Orthodontist

Me: ‘Hallo, good afternoon. I received this phone number from my dentist as I need to contact a specialist who makes braces on the teeth of my daughter..’
She (smiling voice): ‘Good afternoon, you are at the right place.’
Me: ‘Superb. So can we fix an appointment?’
She: ‘Of course. We have currently a waiting list, but I can give you an appointment for 8 February.’
Me: ‘You mean 8 March. 8 February already passed.’
She: ‘As I said we have a waiting list. 8 February- in 2021.’
Me (giving a hearty laugh): ‘Hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!’
She: ..
Me: ‘You mean you are serious.’
She: ‘Yes, I am. Would you like to fix an appointment? Which timeslot suits you the most on 8 February?’
Me: ‘In 2021? Let me see….Seems we are lucky: regarding 8 February 2021 I am still rather flexible.’
She: ‘Our next possibility on 8 February is 8.30. Is it OK for you?’
Me: ‘Whatever.’
She: ‘OK then, see you on 8 February at 8.30. Can you give me your phone number for any cases?’
Me: ‘Like for example…? Sudden cases? Unforeseen events?’
She: ‘Your phone number, please.’
Me: ‘Sure. My number is: xxxxxxxxxx – though it may change in the meanwhile..’
She: ‘Thank you. See you then.’
Me: ‘Bye.’

Leftover

This afternoon I am having coffee with a colleague in the cafeteria at work. It’s 5pm, the cafeteria is about to close. The staff – a nice man with whom we have known each other by sight for a while me being a recurrent customer – asks me if he can give me a croissant gratis, he had 2 trays left, with 10-15 croissants on each.

I say thank you, but no thank you – not hungry. Having heard my reply, he takes Tray#1 and…. brushes its content into the waste bin.

I ask wowowoah what he’s doing, why he is not giving it away to charity, for homeless of weet ik niet, the answer being: that’s the prescribed rule related to bakery products: he either sells them or gives the remaining pieces away to colleagues, but it is forbidden to do anything else with the rest.

So he takes Tray#2, opens the lid of the waste bin, and…

‘Wait. Stay where you are, do not move, I want to see your hands.’

He freezes, but confirms to me he will not move.

‘So you say you can give me, your last client today, any of these gratis if I want, correct?’

‘Correct.’

‘I want all pieces from this tray, can you pack?

You know I am passing by the picturesque Brussels-North railway station each and every day returning home from work, and I can assure you those people who are permanent inhabitants there would find this rule really surreal. So do I, by the way.’

He is very cooperative, so I am arriving at the railway station with 2 neatly prepared packages, both full of fresh&crispy croissants.

Allocating them to the proper target audience is easier said than done – there ARE people sitting on the floor, no mistake there, but which one of them to approach without risking to insult them with the presumption that they need food from a stranger?

My concerns are gone within 2 nanoseconds when I see the first gentleman round the corner who has apparently planned to arrange for his dinner from one of the public trash cans at the station. I approach him with the croissants – no hard feelings on his behalf, it seems.

Ps: I am planning to set up a permanent cooperation agreement with the work cafeteria: in case there are pieces of bakery products left, I am willing to take them over and deliver them to Brussels-North.

Good for my sense of fairness, for the recipients’ stomach, and the cafeteria colleague can also spare some waste bin openings.

For the sake of fun just let’s stop for a moment, and try to think, can we?

Sex – for the good cause

Antwerp Government Office (‘stadsloket’), health prevention campaign encourages inhabitants to choose the stairs instead of the elevator:

‘Those who take the stairs have better sexual life.’

Good news: there are still some governments which think that public funds should be spent on messages serving the public interest.

Chess hard

My son (10) enrolled himself to the local chess club.

Me currently at the cafe.

The average age seems 70+ (counting my son, too).

But then – look, there are even disco lights installed!! These chess players must be real party animals.

Work hard – chess hard, as the saying goes.