Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bottle of Wine?

This is one of those mistaken lyrics type situations except it wasn't a song.

I work in a fast food restaurant currently and while performing my duties just outside the drive through station I overheard something along the lines of the following:

"Hi! Welcome to *****. What would you like to order today?"

"I would like the double burger meal."

"Certainly. What size fries would you like?"

"Just the regular size."

"Would you like a bottle of wine with that?"

I'll admit I wasn't paying close attention but that is what I thought I heard. I listened closer and thought I heard several more references to a bottle of wine. I know that isn't what she was saying but I can't figure out what it was she was actually saying instead.

Since we don't have a liquor license and this was the drive through, I found this quite amusing. It's just so wrong. I had to mention this to my coworker Jassi, who laughed her head off over it. One of the managers decided I was just fixated on the need for an alcoholic drink.

When I returned home, I had to share this gem with the boys who work at the same restaurant. Brandon laughed when he heard who was on the drive through. Turns out awhile back, he thought he heard her say the same thing. Brandon doesn't like wine so this mishear isn't just me or my semi-deaf ears.

More Humour From Pico (titles and photo are clickable links to these pages)

Lost in the Translation

Being married to someone with a different first language has led to some amusing moments. Here are my best of the best.

More Conversations With Customer Service

This is a second collection of humour from my time as a call centre agent. I think you can find humour just about anywhere. There is a sidebar link to the first collection when you are visiting this page.

Captain Underwear

This was an epic long distance cycling wardrobe fail on my part. I felt foolish at the time but it is a great story.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Ice Is Broken

Public speaking training was an important part of attending Ambassador College. One of the most valuable skills I learned there. Tracy the young lady from the previous story who despised me happened to get assigned to the same beginners speech lab as me.

One of our first assignments was to record our voice reading something to the rest of the group. The idea was to give us something to evaluate and work with. I stumbled out of the gate but ended up making one of the best friends I made at college.

Without going into any embarrassing details, the selections I chose didn't do a good job of yielding a sample of my speaking voice. The class found the whole thing extremely funny – tears rolling down faces funny. I passed the assignment but didn't really accomplish anything for my public speaking. After class Tracy and I walked down to the student centre together. She was still very amused and told me that I wasn't at all the stuffed shirt so and so she had thought I was. Maybe looking foolish is one of my most endearing qualities.

After that we went to a lot of activities together and had a lot of fun. We dated a few times although that needs a little clarification. At Ambassador College we students were pretty much required to date but as freshman we were forbidden to get romantically involved. If you attended there during those years you'd understand. If you didn't please don't ask me to explain that. Tracy and I were always just good friends. We were never romantically involved.

All students also attended something called Spokesman's Club. Clubs were limited in size so there had to be quite a few of them and each had a mix of lower and upperclassmen. The clubs for men would have a ladies night and the ladies would have men night. We were expected to have dates for that event. For my first ladies night, I brought along Tracy. For a not very confident young man this could be quite intimidating. Especially table topics which all the club members were expected to participate in.

A topicsmaster is given the floor and asks a series of questions for members to discuss. During ladies night the first thing you would do when responding to a question would be to introduce your date. I heard a safe subject to comment on and raised my hand. When selected I rose nervously to my feet. I'm Canadian I don't look nervous ever but that didn't mean my mind was fully functional. I paused to think during Tracy's introduction the think glancing down. It looked like I glanced down to check her name tag. That is not what I was doing. There were a few snickers and Tracy of course found it hysterically funny not doubting that I just might have done that on purpose. She gave me a playful smack over the head for it later.

Before club was over it was announced that our club had managed to volunteer a group to answer literature request phone calls. Out of respect for the ladies present, they were invited to join us if they wanted to. Tracy was of course all excited about that and that episode is a whole other story.

Related Stories

First impressions aren't always correct. Sometimes they're even way off base. By the time our initial encounter was over Tracy absolutely hated my guts. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Despised In Her Eyes

Back in 1981 I got to travel with my family to Observe the Feast of Tabernacles in the Ozarks, Missouri. This was my last feast before college and I coincidentally met quite a few future classmates and made a lot of friends. I'm still in touch with a few of them through Facebook. Things did not however roll along smoothly.

If I remember correctly, it was called youth day. Church services were in the morning and in the afternoon there was a youth volleyball tournament. Prior to the games though there would be a bible bowl trivia competition between church congregations. Teams of four would face off against each other. Because of time constraints there would be only one round.

My siblings and I were gungho to participate in everything and signed up for both. We found enough other similarly inclined bodies to form a volleyball team named The Golden Boys but that is a whole other story. Since there were four of us we didn't need anyone else to form a bible bowl team. In this case we named ourselves the St. Catharines, Canada team because that was our actual church area. We were matched up with Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Of the four of us, only I had any experience in this kind of competition but we did have something in our favour. My parents as a family tradition read from the bible to us every single day for our entire lives up to that point. When it came to basic bible trivia, we rocked. From what I saw throughout the whole competition Tulsa probably would have beaten any other team there but against they didn't have a chance.

I got to hear Tulsa's view of this victory from their perspective. Tracy Williams was on that team and a year later we were college classmates and were in several classes together. She said her pastor who was administering the competition kept going over to them while we were answering questions rubbing their faces in it. “Maybe you kids should study your bibles more. You should be more like these Canadians.”

It gets worse. My parents and I had a miscommunication before the activities. I thought we would eat lunch at our campsite so I didn't bring my casual clothes with, never mind my gym clothes. I went through the whole afternoon wearing a suit. What normal teenager wears a suit to anything besides a church service? Is it any wonder that Tracy hated my guts?

This the first instalment of a series of stories. I will link them all together. They are written because I'm mentally working through something. I really don't care if anyone reads them all and don't expect to do anything with them when I'm done.

Related Stories

The Ice Is Broken

My true personality comes through and I go from being despised to being a friend. In fact I would rank her as one of the best friends I had the whole time I spent at Ambassador College.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Lumber Launcher

It was election time in Quebec and for whatever reason the local liberal party candidate came to tour our rocking chair factory. Fifty person entourage filling the aisles between all those potentially dangerous machines.  My job at the time was operating the manual shaper, the most tempermental of them all. The job that day was heavy chair armrests. This particular job was very difficult. During development I launched several of those arms across the shop. One those actually warped the machine's shaft. I always wore a protective apron made from the same material they use to make flak jackets. I was on vacation though and a rookie was filling in for me.

Within the hour before the arrival of the group, our rookie accidentally launched  one of those armrests across an aisle. Just missed the mortising machine operator. After the group, left another armrest went flying the other direction and hit the bandsaw operator in the back of the neck. Fortunately he was not seriously injured. After the fact my supervisor found the whole scenario hysterically funny as he explained to me why they saved the rest of that order for my return.

If you liked this short story. Have a look at these articles.

Lost In the Translation

My wife and I grew up speaking different languages. This has led to a number of funny stories. In this article I recount the best of the best.

Memories of an Old Cabinetmaker

I've worked with quite a variety of people in my time. This old Croatian man and his son were an interesting pair to work for especially the father. He had some rather unique moments for me to remember.