Tag: humor (page 1 of 54)

My first job


Dear Karen,

I never went to university.  Looking back, I wish I had, but at the time, joining the work force at the ripe age of 17 seemed like a great opportunity.  Within 2 weeks of graduation,  my first job was working as a messenger for a stock brokerage in the heart of the city.

I was surrounded by adults doing adult things.  My job was to deliver and pick up share certificates from brokerage houses around Vancouver.  This meant a lot of walking and a great sense of direction.  Knowing how to plot my day, hitting the right offices at the right time, was crucial.  We had no mobile phones back then, so once I was out on the street, my bosses would just have to trust I wasn’t sitting drunk in a bar using cheques to light my cigarettes.

You want me to wear that?  Okay.

Messengers had a strict dress code back then.  I had to wear high heels, a skirt or dress, and suitable make-up.  I was representing the company when I was out and about, and heaven forfend I should look shabby or common!  My feet ached at the end of each day, but wow, did my calves ever look good.  I was probably outside 4 hours per day back then.  It sounds like a crappy job, but honestly, I loved it.  I got to know the women behind the big banks and trust companies, we’d chat and share a joke or a bit of gossip while waiting for my delivery, maybe a cup of tea to tide me over in the winter, and then off I’d go to the next office, to do it all over again.

Best of all, I was finally earning a pay-cheque.

I was thrown into a world I knew absolutely nothing about.  Ask Lars about my accounting abilities and he’d probably raise a very wry, sarcastic eyebrow at you.  I really should never be trusted in a company where figures and numbers are discussed, and yet, there I was, at the heart of the finance district and learning every day.

 Demonstrating my prowess

Early on, I was asked  to make a pot of coffee for a meeting in the boardroom.   I did everything right:  water in, coffee measured, turn on the switch, and surely the rest would take care of itself.  I walked away, very pleased with myself.  Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to put the empty coffee pot under the basket, with the inevitable result.

I learned from that mistake.

My boss, Janice, asked  if I knew how to type.  Oh yes, I assured my boss, I’m a typing fiend.  60 wpm.  You can count on me! She showed me the IBM Selectric I’d be using and sat me down to type out a few simple sentences.

This was not the manual Olivetti I’d been taught to use in typing class.  I looked at the machine in puzzlement, not even sure how to put the paper in.


English: IBM Selectric II typewriter (dual Lat...

My nemesis.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Janice sighed, “You need to turn it on first, Wendy”.  Oh.  Okay, good idea.  Where was the frigging button, though?  “On the side, Wendy.  Are you sure you know how to type?” Oh yes, of course I do!  Once I turn this stupid thing on, I shall impress you with my dexterity and skill, just you wait!

Of course, that didn’t happen.  As soon as I pressed the first ‘t’, thumping down for extra emphasis, as I’d been taught in my Grade Nine Typing class, the stupid IBM Selectric skittered out at least 20 ‘t’s in a row.  I flinched, shocked at the machine’s touchiness and speed.

 Finally, my star sign comes in handy

I’m sure Janice, wonderful Janice who was so patient with me, was wondering just why on earth she’d hired me.  Well, duh, we both knew why I was hired:  during my job interview, we discovered we were fellow Sagitarrians.   There was no way she couldn’t hire me, not knowing valuable information like that.

Zodiac sign of SAGITTARIUS in a 9th century ma...

This, plus some magical fairy dust, and I’d say you’re perfect for the job!   (Photo credit: e-codices)

I came through my baptism by fire and stayed with the company for 2 years.  I’d risen through the ranks, until I reached the lofty position of Assistant Manager of  Accounting, which sounds pretty swish, right?  I wasn’t even 20, and I was flying high.  Let me bring us all back to the ground by reminding you that there were only 3 of us in the accounting cage:  the accounts manager, me and the messenger who replaced me.

Anyway, I did enjoy my time there.  Whenever a trader scored a big deal, he’d bring champagne in for us.  They’d take us out for lunch to celebrate.  We’d host big parties in big hotels for big clients with big bank accounts. We’d shut down early on Fridays and play Backgammon while drinking champagne and smoking non-stop.

The traders in our office were male, in their 30s and 40s, and both intimidating and cool.

Introducing a cast of…two

We were a small office of 9.  Everyone was a character but two of them stand out, all these years later.

Bob was our leader:  calm, avuncular, funny, we tripped over ourselves to please him.  He was a genuinely nice man, and a very talented businessman as well.

Trevor, on the other hand, was our Resident Psycho, hopped up on testosterone and adrenaline.  He thought nothing of snooping through our desks to find our stash of chocolate bars.  Apparently it was his god-given right.  If we confronted him, a sudden chill would descend on the office until he decided to forgive and forget.  Numerous women would be escorted into the back room for meetings at lunch.  I must have been the only one who didn’t realize they were actually poorly disguised bonking sessions.  The women would exit with ruffled hair and dazed expressions; Trevor would leave with a sweep of his hair and a self-satisfied smirk on his face.  Happily married, happily cheating, Trev was quite the Lothario.

For reasons that made sense at the time, I moved to another job, which led to a position at a Danish  company and the man whom I ended up marrying.    Boring job, but wow, what a social life!



And this is how I ended up: the shortest in a family of 5 wonderful people.

Shortly after moving in together, we moved to LA, so that was the end of my Canadian work career.

I was young, no job talents to speak of, and no university degree to back me up.  It should have been a scary time, but actually, it was shocking, unadulterated fun.

I don’t miss it, but I  look back on those 2 years with great fondness.

I watched, listened and learned about people, late hours, hard work, and most of all?   How to make a proper pot of coffee.

Come over and I’ll pour you a cup.





Facebook betrayal and…ducks

Dear Karen,

I was all set to discuss betrayal on Facebook today but I decided not to.

Let me explain why:

  • I’m not a masochist
  • I don’t have time to dwell on people who childishly decide to  block me
  • Life isn’t a popularity contest
  • I can see ducks through my window
  • I guess they’re more important than hurt feelings and unanswered questions.   So I threw away my original post (Gone!  In the bin! So long, sucker!) and started to do some duck research

I’m so glad I did.

From Cuckoos to Ducks?  Huh?

You know I’m not a bird person, or as they’re called in professional circles, a Birdologist.   I used to think, based on the evidence that Donald Duck always flew in airplanes, that ducks don’t fly.

That’s how much I know about ducks.


“Yes Wendy, I climbed up here, thanks to my portable ladder. I never travel without it”


So when I saw them across the way, I wasn’t sure if I was looking at girls, boys, or one of each.  All I knew was that they’d show up every morning around 6, stand on the railing looking towards my office window, quack a lot, and about 3 hours later, they’d fly away.  Lyra and Blue loved having them around.  So did I.  They were kind of fun.

But I wanted to know why they decided to come to a landlocked block in the centre of London. Why not fly the extra 3 minutes and land in the pond in Hyde Park?  Dumb ducks.

So, using something called Google (have you heard of it?  It’s kind of amazing), I tried to search for information.  I tried “Strange duck habits”, “Ducks landing on balcony”, and “Why am I so unpopular? Please help!” but came up with nothing that solved my burning question.

Imagine my shock and blushing horror when at last I Googled “Unusual duck behaviour”, and up came  this site addressing the much lauded topic of Homosexual Duck Necrophilia.

Well.  Tie my beak and call me speechless.

Of course I had to read on.

Don’t worry, it’s gruesome but it’s also incredibly fascinating.

Fascinating?  More like terrifying

Male ducks engage in something charmingly called “rape flights”.  These two males were going at it feather and tong  when, according to the scientist who was witness to the whole sordid affair (oh Wendy, you’re so judgmental), they crashed into his window and fell, plop!, to the ground, just outside his office.


We see a sitting duck, whereas he sees an opportunity.

He went out to see what was up, so to speak.  He found Dead Duck  and Lucky Duck, as I now call them.  Lucky was furiously pecking Dead Duck’s head.  Like, a lot.  As in, more than you’d think necessary or prudent in a situation like that.

Once he completed that little task, Lucky jumped Dead’s bones, and there’s no delicate way of putting it, raped him.  For 75 minutes.

Isn’t nature amazing?

What Kees Moeliker had witnessed was unique.  10% of ducks are gay, apparently, so they’re not that rare.  And sometimes the males do have a go at dead females.  But the combination of these two behaviours turned something sort of boringly average,  into the realm of “Holy shit, did I really see that?” and “Where’s my camera?”.

The only thing that could improve this story is if the Lucky were also a vampire duck.  That would be awesome.

Moeliker won the IgNobel Prize for this one, and I say Bravo to this.   Apparently, these ducks have  changed his life.

I love this story more and more.

But this is what I really take away from this article:  ducks have penises?  Wow. How did I not know that.  I thought they laid eggs and then kind of sat on them for a while.

I really wish I’d paid more attention in school.

The silver lining of this duck story is, I’m insanely happy that the person who has so rudely blocked me can’t read about my duck news.  And whenever I think of her,  I now imagine those ducks, which just makes me laugh.

And that’s good.  The world needs to laugh more, I always say.  Who needs bitterness and hard feelings when there’s nature to explore and necrophiliac gay ducks to spy on?



Sunday Video Picks: Clever critters

Dear Readers,

We humans think we’re pretty smart, huh? Well, the animals in these videos might beg to differ.

For starters, an extreme assault course…for red squirrels. Apparently these clever critters are much brighter than we suspected; after all, it takes a certain amount of brain power to figure out how to cheat the system!

This week, the big star of the screen is Jenga Cat. Frankly, he’s a lot better at this infernal game than either of us. His approach is fresh, daring, almost cavalier…and his final move will leave you giggling.

Karen has asserted for years that crows are by far the smartest and most inventive birds out there. Apparently David Attenborough agrees. Thanks, David. Appreciate the vote of confidence.

So next time we think “dumb animal,” we’ll give our heads a shake…these videos would seem to prove otherwise.

Have a relaxing Sunday, and we’ll see you tomorrow!


Karen and Wendy



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Wendy, Baby Stylist Extraordinaire

Dear Karen,

Tomorrow, I’m donning my Mary Poppins coat and hat, and flying to Lake Garda in Italy to help take care of my beautiful grandson for a few days.

alt="IMAGE-top-4-outfits-baby-stylist-after-the-kids-leave"It shall be wonderful.  And fun.  And maybe a little tiring.  But who cares,  this is my chance to have a little alone-time with him, far from the eyes of his soon-to-be concerned (as soon as they read this) parents.

And maybe show him off a bit to the fashion-conscious Italian public.

Because, oh yeah, I’m a Baby Stylist now.

Baby and I shall stroll the promenade in these hip and happening outfits from the S/S 14 collection of Little White Company.

No matter when the Paparazzi decide to flash their bulbs in baby’s delicate eyes, he’ll be looking swish, debonaire and in total control of the sitch.

I, on the other hand, will be in jeans, Lilly Pulitzer top, and a Panama hat, to protect my grandmotherly skin from the May Italian sun.

We’re going to be amazing.

At night, when we settle down to a bottle or two of our favourite plonk (his, Enfamil, mine a beautifully elegant Pino Grigio), I think he can go a little 70′s retro, in his jammies.




Or maybe some 60s train set jammies from Cath Kidston?

Oh, I just can’t make up my mind!

What I do know is, he’ll be beautiful and the best-dressed 2-month-old on the lake, or my name isn’t Wendy, Baby Stylist Extraordinaire.





Awesome Advice Central goes for broke

Hi Awesome Advice Central!

I have a problem with my parents. I love them, but I’m really ticked off with them right now. I need your advice A-sap.

Last year, I found out that the PsychedelicMonkeyHearts were coming to town for a one-night concert. Squee!  I love that band, especially Melanoma. No one knows what he does, but he’s so adorable, no one cares. His real name is Trey, but not everyone knows that. Adorable, right? The way he struts around the stage turns me on like, well, like anything.  He’s so brooding and deep.

Ma and Pa didn’t approve and said they wouldn’t pay for me to go. I said I didn’t mind, I could make money from my new entrepreneurial idea: a mobile rabbit-skinning and pet-sitting service. 

They said, “Okay, kid, fill yer boots,” which is their way of saying, “Go ahead and do it, we don’t approve and doubt you’ll succeed, but try anyway while we sit here and mock you.” Because that’s just how my parents are. Gotta love ‘em.

So I did. Except for that one time I mistook a highly trained dancing chinchilla for a rabbit, and had to pay the owners back for revenue lost, I made  lot of money.  More than enough to pay for my ticket to see my beloved Mel.

I put each week’s earnings into my piggy bank and watched it grow. The money, not the piggy bank. Except for that one time I was on acid, and it kind of got bigger and started singing, “We’re in the money….” But then the drugs wore off and it went back to being a regular piggy bank. alt="IMAGE-pigs-on-acid-we're-in-the-money"

Two weeks ago, the PsychedelicMonkeyHearts concert tickets went up for sale and I needed to use my parents’ credit card to make the booking. I asked them politely and told them how much it’d cost. And they said actually, their credit card was in the “red” (whatever that means), and that they needed exactly the amount I was asking them for, to get it back into the “black.”

Yeah, whatever.  Racists. 

Long and short of it is, they had grabbed my money from my piggy bank (behind my back!!) and used it to pay off their credit card!  OR SO THEY SAY. 

I’ve noticed they’ve got tickets to go to Waikiki on Monday. For 2 weeks. At the exclusive Macada-Lua-Poi Motorcourt Suites. You’ve heard of it, right? It’s where all the D-listers go. One day, I’ll be a D-lister and I’ll stay there too. 

Anyway!  They’ve only got tickets for two, and I have a stinking suspicion they’re using MY money to finance their stupid trip. 

I need to do something about this, and fast! If I can’t see Mel and the PsychedelicMonkeyHearts, I’ll DIE.  I swear I will. Please help me come up with a perfect revenge, one that won’t bounce back on me and land me in the clink.  Yeah, that wouldn’t be good.

D’arleehn D’inglebharrie

Dear D’arleehn,

Your parents sound like cruel, vile people. You know how we can tell this? Because who other than a pair of foaming-at-the-mouth psychopaths would name their kid D’arleehn?

Seriously, what were they thinking? Did they imagine you trying to spell your name out to every single person you met for the rest of your life? Did they find the thought amusing? We suspect they did.

And to steal from their daughter’s piggy bank to cover their own financial indiscretions? That’s just low. It’s lower than low. It’s lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut. It’s lower than the butt cleavage on a go-go dancer. It’s really the lowest low you can get without going any lower, that’s what it is.

And so, dear girl, we have decided to help you out. Normally we don’t go in much for revenge, because we’re such noble souls, but this time it just seems…appropriate.

All right, so here’s what you do. Since your dingbat parents seem to have failed to disguise their destination (because they’re not only low, they’re kind of dim), we have taken the liberty of calling the Macada-Lua-Poi Motorcourt Suites on their behalf, to let them know your parents might be delayed a few hours because they’re having their house fumigated after an unfortunate bed-bug outbreak.

Strangely, the desk clerk seemed to become quite agitated at this news. Long and short of the matter is, your parents’ trip has been mysteriously cancelled. Go figure.

We suggest you carpe the diem, grab their credit card, and book your concert tickets now while the booking is good. Then get out of the house, as we suspect all hell will break loose when your parents figure out what’s happened.

And you’re welcome. Least we could do.

Awesome Advice Central

p.s. And do us a favour? Lay off the LSD. Bad scene, man.


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