Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When Your Brain Turns Off

As you are aware, Skylar is a smart person. Like, I think he might actually be a genius

Sometimes I think that maybe his brain is functioning at such a high level that when it has to do day-to-day insignificant computing it's like "BASIC THOUGHT IS FOR POOR PEOPLE I CAN'T BE BOTHERED WITH THIS!"

And so he dies trying to make toast in the bathtub right after winning Jeopardy.

A few weeks ago Adam had a pumpkin-carving party at his house and I knew Skylar was going to be at the grocery store that day at some point and so, hoping to save myself a trip, I asked him to pick up two pumpkins for the party.

For a second I was like, "Ok, Eli. Maybe you should call him and micromanage this." But I stopped myself because Skylar haaaaaaaaates being micromanaged by me just because of these like 15 to 30 times when he was cooking and I was hovering over him constantly saying things like "stir it this way" and "you're doing that wrong" and "here, let me just take over. Go outside and play."

So I didn't. I didn't micromanage him. I decided to choose my micromanaging battles and save my contributions for times when the instruction truly leaves a lot of room for discretion.


"Please pick up two pumpkins for the pumpkin-carving party" is not ambiguous instruction. Surely if you asked 1,000 people to do this, 998 of them would come back from the store with essentially the exact same thing.

Well, as it turns out, the other 2 people in that sampling are Rebecca (we already knew this) and Skylar (it has now been confirmed). Because when I got home from work, I discovered the following sitting by the door on my driveway:


By the way, the orange one was like the biggest pumpkin I've ever seen in my entire life.

When I asked him how he planned to carve the white one, he responded "oh are we carving these?"

No, Skylar. Adam is just hosting a pumpkin-carving party and he asked us to bring our favorite pumpkins as our guests.

It's like that time I asked him if he liked going to haunted houses and he was like "I guess. But, I mean . . . I don't believe in them." And I was like "what do you mean you don't believe in them?" And he said back to me like he was trying to get me to confirm the secret that the adults have been keeping from him, "like, I don't believe that they're actually haunted."

Or the other week when I mentioned that brownies are just chocolate bread and he responded, "I mean, I guess that's true. But then what would you call normal bread?"

Or the time he saw a button in his car while he was sitting in a car wash and he didn't know what it was so he pushed it and it popped the trunk open and then he panicked and reversed the vehicle and drove into the car behind him because he couldn't see it since the trunk was popped open.

Ok. That last one was me. BUT STILL.

We all have these moments. What's your best one?

~It Just Gets Stranger

38 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh!! That car wash story!

    I think my worst was dropping the car keys into a hole in the bumper of the truck because for some reason I was curious to see if they would fit in the hole. They did. I was maybe ten years old. We were on vacation in a small town in Brazil and that was the only set of keys my parents had. I don’t remember how long it took for my dad to fish the keys back out of the hole but I was in big trouble. “Why did you do it, Mimi?? Just to see if they fit . . .”

    Ten was a bad year for me making good choices, because it was also the year that I decided to see whether I could guess my dad’s password on his work laptop. The internet and laptops were all very new, and I definitely made the computer lock up from all my attempts. We were on vacation in a cottage in the woods in Vermont. My dad had to call IT back in Detroit, and it was complicated getting the laptop to unlock. Big trouble again. “Why did you do it, Mimi?” “To see if the password was something about me . . .”

    As an adult, I still feel a little dumb that I honest to goodness was making a casserole that required a can of cream of chicken soup. Lacking that, I substituted a can of chicken noodle soup. As I’m sure you can imagine, it was disgusting. How could I have ever thought that would work??


    (Michelle Collett)

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    1. As i began reading your comment, i legitimately thought to myself “no way, my sister did the same thing once” haha and then of course it was you.

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    2. Hahaha love it

      MC

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  2. Thank you for the loud laugh I just received from the trunk/car wash scenario. 💜

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  3. So maybe this counts as one of those moments - at Purdue in a room full of fellow students, I suddenly connected the dots and realized for the very first time even though i have been eating them my whole life that Rice Krispies are made of... rice (puffed). And I stood and shouted something very similar to “eureka!” Or maybe that’s exactly what I shouted. Either way, everyone of course wanted to know what I had discovered and why I was so excited and turns out, everyone else already knew that. Another time my friend was telling a story about how her husband won a planking competition, and i let the story go on for a while, but then I couldn’t take it anymore and asked “so he just had to stand there holding up what, a two by four longer than anyone else? Or was it a bigger piece of wood?” And it was a while before everyone was done laughing enough to tell me that they were holding plank position... which of course I have heard of, having done yoga for years. But ii still have that image in my head, of her husband holding up a two by four for a long time just so he can win bragging rights. Also, yes, have heard all the dumb blonde jokes. “Oh so your blonde is real, huh?” A. Rose, not at all bitter.

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    1. The planking story is how I thought also, then I started seeing people planking everywhere. Has the novelty worn off I wonder?

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  4. Me and husband go to doctors office because he's got an infected pimple in the back of his head. Long story short, doctor gives him local anesthesia, does whatever it is a doctor does in these situations, and we're heading home.
    As we walk out of the front door, I'm wondering to myself, has the anesthesia worn off yet? I always take it upon myself to provide due diligence whenever a scientific inquiry arises. So I slapped him in the numbed area, he stumbled forward and thought he tripped on something. But there is nothing around his feet nor anywhere to be seen. Then his eyes widen as it dawned on him: "Did you just push me". Being the honest person I am, I told him "No, I didn't push you" and I mumbled "but I did slap you."
    Anyways, the local anesthesia really does work, and I'm still on the lookout for a revenge strike.

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  5. I can't tell if those are the biggest or smallest pumpkins ever to pumpkin. Please use Duncan for scale next time ;) Actually, always use Duncan for scale in every picture you ever take. More Duncan!

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  6. Another car wash story from me...
    I did the whole selection/payment process on the little machine through my open window. Then when it said "Drive Forward" I very obediently did so while putting my credit card back in my wallet. Only issue was...I forgot to roll up the window before I drove forward so my passengers and I all got a really good soaking from the jets that spray when you enter. Wah Wah.

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  7. I once went out of my hotel room without my key just because I was curious to see if the door would lock behind me. It did.

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  8. Press and Seal Saran Wrap. I wanted to show how well the stuff worked so I pressed it onto a salad bowl and tipped it upside down. It held for all of .00001 seconds before dumping the contents all over the floor. Was called “press and seal” by my friends for awhile.

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  9. One Home Depot run, I had to use the restroom, going on instinct and not reading the signs, I went in the right one. As I'm in the stall I see through the slit a man walk into the restroom. My first thought?? "Ohhhhh, he's gonna be soooooo embarrassed when he realizes he's in the women's room." Then another man walked in, and it slowly dawned on me that maybe THEY weren't the ones in the wrong bathroom. I waited a bit hoping they'd leave and I could slip out, but they lingered, so I bee-lined it out of the stall and across the way to wash my hands. It wasn't until I was back in the aisle that I realized I'd left my wallet in the stall in my fury to escape. I'm pretty sure the guy who brought me my wallet didn't buy the story that my 'husband' had left it in there.

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    1. I can absolutely see myself in this story!

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  10. I was well into my mid-twenties and years into working on an English degree when I realized that the hard candy-like medicines people suck on to relieve a cough or a sore throat are in fact called "cough drops" and not "coughterops" as I had previously thought. "Cough drops" of course, makes much more sense, but I blame the Utah accent for making me think those two words were one word pronounced "coughterops" for well over two decades.

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    1. It couldn't be coughterops, because we Utahans (is that really what we call ourselves? It doesn't look right) are incapable of pronouncing Ts in the middle of words. Case in point, no one pronounces Layton as Lay-TON, it's Lay-un. I have several out of state friends who like to see if they can get me to say certain words with my "Utah accent".

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    2. Valid point The Suzzzz, mostly I just wanted something to blame besides my own slowness. But speaking of Utah cities and our pronunciation of them, my all-time favorite is probably Mantua. I'm pretty sure we add a couple of letters into that word when we say it.

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    3. Ah yes, good old Man-a-way. I intentionally pronounce it as Man-Too-Ah just to bug people.

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    1. Ha! I wanted to do this too, and held off, but now i want in to whatever it is too. 7788.

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  12. I was so tired after a long flight with two kids and hubby, pushing daughter in stroller I whipped her into the first restroom I found, and thought why is that Man at the sink and then another man opened a stall door while I stood there with the stroller and my daughter trying to process why they are in the women's bathroom, after several long seconds of staring at each other everyone frozen in place I said uh is this the men's restroom? and one of the men who was also frozen watching me said yes. And I turned the stroller around and fled. Longest ten seconds ever.

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  13. I was in 7th Grade and in my wood shop class, when I noticed holes drilled into the work benches. They were there so that you could mount a clamp...or something. We all stood around watching the teacher demonstrate a tool and I slipped each of my fingers in the hole one at a time. The middle finger didn't come out. After the demonstration was over, everyone went back to their benches except me. I had to raise my hand and say "My finger is stuck in this hole." That poor shop teacher worked all class period to get it out. Nothing worked. The bell rang and everyone went to their next class, and the next class of wood shop students came in. Eventually, they had to drill a hole next to my finger and chisel out the space in between to free my cold, black, finger.

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    1. Jenalee, soap makes an excellent lubricant in a pinch. Just in case this ever happens again.

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    2. They tried soap. And butter from the cafeteria....back when you could serve butter in school. I was a painfully shy child, and it was AWFUL.

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    3. Wow, you REALLY got it stuck, that's talent!

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  14. One of my favorites is from when I was in college and I was house/dogsitting for a wealthy lady and her adorable rascal pup. I must have let the dog out of my sight for 2 minutes and she got into a bathroom and drug the toilet paper alllll over the house. The whole roll was dragged out and a total mess. I was horrified and I tried to clean it up as fast as I could, except in my brilliance I just gathered it all up and flushed it all down the toilet. The whole roll. So obviously the toilet overflowed and flooded the whole bathroom. So I flushed it again to try and get it to go down - more flooding. At this point there was water and wet toilet paper everywhere and a puppy prancing around tracking it all over the house. I finally called some friends in tears and one of them brought over a plunger and towels and we managed to get the whole place cleaned up. I felt like such an idiot! Thank god this was before the time of internet accessible home security cameras so I don’t think she ever found out I flooded half her downstairs.

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  15. I was probably about 20 when I realized that I had mispronounced Yosemite for my whole life. (In my mind it had two syllables and rhymed with hose-might).

    As I was walking past a metal grate with air blowing up through it, I decided that I wanted a Marilyn Monroe moment, and thus preceded to wander over to the metal grate to capture my ten seconds of fame. Fortunately, I didn't actually step on to the metal grate (or if I did, I have developed a mental block of it).

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  16. We picked up a rental car in Denver this past summer. I knew the e-brake was on but as I didn't see a hand brake I figured there must be a handle near the peddles, which my mom's old KIA had for the e-brake. So I reach down and sure enough find a handle there so I pull and a panel of plastic comes loose in my hand. I just sit there staring wondering if I broke the car while my cousin laughed her ass off and my brother rolled his eyes. Turns out I pulled the cover to the fuse box off.

    Turned out the e-brake was a peddle that needed to be pushed to disengage.

    I also once looked at the name "Roger" (written out) and pronounced it aloud as "Rogue-er". My family had a wtf moment figuring out what I was talking about.

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  17. So at one of my jobs in the not so distant past we had a co-worker who was a little bit of a space cadet. There are MANY stories of her confusion over the meaning of words and phrases. The one that had all of us dying with laughter on the inside who painfully maintaining masks of calm professionalism on the outside so as not to hurt her feelings is as follows.

    Jane (not her name, but you know the drill) had left work for an extended lunch break to meet her mother at a funeral luncheon of a distant relative. When Jane arrived back at the office one of our co-workers who had known the deceased as well asked Jane about the luncheon and the services. Jane said that her mom told her that the funeral was really beautiful and that the graveside servants were really nice. I immediately had to turn away and bury my face in a file to hide my reaction to "graveside servants", but I couldn't stifle the snort of surprise when she stopped mid sentence and asked in all earnestness "So, what exactly do the graveside servants do? Are they like the guys that lower the coffin into the ground?". I covered it with a cough and excused myself. I stepped into a back room and dissolved into a giggle fit that lasted WAY longer than it should have. Things like this are much funnier when you're trying desperately not to laugh.

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    1. ooh here is one i just remembered about my own friend “Jane”. She was a good friend in high school, and was telling us about a unit study they had been working on in her psychology class, or some similar class. The topic was “euthanasia”- but as she was telling us about the group project she had to do and i think was supposed to present in a few days she said to me, “i just don’t understand what the big deal is, i mean why are we doing a whole unit on YOUTH IN ASIA, aren’t there problems here in the US?” And i could not even. I mean, i think at first i just stared at her, unbelieving that she had gone through a whole couple weeks worth of discussions and still not gotten it. When i was finally able to formulate a question, her response was something like, “well, i had wondered why so many youth in Asia were dying, and i thought that was the issue.” Note: this friend is, in all other areas of life, very capable and intelligent.

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    2. This gal was infamous for mixing words up. Just examples of words she confused for each other: condolences for compliments, monogamy for mahogany, subpoena for penis, Mediterranean for subterranean, etc.

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  18. Thanks for this post and all the Comments -- hilarious!
    In my early 20s I visited a man who was to be in hospital for months. I thought I'd cheer him up with a joke -- it was about a man (off to the Crusades) who put his wife in a chastity belt but gave the key to his best friend. The man's wife was standing right next to me by his bed. Nobody laughed. It only occurred to me years later what I had implied. Jeesh.

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  19. I have so many things I could tell you here. I’ll stick with just a couple. When I was little I noticed some road work happening in our little town near a very small Catholic Church. At that time I didn’t know what kind of church it was. My mom told me that they were adding some lights and a pedestrian crossing. Being little and expecting things to be fair, I asked why all the other churches didn’t have their own crossing if the Pedestrian church got one. My mom got a pretty good laugh about that one.

    Also, one Christmas season I was very pregnant with twins and had zero brain cells working properly. Pregnancy brain is real, folks. We were out looking at Christmas lights in neighborhoods and saw one house decked out in Christmas decorations and Harry Potter characters and stuff (the houses of this neighborhood tended to be themed or animation characters, that kind of stuff). Even after talking about the Harry Potter theme, I was still so confused why they would decide to give Santa brown hair and dingy clothes. My husband had a good laugh helping me to understand that it wasn’t Santa, but Hagrid.

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  20. Most of my moments like this (that I remember) happen when I'm cooking. I once made taco meat with too much cinnamon. Yes, you read that correctly, cinnamon. I was maybe 14 and was trying to remember what spices my dad used whenever he made tacos and could've sworn that cinnamon was one. They tasted so bad that we threw out the abundant leftovers.

    Another time, in college, I was making box mac and cheese while talking to my (dairy intolerant) housemate. I had just finished letting the water boil, opened up the cheese packet, and dumped it into the water. It took a moment to realize what I had done and she ended up asking me, "Do you normally put the cheese in the water?" We both had a good laugh about it and I started over, making two boxes of bland mac and cheese.

    Later in college, I lived with some girls who weren't very good at keeping the kitchen clean and would regularly use my dishes without cleaning them afterward. I was in a rush and made a box of pasta for dinner. Rather than use my colander, which was still dirty, I figured I would just use the pot lid to strain the pasta, which I had done before successfully. The pot was heavier than I expected and my hands slipped, pouring all of the pasta into the sink. Laughed about it, scooped the noodles up, rinsed them off as best I could, and put them back in the pot. I wasn't about to waste the food and I didn't have time to make anything else, although I made sure not to share the leftovers just in case. Otherwise, I promise I'm a relatively competent person and a decent cook.

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  21. After finals one year, I returned home for Thanksgiving break with a fried brain and was soon thereafter sent on an errand to Walmart for my mom. They had remodeled the Walmart while I was at school, so I went into the men's bathroom thinking it was the women's. I didn't see any men when I first went in, but while I was washing my hands, a man exited a stall and began washing his hands a few sinks down from me. I assumed he must be the janitor, washing his hands after a messy job, so I tried to act like I was comfortable with this situation and that I understood he was only doing his job and not being a creeper. But he kept smiling at me with this knowing grin, and it really started to scare me. Before I could finish my plan of what I would scream when I was assaulted by the Walmart janitor in the women's bathroom and which, if any, Walmart cashier would spring to my rescue in answer to my screams, another man emerged from a stall and started washing his hands. He also gave me strange looks. I wondered what must be going on in this bathroom to require not one but two creepy janitors, and I decided that I needed to get out as soon as possible. I headed toward the paper towels only to see yet another man enter the bathroom and give me a look of glee. I frantically dried my hands, crumpled my paper towel, and, just as I threw it away, my brain finally mustered the strength to think of another, albeit much more likely, possibility. This was the men's bathroom. "Oh," I said aloud to the three of them. "Sorry." They all laughed, and I left to find the whip cream so I could go home.

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