Mental Floss

Customer Disservice, Obscure Talents and Youth Sports

Jason English

On Wednesday, I had this exchange with a Continental gate agent:

Me [being ultra polite]: "My wife is pregnant and she's been standing on the security line for forty minutes. Is there any chance we can board the plane with the first wave of passengers?"

Her [being ultra condescending]: "Sir, that privilege is reserved for our EliteAccess and OnePass members."

They let us board with the people needing extra assistance, which is exactly the crew with which I wanted to be lumped. No big deal. But the snobbery was not appreciated. While this certainly doesn't qualify for any worst-exchanges-with-customer-service lists, it brings us to today's first question:

1) What was your most harrowing customer service experience? (Here's mine.)

2) Which author's next book are you most eagerly anticipating?

3) A few months ago, InternAllison had a great post about oddly specific museums. What's the strangest museum you've ever visited?

4) What's your most impressive obscure talent?

5) Growing up, my town's intramural basketball program had one really intense referee. He fancied himself a professional, and wasn't above hitting eight-year-olds with technical fouls.

One time, in third grade, an errant shot bounced up onto the stage (the gym was an all-purpose room, provided those purposes were basketball, physical education classes and school assemblies). I hopped up to retrieve it and walked back toward the court. At that moment, the ref blew his whistle, spinning his arms in an exaggerated manner. "Traveling!" he exclaimed. I was not very good at basketball, but I could see the boundary line and knew the stage was beyond it. "I never stopped play," he barked, using every ounce of his limited power. "Only I decide what's out of bounds."

So today's last question is this: What's your best, worst or most absurd youth sports memory?

[See previous Friday Happy Hours.]