How are you guys doing? I hope the answer to that is that you are doing great! (Or “grand”, as they would say it here.) The real Belfast weather seems to have come back to the city. It has been cloudy and rainy for the past couple days, which means that the short-lived wonderful weather we had the last few weeks may be departing us for good.
In this weather of doom and gloom, I would like to share some humorous happenings with you. Last Wednesday, I went in to work and that two people had already taken the survey for the research project, which seemed optimistic. I realized, however, that two questions on the survey were check-list questions but I hadn’t listed the real options yet. Instead, I templated the question with Option 1, Option 2, etc. Hilariously, the two clients had done the survey and checked random options for those two question even though the question was not required. So I had “What do you think are the key priorities for the community?” being answered with “Option 1 and Option 3”. I chuckled a bit at that.
On one of the shelves in the office, there sits a baby doll. It is representative of a real baby in size, shape, and even weight. Apparently when it is turned on it simulates the actions of a real baby and the thing is given to teens to teach them how to be responsible and to care for an infant (the doll monitors how it is taken care of). My boss told me some funny stories about this fake real baby…
One girl had taken it home, and came in the next day telling my boss how she had fed it, given it a bath, and done all the things she thought she necessary for the baby. She was super nice to it, and was so proud of being able to keep the baby quiet, which is what the baby did the whole time: be very quiet. Unfortunately, the baby had been “dead” by the time it entered the girl’s house…turns out, she put it in the trunk of her car on her way home. The baby died from shaken baby syndrome.
This other time, a guy was assigned to take the baby home and quickly tired of its fussing and crying. He figured out a way to fix that though…the next day his mother came in beaming at how responsible her child was, how he had done such a good job taking care of the baby and all that good stuff a proud parent brags about in excitement. Kate took one look at the boy and said, “It died, didn’t it.” Apparently, the boy wanted to go hang out with his friends but the baby wouldn’t be quiet. So he whacked the baby’s head against the kitchen counter as hard as he could until it died and became quiet. He then was able to go hang out with his friends.
A third teenager was intelligent and figured out where the “reset” button on the baby was. (The location is usually kept a secret.) Every time the baby cried or fussed, the girl would just keep pressing the reset button. What she didn’t know was that every time the reset button was pressed, one of the centre’s staff was notified via text message. The reset button apparently was pressed 14 times in one hour, and the staff remotely changed the setting on the baby to the most difficult level possible. What funny things happen with a fake baby! So much for responsibility.
On a side note, the endearments in this country is cute and rather funny. I have been called “love”, “darlin”, “sweetheart”, and “toots” frequently. The first seems the most common, and I think the last is the funniest. I laughed for a whole five minutes the first time someone called me toots.
Anyway, I was very excited for the day trip to Ballycastle the next day. Stay tuned to hear about that adventure!!!