying loud bang of thunder. By the time he got outside, MLE was long gone. She's not super car-savvy, and we're near a couple of busy roads, so he jumped in our car and started driving around the neighborhood, looking in places she'd been found before. About two blocks from our house he sees her! Stops, calls to her, opens the back of the vehicle and helps her in as always. Tells her to "sit" in the back of the car - she does. He does notice her collar has gone missing. Gets home, takes her out of the car and into the house - I did say it was dark, right?
As soon as he turns the light on he realizes this is NOT our dog! He dried her off and brought her in, where she touched noses with our cat and was well-mannered. He posted a picture of her on our neighborhood FB page, and simultaneously posted a pic of MLE so folks knew she was missing. He texted me 'She's really well-behaved. Can we trade?"
Finally as it was getting light he decided to look for MLE again - and sees a truck driving VERY slowly in the neighborhood. He got their attention, and the driver, nearly in tears said that yes, they were missing a dog. Happy reunion ensues. As he's driving up our driveway, he sees our girl wandering home. All are safe home.
posted by dbmcd at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2019 [25 favorites]

Yesterday, My older child was "reading" a story to her little brother. She's five, and in Pre-K, so in her case "reading" really means "paging through this book of drawing the kids in my class made for my birthday and improvising a story around the drawings". Like many five year old girls, she is obssesed with Frozen, so the main characters were Anna and Elsa. I was mostly tuned out fo the story, but there was some sort of conflict with a monster? But then it was resolved? Anyway, the story ended with "and the Anna and Elsa lived happily ever after. With the Giant Thing that they were suuuuper scared of."
My child just independently reinvented the Babadook.
posted by Adridne at 10:30 AM on December 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

This is not a personal story, except that I laughed out loud repeatedly when I saw the original video recently, and again just now at the office looking it up to share with this thread (found the story with lots of pics). :D
These Pitbull Eyebrows at The Dodo
posted by Glinn at 12:02 PM on December 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

It is possible I have told this story before, or at least alluded to it. I am telling it again, in greater detail, because - in my own opinion, and the opinion of others - the best onstage-disaster story I can tell from my theater career.


In 2001-2002 I worked on a production of Sam Shepard's Fool for Love. For the purposes of my own story, all you need to know about the play is: the two main characters, Eddie and May, have had an on-again off-again relationship for years; Eddie has just turned up unannounced at May's place to try to rekindle things. But not only is May not interested, she has a movie date that night with a regular schlub named Martin. ....The only other character in the piece is the ghost of Eddie's father, whom only Eddie can see, who sits off to one side and gets into arguments with Eddie throughout.

About midway through the play, there's a scene where Eddie and May are talking, and Eddie - who's a little paranoid - hears a car pulling up outside and thinks it's someone who's coming after him. He turns out the lights, then when the new arrival comes in, Eddie attacks him, fighting him in the dark until May frantically turns the lights on; the person Eddie is fighting is Martin. She apologizes profusely, introduces Eddie as her cousin, and suggests they all have a drink, fetching the bottle of tequila that Eddie has been swilling from up to that point and doling out shots all around. The play goes on from there. ...As you no doubt expect, the "tequila" for the play is actually a tequila bottle filled with water and enough instant iced tea mix, diluted in a strength sufficiently tequila-looking.

While the actors are doing their thing onstage, I'm in a booth at the back of the house with my assistant; he's running the light board (off my cues), and I'm running the sound. This particular scene always is a bit tricky, because it's hard for me to peer through the darkness and see when May is at the right spot where she would be turning on the lights; but this night, I call it pretty accurately and am settling back, thinking the cue went pretty smooth.

Except a couple seconds later the actor playing the ghost father stood up and started walking backstage. ....That didn't usually happen. "....Wait....what is he..." I started asking, but then saw that the prop tequila bottle had been knocked over during the fight, and had been completely smashed to smithereens.

Oh god. Not only was this a dangerous situation for the cast - some of whom were going to be walking around in the broken glass and puddle - but this also meant that several of the lines coming up refer to everyone drinking, and there was nothing for them to drink.

Oh god. Oh god. I had a problem, and I had only five minutes at the most to solve it. I had to get backstage somehow, I thought. ....Now, I should probably mention - we were in a tiny performance space on the second floor of an office building. And the venue was laid out such that the only way I could possibly have gotten backstage would be if I snuck out of the booth (into the house with the audience), sprinted back through the lobby, out the door, up one flight to the office above us, got myself in, sprinted through the office to the fire escape, climbed down it one flight, and then shimmied through a window. There was no way in hell I would have been able to make it, but i was still just starting to stand up and make a run for it when suddenly the ghost father came back out from backstage - with a filled bottle in his hand. Oh! Hey look! He started walking back to his chair just as May was saying "let's all sit down and have a drink," and as their paths crossed, he handed her the bottle. May went on with her line and the ghost father returned to where he was sitting. Not bad! Not only did the problem fix itself, but it looked really cool, and almost like we'd planned it that way! I sighed with relief and sat back down.

And then my ASM said: "Hang on....I think that's real tequila."

To which I replied: "......I'm sorry, what?"

"Do you remember they wanted a specific bottle for this scene?" he reminded me. "It was this specific brand of super-good tequila, and they bought it? But they wanted to keep the tequila to drink later after we closed, so they poured it into a bottle we already had, and then we just used the bottle?" My ASM pointed to the stage. "That's the bottle we already had, with the good tequila."

....The next fifteen minutes unfolded like a slow-motion train wreck, because shots of this actual tequila had been doled out to everyone in the show by now. (Oh - and did I mention that the guy playing Martin was a recovering alcoholic?) But the cast was picking up on things pretty quick, fortunately - first Martin started raising his glass to his lips, but caught a sniff of the smell from his cup and hastily put it back down. A couple minutes later, May did the same thing - raised the glass, smelled it, put it back down. Next was the father - he started to raise his glass, and we just barely caught that Martin and May were subtly shaking their heads "no" to warn him - but he too smelled it and put his glass down.

That left Eddie. Now - there's one point at which Eddie has a lengthy speech, followed by drinking a shot directly from the tequila bottle. And....on this night, we had the regular Eddie's understudy in the role. And he was a little nervous, and the way he coped with nerves was to just commit to everything 110%.

....Like that speech. He launched into, waving his bottle around as he spoke. And all three of the other cast members and the two of us in the booth knew that as soon as he was done talking, he was going to be drinking from that bottle of tequila - and would likely do a big gulp.

...The other cast members all frantically - yet subtly - tried to shake their heads at him, warning him "don't". My ASM and I sank lower and lower in our chairs. But Understudy Eddie didn't notice - he had his line, dammit, and he was gonna say it. He raved, he waved, he finished with a laugh - and he put the bottle to his lips and threw his head back, taking a huge pull.

He stopped, the tequila in his mouth. His eyes got very big. He swallowed, very carefully. He held his breath.

....And then he went on. Everyone else in the cast blinked at him in mute amazement, and my ASM and I practically slid to the floor in relief.

When the show was done, I stormed backstage, launching into my "How many times have I had to tell you to watch out for the bottle during the fight scene!" rant before I even made it backstage - but I was met by Martin launching into his own "I've TOLD YOU I'm an alcoholic, how did ACTUAL ALCOHOL get onstage...." rant, and about ten seconds into us shouting over each other we were joined by Ghost Father's own "Guys, this was an accident and YELLING isn't going to solve things" rant. We hollered at each other for about 30 seconds, as the adrenaline in all of us drained out - and then we stopped, blinked at each other, and then all burst out laughing, all "but yeah, that was kinda funny...."

Epilogue: the very next night we had a group who came to see the show from an ESL class, and they stayed after for a Q and A with the cast and crew. We took a few questions about the play, about stage craft (they were pretty impressed with the trick we used to make it look like car headlights pulling up offstage), and such. And then one of the students innocently asked "so, have you had anything go really wrong during this show?"

We all burst out laughing and Martin said "Oh, something happened last night that you wouldn't believe....."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:44 PM on December 16, 2019 [24 favorites]

My family's been having kind of a stressful time for various reasons, but we went to see my sister for Thanksgiving, which was nice. After dinner my sister picked up her guitar so she could demonstrate how she's been teaching herself to play and her cat just absolutely dashed under the couch to hide and we all laughed.
posted by ferret branca at 7:59 PM on December 16, 2019 [11 favorites]

I work at a library and people aren't really supposed to sleep in the study chairs, so we have various methods of waking them up without being too rude or obvious about it.
The other day a guy is conked out in the magazine area so I go over there and drop a book on a table nearby.
He sits bolt upright in his chair, looks at me and says "Did you just fart???"
posted by exceptinsects at 10:44 AM on December 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

..the other day I spilled some cumin on the floor and vacuumed it up. Since then every time I use the vacuum it makes the room smell like cumin. It is lovely.
posted by Literaryhero

Vacuumin, surely.
posted by workerant at 8:38 PM on December 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

My 8-year-old daughter is a constant source of laughter for me. She’s much more entertaining than her older brother or sister. On a recent morning, my wife had already gotten up and left for work while I was still lounging in bed. Suddenly the kid bursts into the room, jumps on the bed, and declares “She’s gone! I’m the mom now!”

“What will you do with your new mom powers?” I ask.

She runs to the door and shouts down the hallway “LOAD UP, EVERYONE! WE’RE GETTING ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST!”
posted by Pater Aletheias at 1:17 AM on December 18, 2019 [9 favorites]

I used to do obedience training with my dog. One afternoon we watched one of the other classes do "man work" training. That's when you train a dog how to do some of the things police dogs do, like restraining a person. The dogs have to learn how to follow orders under stressful conditions, without losing control.
The class about 10 dogs and handlers were lined up outside the toilet block (the only enclosed space available). Each handler would take their turn taking their dog inside and do some task or other while several people inside there bang loudly on the cubicle doors and shout "He's in there! Get him! What you waiting for, get him" and similar instructions. All the other dogs barking like crazy. The idea is that the dog is supposed to ignore the noise and all instructions not from their handler.
When everyone had had their turn the class lined up, presumably to get feedback on their performance.
Before the woman in charge could speak, a man came scuttling out of the door to the toilet block and walked rapidly away, head down. The trainers all looked flabbergasted, then started laughing. Turns out he was some random member of the public who'd decided to use one of the toilets and had been trapped inside there the whole time. Listening to all the dogs barking, and the shouts of "He's in there, get him, get him!"
God only knows what he thought was going on.
posted by Zumbador at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2019 [14 favorites]

... and on the lighter side, another dog training story: I love watching the dachshund trainers. The trainer gives their dog the signal to sit (dachshund sits, good boy/ good girl!)
The trainer gives the dog the signal to lie down.
(dachshund lies down.)
The trainer crouches down and peers closely to check that the dog is actually lying down and not still sitting, those little legs are very short and the difference is not always obvious!
Cracked me up every time.
posted by Zumbador at 12:07 PM on December 18, 2019 [11 favorites]

A few days ago, I got a hedgehog stuck in my hair.

I have so many questions...

Forgetting that my hair was down, I allowed my pet hedgehog to climb up to my shoulder. Hedgehogs are natural burrowers. Mistakes were made, quoted the mister and the kid, as we all stood in the kitchen carefully dislodging Nature's Living Velcro from my head.
posted by Ruki at 6:47 AM on December 19, 2019 [14 favorites]

Tale from the supermarket:

We take special orders for the holidays. But for some reason cannot get Butterball fresh turkeys over 20 lbs. Someone at night took an order for a 24 lb fresh Butterball, but DID NOT take a number or a name. I freaked out: the best I could do was a 24 lb previously frozen Butterball (another customer had asked us to start thawing it for her, but then canceled the order); or a 24 lb fresh store brand turkey.

Customer arrives the day before the holiday. I apologize profusely for the mistake, then offer the 24 lb fresh store brand turkey.

Customer: "No. My mother only eats Butterball turkeys."

Me: "Ok, well I DO have a 24 lb previously frozen Butterball; it's thawed now, so it's ready to cook."

Customer: "No. My mother won't eat frozen turkey."

Me: "Geez, well, we still have small fresh Butterballs. You could always do that."

Customer: "No. My mother's bringing a turkey, so I don't want there to be too much."

I gave up.
posted by annieb at 3:42 PM on December 19, 2019 [5 favorites]

My friend told me a story that I think about a lot.

Setting is rural Indiana. Neighbor kid is kind of an entire bumpkin - overalls, heinous accent, undersocialized - but most of all, he's just not to quick on the uptake.

Now when I say rural, I mean that it takes a good chunk of time to drive to town. Errands are not initiated on a whim. So when - oh, let's call him Cletus - comes up to my friend's dad (oh, his name is Mr. Comer) and asks for a ride to town, Mr. Comer is not delighted.

"What do you need in town?"

"I need to take my driver's test."

"Can't you do that another day?"

"No sir, my learner's permit expires."

"Well, can't your mom give you a ride?

"No sir, she's out."

"Have you asked [other neighbor]?"

"No sir, she's out too."

"...I'm kind of busy here."

"Please, Mister Comer?"

"OK, fine. Hop in the truck."

They hop in the truck. they drive all the way into town. Cletus starts his test, and Mr. Comer, having planned his errands and gotten them done earlier in the week, has nothing to do but sitting and waiting in the DMV for the boy to finish his exam.

It take Cletus the full time to complete the test. Last one to finish. The proctor grades the exam right when you turn it in, so you get your results immediately. When the boy comes out, he looks pretty dejected, so Mr. Comer has not just taken the time to drive into town, not just sat and twiddled his thumbs in the Department of Motor Vehicles for someone else's kid, but it was a waste of time.

They didn't say anything before getting in the car. It was quiet as they started home home. After minutes of silent driving, Cletus turns to Mr. Comer and asks, "Mr. Comer, what's a Peedistrain?"

"What is a what?"

"What's a peedistrain?"

"I... I don't know what that is?"

"Oh. Whell, on the test, it had questions about peedistrains. Like, yielding to peedistrains?"

Folks, the kid didn't know what a pedestrian was.
posted by wires at 8:03 AM on December 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Folks, the kid didn't know what a pedestrian was.

....Er, that comes across more like "the kid had never heard of the word 'pedestrian' used to describe 'a person who's walking'," and if you're talking about someone who lives that far out in the country and isn't used to driving where people are walking, that doesn't seem that far-fetched.

There's been plenty of times that I've heard an unfamiliar word, and people are surprised I've never heard of it - but all that's going on is that they're using a word I've not previously encountered before that describes a concept which I do understand, but I just don't move in the circles where I'd encounter that specific word for it (like, if you just say that someone had a "unilateral orchiectomy" I won't know what you're talking about, but if you say "he had one of his testicles removed" then I'll get what you mean).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:03 AM on December 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

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