Other Things # 7 – One of My Most Insensitive Moments

The initial part of this story might be hard for you to believe, but it’s the truth. My first place of employment was at one of our city’s tourist attractions. I was a receptionist, and there was a restaurant in another part of the building. People would come into the reception area, and if they wanted to go for a meal in the dining room and hadn’t made a reservation, the receptionist would phone the dining room and see if there was room.

One particular evening during tourist season, a rather short, chubby couple came in and wanted to go to the dining room for dinner. Since they didn’t have a reservation, I told them I would check to make sure we could accommodate them. I phoned the hostess.

”Hello,” I said, “do you have room for two?”

The hostess assured me that they did and said, “Could I have the name please?”

I turned to the couple. “They have room, Sir. Could I have your name please?”

The man looked at me, and I started to sense a certain level of hostility as he stared at me in a somewhat threatening way and said, “Pigg — P — I — G— G.”

With the phone at my ear, afraid to even smile, I said into the receiver, “Pigg — P — I — G — G.” As Mr. Pigg and I continued to lock eyes solemnly, I listened to the hostess laughing uncontrollably. I ended the call with a “Thank you”, and the Piggs were soon on their way to dinner.

Of course, after the couple left the reception area, I laughed a great deal that evening, and I have often laughed since about the memory. In fact, it’s been one of my favourite stories to tell classes because it always gets a great reaction.

One day, I was with a grade 9 class and pulled out the Pigg story. The students, naturally, loved it, and as laughter filled the classroom, I noticed one of my students staring at me, no hint of amusement on his face. Our eyes met, and at that moment, I remembered his surname was Hogg.

Left Field

This T-ball game is boring;

I’m sitting in left field,

and if the ball comes near me,

my glove will be my shield.

I’m frightened of the baseball

cause Bobby once was hit,

and ever since that T-ball game,

in left field I just sit.

My dad says, “Don’t be frightened”,

but Bobby sure did scream,

so sitting in this field’s the way

that I support my team.

Good grief — some kid has hit it!

At me! I’m going to die!

But now the crowd is cheering

cause I just caught a fly!


At times, because I get quite bored,

I like to bug my brother, Gord.

I know that once I get him mad,

the boredom’s gone which makes me glad.

When Gord is mad, he’ll often chase

me round the yard — it’s quite a race.

I’ll scream insults and so will he

which adds excitement as I flee.

My heart will pound and I’ll run fast,

but all this fun’s too good to last.

Soon Mom gets mad and makes us quit

cause if we don’t, she throws a fit.

She’ll send us to our separate rooms

or give us extra chores with brooms.

But right now Gord is chasing me

cause Mom is gone til half past three!

Summer Blues

The summer’s here and school’s through,

but now I don’t know what to do.

I’ve played with friends and watched TV,

but now those things don’t interest me.

I’ve slept and read and cruised the Net,

until I’m bored as I can get.

I’ve swum and biked and jumped and run,

but now those pastimes are no fun.

“What should I do?” I’ve whined to Mom,

but her suggestions are just dumb.

Clean your room or write a letter —

you’d think a mother could do better!

I’m really thinking I’ll go mad

with boredom — nothing is as bad!

In school, I would sit and dream

of summer — what does all this mean?

I know I’m driving Mom insane

because I’m just a whining pain.


At solving problems, Mom’s the champ —

she just told me I’m going to camp!

My Secret

My folks will sure be angry

when I tell them the truth.

In fact, they’ll be so angry,

I know they’ll hit the roof.

They’ll disconnect my TV

because I broke their trust.

I wish I could avoid this,

but tell them — now I must!

Last night, just after supper,

my dad said, “Guess what, Son!

Your mom and I decided

this family needs some fun.”

“And so, we’re going camping.

We’re leaving Friday night.”

And since my dad’s announcement,

I’ve really been uptight.

You see, I have a secret,

I hide beneath my bed,

But if we camp for two weeks,

I’ll find my secret dead.

My Monkey

I wish I owned a monkey;

I know that we’d have fun.

He’d be just like a brother;

my folks could call him “Son”.

We’d watch TV together;

my homework we’d both do.

We’d play my favourite board games —

Monopoly and Clue.

I’d let him wear my t-shirts;

we’d skateboard everyday.

I’m sure whatever sport I’d want

that monkey would just play.

But sadly, there is no hope.

No monkey will I own.

I’m stuck with Butch, our boring dog

whose interest is his bone!

Lessons From the Beanstalk

I found some magic beans once

and planted them with glee.

I knew a beanstalk would appear

and up it, I’d soon be.

I planned to rob the giant

who lives upon a cloud.

I’d steal his magic harp and goose

and make my parents proud.

And so the giant stalk grew

which I then climbed in haste.

The harp and goose I soon snatched

and me, the giant chased.

He chased me down the beanstalk,

yelling with great might,

but soon I got to my house

and knew I’d be all right.

The harp and goose I showed Mom,

and then I showed my dad,

but much to my amazement —

neither one was glad!

“You must return those things, Jeff,

or you’ll end up in jail.

Robbing is a crime, Jeff.”

My face turned ghastly pale.

Mom marched me up the beanstalk;

I clutched the stolen goods.

Mom lectured me the whole time

that we walked through the woods.

The giant was quite gracious

and said that I would learn.

The goose and harp I gave him

and for them, I still yearn.

And so I’ve learned my lesson,

not to be a crook

and learned my parents are unlike

the parents in a book!