Category Archives: Humor

Daily Prompt: Safety First – A Close Encounter

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(Image Source: Google Image)

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

In November 2006, I ventured into Calgary after accepting an employment offer. I was keen on living in the wild west since the job market in Toronto was extremely sapless. Due to the distance, the company I joined granted me with a decent condo for a two month period, until I found permanent residency.

At first blush, the weather in Calgary was atrocious. Despite the flaky barrier, our flight landed punctually and were immediately prompted by a driver in dropping us off at our temporary nest.  The snow was mountainous and the roads were so slick it felt like we were driving on ice with small patches of drivable road. “You should’ve put some skates on this car instead of winter tires,” I joked with the driver. The driver was navigating so leisurely that I could feel myself aging. Slowly but surely we made it “home” as we neared the downtown core. We approached the ancient behemoth, unloaded our luggage and swiftly picked up our keys from the management office. We made it to our floor and located the suite (inset scary music here) which was located in the end of the hallway, snuggled against a flight of stairs.

Jostling the keys in my hand, I finally managed to find the correct match. I put the key inside and noticed that door unlocked, but the lock felt tampered. We slowly slithered into the condo as if Scooby Doo and gang we’re entering a haunted house for investigation. The obvious suspicion of intrude was labelled not only from the door but the entire carpet. There were mild footprints all over the living room and bedroom, and the unit had a unorthodox odour to it. Despite the staining, the home strangely appeared neat and tidy.

Regardless, we were on high alert and managed to sideline the issue until the superintendent was contacted. A call to my fellow Human Resources employee was placed for an explanation, since she had made arrangements for this unit. I gave here a piece of my mind as she convinced me that the “super” would make dialogue with us and rectify the situation.

The time was around 7pm and we were amidst our dinner. We were chatting about the origin of the tampered lock? Why is it so cold here? What’s there to do? Answering all the queries of a tourist without the convenience of “smartphones”. I whipped open my dell laptop, hit the google button and got to work.

All of a sudden there was a jingle of keys coming from outside our door. My wife raised her eyebrows in fear and clouded my son. We remained silent in anticipation of hearing any voices from the opposite side. There was no whispers but a buzz of someone putting a key in and struggling to enter inside. I slowly crept towards the door with my fist in the air. “Who is it?”, I yelled.

The music of keys vanished, and a thunder of footsteps followed. With cold chills, I gambled and pierced the front door open. There was a roar of feet scrambling down the stairwell as the stairway door closed. A thousand pounds lifted off my chest as the shivers slowly tapered away. “Damn guy took off,” I whispered to myself. While examining the door, I noticed (mind my lack of terminology) that the lock bar wasn’t fully locking. Using kitchen instruments, I attempted to correct the problem but to no avail we headed to bed knowing that we weren’t safe.

We slept the night in unease and thanked god the incident didn’t repeat itself, indeed that was a long night. The next morning we hunted down the superintendent and had him replace the lock promptly. As I discussed the incident with him, he mentioned something about homeless people gaining access to a few units. I gulped in fear but thanked god that nothing serious transpired from our incident.

Has anything of this nature ever happen with you?

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Humor, Personal

Replaced Obsessions

In honour of NHL hockey returning I thought it would be fun to commemorate an experience I witnessed, that’s visibly hockey related. For us Canadians it’s our beloved past time, we live and breathe hockey as like it’s the fabric of our lives. As per my “About” page, remember I love hockey.

After concluding errands and draining my wallet, the time was perfect to pamper myself, so I sped off to Pro Hockey Life in hunt of some weaponry. I already possessed a viable hockey stick at home but the heart was pulsating for the “latest and greatest,” keeping in mind not to eclipse my $125 cap because exceeding that is unjustified.

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(Courtesy: Google Images)

As I parked the car, I looked over at the Pro Hockey Life retail sign and smirked with joy like a kid arriving at “Toys R Us.” My family and I opened the doors and traipsed in hunt of daddy’s “dent in the wallet.” My evolution from wooden stick to composite stick transpired years ago, mostly for ease plus weight and couldn’t envision rewinding, though the composite sticks shoulder a hefty baggage, in terms of price.

“This one looks sick,” I elatedly said as my wife’s jaw plunged in amazement. “That’s $250,” she coded with a thrown appearance. I continued ogling all the eye candy the display walls offered, but their presentation wasn’t alluring. Finally, I noticed her from the bend of my eye! I choked to pry my eyes off her while cincturing the display shelves but her maroon body eluded me, coercing my return to her. Yes “her,” it’s just a guy thing that we distinguish our cars, trucks, hockey sticks, lawnmowers as her, you know what I mean.

I gently advanced her and inaudibly unfettered her off the prison shelves, her figure and mass were nothing short of satisfaction as I handled her firm body. “Not bad,” I muttered to myself. With my hands running down her physique, I firmly identified her holding spots as if our fate wasn’t coincidental. The brand name glistened with brightness as if she was winking at me, “Warrior.” The curve was flawless and the flex number (flexibility number) was impeccable. “Isn’t this a beauty?”, I spiritedly cheered. The only quandary was the price. Oh man! I was dismayed to learn that she was pegged at $229 and quickly quarantined a salesperson like a fraught drug addict set loose. “Is this the final price on this stick?”, I respired. “Let me go investigate,” slurred the rep. It felt like he imitated an eternity but the rep returned.

“Your lucky sir, that stick is marked down at $179,” gleamed the rep. “Crap it exceeds my cap, but she is nice, might last a while,” I pensively debated. “If you really want it, get it,” said my wife. Upon hearing that, my eyes opened up like shopping mall doors. My stomach birled with glee! “Seriously, that’s a lot of money, we can do a lot of groceries with that price,” I uttered. “It might last you longer than those other sticks that you buy,” she explained. This baby was coming home as the sales rep vanquished his sales pitch, tacked along my obsession with the stick. As I cashed out I was insinuated of the standard 30 day manufacturer’s warranty (replace in 30 days) and to have her length downsized (cut down), if needed. “Since this stick is pricey, I’m only using this stick for my ball hockey league games,” I told my wife while departing the store.

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(Courtesy: Warrior)

A month vanished, the stick and I acquainted every Friday, not that the she was furnishing the lion’s share but there was a sense of comfort in my game now, proportional to the comfort a person would have driving his own car. The stick’s weight and sleek was a welcome addition, ensuing several players inquiring her origin of purchase. About a week later, an old friend by the name of Gary inquired if I was up for playing outdoor ball hockey? “Does a bear crap in the woods? Of course I’ll be there!” I laughed.

The day landed to play with my Gary’s group as I quickly fitted my hockey bag and clutched my beloved stick. It was a morning game and I was pumped as never before, what could I say, I’m a morning person and to add the fact that I haven’t seen Gary in ages. Chugging down the highway, I finally arrived at the outdoor arena where I scrambled to perceive a vacancy within the parking lot. After cycling a few laps, I finally spotted a gentleman leaving and quickly claimed occupancy. Rushing out of the car and tossing my bag on the ground, I realized I brought both sticks with me, my good one and the backup. “The surface looks a different from what I’m accustomed too, should I take the good stick?”, I mentally debated. “Ah, what the heck,” I said as I quickly grabbed her and routed myself to the battle field.

Gary’s and his friends greeted me blissfully, considering the long hiatus. “Guys, we can hug and kiss later, let’s start,” chortled Gary’s friend. The teams were finally segregated and it was game on!

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(Courtesy: Google Images)

I found my groove with time but was unaccustomed to the outside atmosphere while still scoring a few goals and digesting some bruises. The sun addled me while running in specific directions since this wasn’t the norm in an indoor arena, obviously. The tiled ground was smooth but sticky at times, reconsidering me in reverting back to my older stick amidst the game. Half the game was done as the guys segregated out whilst discussions among one another. “Raj, how’s your wife and my kids?”, said one guy satirically to his long lost friend. Raj wasn’t to thrilled, his face amplified in anger and I honestly thought he was minutes from turning green. Boys will be boys.

The game started up again after the brief break where I ended up in a zealous foot race. During the chase, the tip of my stick got stuck with the square tile (smaller square, picture below) where she snapped from the curve all the way up! “What the heck?”, I questioned to myself. It felt like the world just crashed down on me. Here we spent almost more than a month united and you die out on me already, this is insane! “The prettier the stick, the faster they go,” said one player as he briefly divulged his experience with the deceased. In my heart I was disheartened but couldn’t hang my face as my manhood was on the line, especially in front of all these players and their machismo. I ran back to my car and dispersed her two pieces and grabbed my older stick, who didn’t disappoint me.

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(Courtesy: Google Images – Outdoor Arena Floor Tiles)

We concluded the game and I briskly contacted the store to see if the stick could be reinstated. I finally reached the manager after consuming minutes of waiting who was strict on the 30 day warranty and would need to physically examine the stick before he declared a reincarnation. When I got home, I told the tale to my wife who was the least thrilled, especially the money I shelled out for this hockey stick. At last, I found the crumpled receipt and tallied 47 days from the original date of purchase. “The manager will never replace that stick, it well exceeds 30 days,” said my wife. “I can only give it a shot, lets see what he says,” I mumbled.

An hour later, I got changed and routed myself to the store where I confronted the manager. “I’m here to see John, the store manager, I called about the broken stick,” I politely replied. Coincidently that gentleman was the manager as he commenced the examination. His eyes intently scanned the stick as he grinned with suspicion, as if I was hiding marijuana in there. “These sticks are pretty good aren’t they? They usually have a longer life expectancy,” he dictated. I attempted to translate his facial expressions but it was tough, his demeanor was very capricious as I held on with suspense.

“Ya, I’ll swap her out for ya,” he hollered. “You will!”, I surprisingly said. “Yeah, it shouldn’t be a problem, if it was heavily used than I wouldn’t be able to do it but you said you’ve only played about 4 or 5 times so it isn’t that hideous,” said the manager. I can’t believe it, the manager just did me a “solid” (a favour). That’s customer service I thought to myself! Within minutes, the manager was accompanied with a replica of lady luck. “If this one breaks, I can’t replace it again, it’s only a one time swap only,” he stressed. I signed the receipt, downsized her length and was wholeheartedly fascinated with Pro Hockey Life’s customer service. I was really lucky, not only to be serviced well but to be reconvened with “her”. Good new is that she still lives and still going strong!

Have you ever been so obsessed with an item that broke where customer service exceeded your expectations and replaced it? I got lucky cause I was a regular customer.

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Filed under Humor, Personal, Sports

The Scarce Pay Phone

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The time was 12:05pm. While I was trooping like a hungry soldier to the concourse in pursue of lunch, a bewildered man precipitously approached me. “Excuse me sir, do you know where the closest pay phone is?” he mumbled in discomfiture. “Pay phone” I replied in shock, thinking that maybe this guy is still wedged in the 90’s? Obviously, being acquainted with the building I guided the man to his destination as his face shimmered while thanking me endlessly. “Thank you sir”, he acknowledged where I quickly departed and continued my trek on muzzling my growling stomach.

After purchasing lunch, I sat down and commenced the annihilation of my meal but ultimately halted and queried myself, “Aren’t pay phones almost extinct”, as I shook my head in scepticism. Presently, those antediluvian phones are sequestered in malls, subway stations, popular city arteries, office buildings and other remote places. These booths still exist but their visibility has radically imperilled, equally has their utilization. Priced at 50 cents a call (in Toronto), whose going to use these monsters realizing that almost everyone has cut the cord and adapted the wireless life. It’s sensible to relinquish a minimal amount of pay phones to the public since they continue to fashion revenue for companies, besides not everyone can afford it, specifically with today’s data plans.

I reminice in my younger days, pay phones mushroomed everywhere; siting one at almost every second or third intersection was a norm in my city. The price for a call back then was 25 cents, boosting their usage enormously as I’d often witness a line while trolling through a strip mall enroute to home. My parents would certify that I had a few quarters in my pocket daily, never knowing when I needed to execute a critical call. Yet as time evolved, the mowing of pay phones eventually hit hard due to their lack of exploitation. Idling pay phones were wasting electricity, space and were eventually taken from outside the building to inside.

In the early 90’s the mobile industry elevated to unpredicted heights. Plans were cheap, phones were more affordable due to subsidies, cellulars were nothing but pure convenience and this trend still thrives. Although mobile phones were ginormous back then, people still purchased them, particularly my generation where it was nothing but a fashion statement. I still have my first ever Nokia 6110 which may be easily mistaken as a weapon tucked away in a box.

Have you or a friend ever required the services of a pay phone lately?

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Filed under Humor, Personal, Technical

Behind an Idling Car

After celebrating my survival of shovelling the driveway, with a few hiccups that is (2 blog posts ago), the body coveted a long shower tacked with a padded nap. However, fellow husbands can agree that slacking doesn’t exist on a Saturday morning. While arresting a few minutes of indoor heat, the wife whipped up a grocery list and blithely awarded it to me like a high school graduate receiving his/her diploma.

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Dropping my head in fatigue, I drifted towards my ride and serenely sat in my car. Anticipating that it would be smooth start, I positioned the key in the ignition and listened for any choking noise. Yes, so far so good. Normally my car requires 5-6 minutes to idle and then I’m good to go. Well what do you know? 10:01am, it’s been a minute already!

The temperature forced my cold hands to refuge under my thighs while the chattering of my teeth mirrored a song I usually hummed on a hot day. Adjusting my seat to its maximum comfort, I gazed at the ceiling and scrutinized the interior. “Damn, this car needs some cleaning,” I thought to myself while feathering through the side pockets that were stuffed with notes, reminders, old car service receipts and more. That’s about two minutes gone!

Tuning my attention to the passenger side of the car, I observed how much crap was collected, especially with all the grime and dirt that shoes drag in. There was a firm distinction of cleanliness on the factory “carpet” in my car, compared to the mat that was atop. Ogling at weeks of aggregated guck ultimately formed a hideous layer as it’d require a hefty amount of perspiration to rid of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a slob. I honour my property but sometimes the hustle bustle of everyday errands can’t accommodate everything. That’s three minutes gone already!

Reclining my seat to its limit, I lay to stretch my back and eagerly anticipated a relaxing symphony of cracks from the combination of twisting. A passerby stared at me rather mysteriously and probably thought I was a nutcase, wiggling around like a restless baby in my car. In disappointment, there were no cracking sounds so I gracefully closed my eyes for a few seconds and cleared my mind while consuming the soothing hum of my engine…

Being a husband/father, there’s never peace and quiet as the phone’s ringing suddenly jolted me from my seat. With my eyes stumbling to open, I dubiously answered as if the anaesthesia was wearing off. My 8-year-old son quietly muttered, “Are you gone shopping yet? Your car is still on the driveway!”. I forced to open my eyes and briskly glared at the time, 10:30am!!! “I’m leaving now because the car was super cold and needed extra time to get warm, see ya in a bit”, I told my son as I hastily ended the phone call.

Damn, I fell asleep for almost half an hour whilst the car running. Lesson learned, next time I’m driving the car off the driveway regardless how hot or cold it is!

Has something of this similar nature transpired with you?

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Filed under Humor, Personal

Whose Your Favourite Superhero?

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13 Comments

January 4, 2013 · 9:34 pm

My First Shovelling

Up until now I always resided in condo life and never tussled with shovels, salt and all that winter artillery. It wasn’t my cup of coffee, yet sometimes; time is the best teacher as we evolve during life. Many months ago my family and I finally ventured into our first house where their words always haunted me, “you’ll enjoy every aspect of house life but wait the till snow comes”, harped my comrades.

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Guess what?

Mother Nature had a ghastly treat for me last Thursday as it arrived in the form of some flaky white stuff. With nowhere to hide or run, I ultimately had to suck-it-up and met my enemy whom I wasn’t eager on confronting. Our city was belated for snow while we habituated in decent December temperatures, until God forwarded his “Season’s Greetings” to us. Voila, an exemplary 20cm blanket of snow sheathed our territory!

Peering out of the window with my hands over my head, I knew this had to be done as I slithered out of my bed and fortified my willpower for the upcoming hours.

As I made my way down the stairs, armed with my hulking pants, balmy shirt and hefty jacket, I captivated my final warmth of home heat and dreadfully opened the main door. Turning my head from closing the door to facing outside I conceived the appreciation of what 20cm really looks like. “Holy Crap!” and a few other foul words creeped out of my mouth as I visually examined my method of attack on my single car driveway (sidewalk splits driveway for two cars, see pic).

I’ve played in this snow when I was a kid and was never uneasy with what 20cm looks like but now I had to clean this stuff, not for the safety of my family but for neighbours who use my sidewalk for everyday use.

Like Batman mustering his armoury, I quickly exposed the garage door, grasping my shovel, gloves and a bag of salt while turning around and remotely closing my “Batcave.”

“Alright, where do I start from?”, I muttered to myself. I advanced to the porch and quickly shoved aside the flaky stuff as my shovel was continuously interrupted with the stonework (my patio floor has interlocking stones) during the shovelling process. The brief banging caused frustration as my rhythm was hindered at times.

Fist pumping in success, I realized that this wasn’t that bad as I auspiciously completed “phase one”. Staring at the remainder of the snow like a daring kid staring at a bully during recess time, I was apprehended by the fact this would ingest quite an amount of exertion. As I stepped down from the porch, I positioned my shovel and attacked the path that is attached to my main driveway. Cleaning this portion wasn’t a smooth ride as I was occasionally welcomed with clunks of ice that got me sweating faster than P90X workout. Subsequently, I then zoomed around the first parking spot that borders the path and huffed my way through.

After conquering the path and the first half of the driveway, I proceeded onto to the “never ending” sidewalk. Scrapping off the snow in the middle of the sidewalk was a breeze, conversely cleaning the sides was difficult as I was continuously reacquainting myself with grass. My neighbours probably surmised if I was unearthing for gold or shovelling the sidewalk? Tension of completing the ends of the sidewalk was distinguishing the “imaginary” property line where I was suppose to fabricate a “continue from here” point for my neighbours, since I was the early trooper out of the two of them.

The final scope was the bottom portion of my driveway that’s next to the road. Yes, success was a mere 10 minutes away! I found my tempo and quickly scrapped my way around my parked car like a Zamboni at an ice rink, but there was a twist arriving down the street. A massive snowplough mercilessly planted a 3 foot high wall of snow at the end of my driveway and buzzed down the street, as if nothing happened. The driver was cold looking and expressionless as he inexorably laid a number along all driveways within his route. He dumped that snow like it was a cheap coffin! I was in awe, angered and had the urge to annihilate something but then I collected myself and “sucked it up”.

Huffing and puffing through the final batch and bridging my family back with accessibility was like running laps around a track. I was tanked but I finally did it! Now I can go back inside with pride and tell my family that it was rough but not that bad. Clutching the shovel and returning back to the front of the house, I snatched the bag of salt that I left by the garage door. With a million dollar smile on my face, I walked around all the shovelled paths hinting salt like a baker sprinkling powdered sugar on a pastry. I was the man, but there was something missing.

As I made my way around the cars I noticed that I was inept to see my counterpart from it’s windows. Fudge! I forgot to clean the cars before shovelling! Aw man! I sat down in disbelief and was seething with anger. After cooling down with my head in my lap, I slowly got up and made my way towards the cars. “How the heck did I forget that?”, I wondered repeatedly. I grabbed a brush that I kept in my car and neatly made my away around both vehicles. The snow that released from those cars was significant and obviously required some more exertion.

After walking around like a zombie in shock I finally bulldozed the remainder of the snow and felt better that I finally got it done, the right way. My execution plan was completely aimless and I totally cultured my methodology of shovelling the driveway.

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Have you ever had an instance like this? Or even worse?

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Seriously Shopping?

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2 Comments

December 17, 2012 · 12:11 am