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Corolla. It’s like granola — it just makes sense.

— My weird ex-Marine cousin is always full of random quotes, like this one. 

Not everyone can use the phrase “Sometimes I’m so ESL” to excuse some of the regrettable words that escape your lips.

But my friend Rene can. He began his story with that very phrase, mentioning that he was at a bakery with a friend who was scoping out the array of cakes on display.

Rene piped up, “Why are you looking at cakes, you heifer?”

His friend, shocked, said, “Rene! Are you trying to tell me that I’m fat?”

"No," he replied, genuinely not knowing that heifer was another word for cow because French is his first language. "I wanted to call you a slut."

There is a little bit of the scorpion king in all of us.

As spoken and written by my pal Jon, immortalized on the disposable table cover at the Bier Markt in Toronto. And what quote would be complete without careful illustrations?

When you said ‘Warren Buffett,’ I thought you said, ‘warm butt-fucking.’

I won’t reveal who said this during lunch at the Whistler Film Festival, but I will give context, even though it could be just as fun and inappropriate to leave it be as I’ve done in the past. (Or the times I probably went into far too much detail.)

A person at my table commented that the chocolate cake for dessert was quite rich, to which someone else piped up, “Rich like Warren Buffett.”

The man on my left looked up for a moment, gave his head a slight shake and said, “…I totally thought you said something else and you really don’t want me to repeat what I thought it was.”

Of course when someone says that, you do want him to repeat it. So he did.  And I thought my hearing was bad

This might be a weird question, but what does an authentic Chinese bicycle look like?

A Fredericton cabbie to my cousin Kris when she was on a business trip in New Brunswick last week.

Really? Really? The same cabbie also turned to her earlier and said very slowly, “Your English. VERY GOOD.”

In discussing my friend Kym’s neverending obsession with New Kids on the Block last night, she recounted the day that her husband Adam (who plays on my softball team) waited by his computer until the very second that he could enter a code online to buy $500 VIP concert tickets, which would grant her backstage access to talk and *gasp* touch her favourite boy band.

She then told us about his experience in picking up the tickets from the box office, at which time he also happened to be getting Nine Inch Nails concert tickets for Kym.

The box office attendant did a double-take when he handed the tickets to Adam, then turned to him and said, “Either you’re fucked up or you have two girlfriends.”

"They’re for my wife," he replied. "And yes, she’s fucked up."

Me: Hey, do you know a place around here where I might buy a pogo stick?

Weird ex-Marine cousin: Dick's.

Me: ...Dick's?

Weird ex-Marine cousin: It's a sporting goods store. You'll see it in the mall. It has a huge sign that says DICK'S.

I found a banana in my pocket.

It’s not a euphemism. Dad actually found a piece of a banana in his pocket when we were about to leave Cleveland. Grandma, brother and Mom look on with unidentifiable expressions in the background.

He once told me that he spent an entire summer masturbating. It was also the year he took up photography.

The sun was strong and the shade was plentiful for a Canada Day picnic in High Park last week. It was during a conversation at this picnic that someone brought up a guy (who shall remain nameless) from our graduating year, and my friend Joe recounted this specific memory of him.

When such a memory is shared in this manner, it’s practically a crime not to put it anywhere. And so here it shall live.

Reclined unnaturally in the dentist’s chair, I strained my jaw to keep my mouth open widely, enduring the unsettling pokes and pricks around my top incisors.

As my dentist peered into my cavernous maw, he piped up conversationally, “So, how’s that magazine going? You still writing for it?”

Unable to form proper words without full control of my mouth, I gurgled something that I hoped sounded like a yes.

"You know," he continued in that same casual tone, still prodding and pricking. "I’ve gotta hand it to you. I don’t know how you do it. I can’t imagine writing for a living." He pulled away momentarily and I took advantage of the interruption to rest my stiffening jaw.

"What do you mean?"

He leaned back in his chair and looked at me. “Oh man, I hate writing. I’ve always hated it. I dreaded writing essays in school and I was so excited when I graduated because that meant that I was done with them forever.”

"You can’t imagine writing for a living?!” I bolted upright, as much as gravity would allow, given my impossible angle. I stared at my dentist until the laughter came. “Seriously? What about you?”

"What about me?"

"I can’t even imagine doing what you do for a living! Sticking my hands in people’s mouths every day?!”

Dripping saliva, bloody gums, raunchy breath… I shuddered. He shrugged.

"That’s nothing," he replied. And he meant it. "You write. I just… I couldn’t do that."

I shook my head. “And I definitely couldn’t do what you do.”

"Well, that’s settled, then." It wasn’t a competition, so I’m not quite sure why it felt like one. He slowly raised his glinting silver instruments of torture back in the air.

I took the hint and returned my body back to its original uncomfortable angle.

I’m not sure that many patients leave the dentist’s office smiling. But that day, I was one of them.