Amusing anecdotes

There were a couple anecdotes that I wanted to record but didn’t really fit into the narrative elsewhere, so I’m recording them here.

I already related this one over at LiveJournal, but it’s pretty funny, so I’m putting it in my official blog.

Brian and I arrived in Cleveland at about 9pm Saturday evening. We get to the rental car desk, say that we reserved a car. The clerk starts doing the appropriate computer and paper work, and asks us, “So what brings you to Cleveland?”

Brian: “Oh, we’re planning to do some get out the vote stuff.”
Her: “It figures – you’re about the 14th or 15th folks coming through today doing that.”
Us: “Oh.”
Her: “Are you guys from California? That’s where people seem to be coming in from.”
Us: “Um, yeah, actually.”
Her: “Do you want a minivan like everybody else so that you can drive people to the polls?”
Us: *getting increasingly more flustered* “Um, no thanks.”

We collected our car and drove off.

Another amusing anecdote:

What would you think if you came home and there was a cardboard box sitting on the kitchen counter, modified so that one flap was sticking out. There’s a bowl in the box, with chili spattered all over the inside of the box.

Rob’s reaction: “The only thing I could come up with was that a raccoon had managed to get inside, open the fridge, get out the chili, and then try to eat it inside the box. I tried to come up with another explanation, but that was really it.”

Elizabeth’s reaction: “How did he get the box inside the microwave?!” (on the theory that somebody had heated the chili too long in the bowl, thus spattering it)

What actually happened: Brian was running around on election day. He stopped by the house, grabbed some chili, put it in a bowl, but decided to eat it over at headquarters. He saw the cardboard box, realized that he could use it to keep the voter guides out of the rain, which would work better if he modified it to extend one flap. So he modified the box, put the bowl of chili inside, and left. As he went down the sidewalk, he thought to himself “It’s really slippery, I need to be careful, it’s really slippery, I need to be careful, hey, I need to remember to do that when I get to HQ…” and WHAM! Down he went. The chili went everywhere. He fortunately did not hurt himself, but he was already running late, so he ran inside, changed his pants, and left the box for later, setting up the tableau which Rob and Elizabeth later observed.

An annoying anecdote:

When we were leaving Cleveland on Wednesday, our plane to Chicago was cancelled. The plane apparently had mechanical difficulties in Chicago, and was unable to take off.

There was this businessman who starts ranting immediately. “I have a meeting at 12:45, I can not miss it, you need to get me a flight!” The gate attendant says “The best I can do is get you there at 3pm. The earlier flights are all booked.” He says “That’s not good enough.” She starts trying other options, but just everything is booked. He says “How can the airline cancel this flight and not give me any other options? It’s unacceptable!” I’m not sure what he wanted her to do – go fix the plane in Chicago? It was really uncomfortable. She handled it patiently and gracefully. And continued to do so when the next guy in line, another businessman, started giving her the same schtick – “I need to make this meeting, I’ll pay anything, first class, give me something”.

Meanwhile, Brian and I waited our turn in line, and got a ticket out to SF via Dallas/Fort Worth, and ended up getting home only about 30 minutes after our scheduled arrival time.

I don’t get it, though. How do these people go through life in their little bubble, where the only thing that matters is what happens to them? What did those guys expect these women to do? They looked for alternative flights. They did what they could. It’s like they were blaming these women for the failure of the plane. Yes, they’re representatives of the airline, and it’s easy to berate them because you know they can’t talk back, but it’s just rude. And pathetic. I bet they’re selfish conservatives.