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The stupid things we do
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:58
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Sep 21, 2003

Claudia, I liked your opening post in the topic "A propos d'étourderies" in the French forum so much that I translated it into English to show it to my wife. There are some other very amusing stories in that topic too.
Then I thought, why not give it wider circulation?
So to start it off, here is what Claudia Iglesias said:

About doing stupid things

I could make a long list of them. Once I was preparing the feed bowls for my canaries; I have several cages, from which I take out the feed bowls, fill them on the table and put them back in the cages. But one day, instead of putting one feed bowl in its cage, I opened the washing machine and emptied it into there, as if it were the washing powder, don't ask me why.

And I think this must be a record - no doubt you'll tell me if it isn't. On two occasions, I asked the way from a blind man, once in London and once in Buenos Aires. They did give me good directions, but when I realised what I'd done, I wasn't proud of myself.

And finally (though I have more of them): one evening, I was undressing my three-year-old daughter for her bath, and I noticed she was wearing pants which weren't hers. I asked her: "What happened, darling, did you pee in your pants?" She stared at me and said accusingly: "It was you who didn't put my pants on this morning!" I had just slipped her dress on and that was all, but at school, she'd started dancing.

OK, so having started this thing, I'd better contribute something myself.

A long time ago, when I was an engine fitter in the Royal Air Force, I had to drain a tank of de-icing fluid from an aircraft. The tank was above my head so I was unscrewing the drain plug from below. When the plug finally came out, my head was directly under it, so my hair got soaked in de-icing fluid, and stood up in spikes for days afterwards.

[Edited at 2003-09-21 20:03]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:58
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I'm glad that I could inspire you, Jack Sep 21, 2003

but suddenly I feel ashamed as many more people are going to read this


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:58
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Travelling bag Sep 22, 2003

I worked almost two years in the Blohm&Voss shipyard, in Hamburg. Every morning I would leave for work with my briefcase and the garbage bag, and leave the latter in a big garbage can outside the building.

Some day I must have been daydreaming more than usual, for the garbage bag travelled with me all the way to the yard (through a bus, two trains and a ship across the Elbe).

Enrique


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:58
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
Enrique! Sep 22, 2003

Some day I must have been daydreaming more than usual, for the garbage bag travelled with me all the way to the yard (through a bus, two trains and a ship across the Elbe).


What about the briefcase, did you leave it in the garbage can?


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:58
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nobody is free of sin Sep 22, 2003

I used to travel to college by train. One day, I went by car. When I got back home walking, my father asked me what had happened to the car!
Only then did I realize I had forgotten the car downtown!

Excellent thread, my friends!

Regards,
Andrea


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Nina Snoj
Slovenia
Spanish to Slovenian
+ ...
Things better not to say Sep 22, 2003

I borrow this story from my friend who is a hairdresser (not that I dont have "stupid" stories of my own...).
Oneday a regular client comes in and, in front of everybody who was in the saloon at the moment, he greeted her. After some small talk he asked her if she is pregnant (judging by her appearance) assuming thats good news.She replied (again, in front of everyone) "No. I suppose I am just fatter".


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:58
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Lost car Sep 22, 2003

I had just arrived in Cape Town to visit my parents. My sister had just come out of hospital and needed her painkillers urgently. So I used my father's new car to zoom off to the local mall with the prescription and a long shopping list. I dumped the car, rushed into the mall, got the precription filled and did all the shopping in record time. So it was time to return home - but where was the car? It was a white (like most South African cars in those days) Toyota (very popular). I didn't know which model, I didn't know where I'd parked it, I didn't know the car number, I didn't know my parents telephone number (speed dial on my phone - at home) and they weren't in the phone book (having just moved in), my brother-in-law was away and there were hundreds of white cars in the huge car park that had filled up at a tremendous speed. To top it all, I was pushing a heavy trolley full of shopping and I was supposed to be in a hurry! Arrgghhh! I couldn't keep pressing the unlocking button hoping for a beep somewhere as the battery was already low. The only identifier was my cardigan on the back seat. There was nothing for it but to look on the back seats of all white Toyotas - this gained me lots of strange looks. In the end, someone took pity and helped me look. It took nearly 20 minutes.

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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:58
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
:) Sep 22, 2003

Before I had laser surgery, I used to be extremely short-sighted, which in itself, is a perpetual source of étourderies. You know, saying hi to people you don't know, not saying hi to people you do know, because you never saw them, stopping the wrong bus and only realizing it when the bus is stopped in front of you and the driver is waiting for you to step in, etc. Some years ago, when I was in the US, I was standing waiting for something somewhere when I saw a person standing beside me with a long T-shirt that said in big letters "Just do it" and had a lot of little pink drawings, which were too blurry for me to understand what they were. For some reason, I felt an irrepressible curiosity to see what they represented, so I squinted at them, drawing my face near and quite forgetting that someone was actually wearing the T-shirt. I finally saw that the little pink things were cartoon pigs making love in every position imaginable, and that the owner of the T-shirt was an extremely tall guy who was staring at me with a definitely unfriendly look. Well, if he didn't want to be stared at, he should have worn a different shirt, shouldn't he?

I'm also a compulsive reader, so when I am on a bus or a train and I don't have something of my own to read, I confess that my eyes wander to whatever the people around me are reading. One day I was on a train and the guy sitting beside me was reading "Crónica," the local equivalent to "The Sun," "Bild" and other such dailies. At one point, he asked me: "Can I turn the page now?" And I thought I was being very discreet! Luckily, the guy had a sense of humor and he laughed it off. The worst, of course, was to be caught sneaking a peek at "Crónica"! If at least it had been a decent newspaper!

(Claudia, where do you get those smilies? I love them!)


[Edited at 2003-09-22 14:06]


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Taking my son to... where? Sep 22, 2003

When we lived in a Chicago suburb, it would take my husband and I each 50 minutes to drive to our workplace (a hospital in downtown Chicago) -as long as we left the house before 6:40 AM. After that, as the highway started getting packed, we had to add more and more commuting time to our 37 km route. (Leaving home after 7:00 meant a commute of about 70 minutes).

My husband was never able to come home from work early, but I was, so to put in a regular workday, in the morning I'd always leave the house first. This left my husband in charge of taking our son, then 2 and a half, to his school for the day. Our son was used to being dropped off at school by his dad & picked up in the afternoon by his mom. The school was only at 3 km of our home and required a small detour from our path to work.

One day my husband had to start doing a procedure extremely early, so my son needed to be dropped off at school by me.

I, in turn, that day had to start a lesson for the medical students promptly at 8:00 AM, so I left home with my son with enough time.

So there we were, my son and I in the car, chatting and singing and finding interesting things on the road, when I suddenly "woke up": with horror, I realized that I had passed his school by about 20 km!! I had automatically taken the same route I took every morning, straight to work, completely bypassing the school and my son's drop-off!

We were just too far away to go back to the school --if I was to be at work by 8:00. So I made a split-second decision: I took my son in!

Needlesss to say, my students were quite amused to have a toddler sitting in their Cardiovascular Pathology class!


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 15:58
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
another one about cars Sep 22, 2003

One day I had to leave something to wash in a dry cleaning. There was nowhere to park the car except in front of the restaurant near to it, but of course, it was forbidden. I thought that I would do it so quickly that they wouldn't even notice, so I parked the car, got down, and immediately there were people from the restaurant telling me that I couldn't stay there. The problem was that I had left my keys in, and the engine was on. And of course, the door was locked.
As soon as I realized that I also remembered that there was very few gasoline, and I was afraid because if we couldn't open the car, I would be obliged to take it away with a crane.
So the people who wanted to grumble at me had to help me to open the door. They did it with a hanger from the dry cleaning. At the end there were 4 people trying to help me, but I couldn't leave what I wanted in the dry cleaning.

For the smilies, some good links

http://www.fadzter.com/smilies/

http://www.cavycompendium.com/forums/misc.php?do=showsmilies

http://www.netshrine.com/vbulletin2/misc.php?do=showsmilies

http://www.crownvic.us/forum/misc.php?do=showsmilies



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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:58
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cool! Sep 23, 2003



[Edited at 2003-09-23 01:40]


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Andrea Ali  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:58
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let's see... Sep 23, 2003




Yes!!! I did it!!!



[Edited at 2003-09-23 06:07]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:58
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I'm experimenting too. Sep 23, 2003



Yes! So did I!

But I've been trying to do the same with files from my own computer, without success. How can you do that?

[Edited at 2003-09-23 10:55]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
German to Italian
+ ...
coffee! Sep 23, 2003

As a coffee addict, I make coffee several times a day, both for me and the rest of my family. Years ago, it happened quite a few times that I forgot to put water in the machine, and then waited so long for the coffee... After 15 minutes or so the machine was red hot and well on the way to melt And once I didn't forget water, but coffee itself: for some reason, the drink didn't look as dark as usual

[Edited at 2003-09-23 10:51]


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Araksia Sarkisian  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:58
Armenian to Polish
+ ...
Garbage travelled overseas....:) Sep 23, 2003

This is a REAL story:

Our friend ordered a shipping company to deliver his furniture and etc. from Poland to USA (Door-To-Door Service), after his "mission was accomplished" in Poland.

The guys from the company were real professionals and you can't say, that they were lazy: they managed to pack and put all the stuff in the waitin' truck within 3-4 hours!

The problem appeared later, when the truck was already on it's way to the port, our friend tried to find the new plastic trash can, that he bought just before the "event" and put the trash bag in it with all the garbage and etc.... (They had cats in the house too...and they had cleaned after them too...)

The destination was not to the East Coast...so this trash bag with all the aromatic "ingredients" in a brand new plastic can travelled 3-4 weeks!!!

Don't ask me what did they feel, when they open the big box in themiddle of August...:)

The journey took much longer, than that one over Elbe...:)

When I heard about it, I was laughing like a child!

Even now there are tears in my eyes...:)



[Edited at 2003-09-23 17:20]


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