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Encounters with friends & strangers

A Potentially Toxic Recommendation

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 29, 2022

When I was growing up, there weren’t many kids my age whose company I enjoyed. At church, I usually ended up in the little library, which was frequented almost exclusively by elderly women. I befriended a few of them enough that one asked if I had any book recommendations.

After a few seconds of thought, I gave her the title and author of a creative nonfiction book I’d recently finished and thoroughly enjoyed. She thought it sounded interesting, so she went and got a copy from her local library.

Two weeks later, she’d finished the book, so I asked her how she’d liked it.

Old Lady: “You know, it’s the funniest thing. When I started reading it, my husband gave me an odd look and asked if everything was all right. When my son saw me reading it, he pulled me aside to ask if everything was okay with me and my husband. My daughter-in-law wanted to know if everything was all right at home. And my granddaughter — she’s eleven — asked if everything was okay, as well!”

At that moment, I remembered that I’d recommended to her a book titled “The Poisoner’s Handbook.”

I wonder how much worry I inflicted on her family with a simple book recommendation.

Pokémon Go The Extra Mile

, , , , | Friendly Right | June 27, 2022

My husband is very introverted and shy, avoids strangers, and has trouble saying no. If he comes across a sales pitch person, he can’t bring himself to say, “No, thank you,” and walk away before the sales pitch starts and instead politely listens to the end.

My husband gets a notification that there’s a rare mobile game pocket monster on the other side of our shopping mall. He rushes out, and when he gets to a road, he sees a blind man waiting at the crosswalk (eyes closed, white cane, so he assumed blind). He has right of way, but since he can’t see traffic, he clearly hesitates.

Nervous, my husband carefully says there’s no car, worried he might insult the man. However, the blind man thanks him and crosses the road. My husband is ready to turn left when the blind man asks: 

Blind Man: “Do you know where [Store] is?”

Husband: *Gestures* “Eh, yeah, it’s that…” *realises what he’s doing* “Eh, it’s straight ahead.”

Blind Man: “Thank you so much. Have a good day!”

My husband stops to check how much time he still has for the rare pocket monster. Behind him, he hears:

Blind Man: “Excuse me, excuse me? Is this the right way to [Store]?”

My husband sees the clock ticking but puts the phone away. He walks to the man. 

Husband: “Sir, do you want me to walk you to the store?”

Blind Man: “Oh, how kind of you. I hope it’s not out of your way?”

Husband: “Nah, I still have time.”

My husband told me he felt very awkward all the time, not really knowing how to behave or what to say. He walked the man to the store, and when they entered:

Store Owner: “Hey, [Blind Man], I see you managed to rope someone into bringing you again!”

Blind Man: “Yes, and I would like to get him something.”

Husband: “Whoa, that’s not needed!”

Blind Man: “No, no, I insist! Do you like grapes? [Store Owner], how are the grapes?”

The store owner gives him a few to taste.

Blind Man: “Excellent! Now, how many are you at home?”

Husband: “No, no, it’s not needed. You’re most welcome.”

Blind Man: “Nonsense! Here, taste these grapes! They are very sweet. Now, how many are you at home?”

Husband: “Eh… just my wife and me.”

Blind Man: “Three cases for this man! Put it on my tab!”

Not much later, my husband was outside with about one and a half kilos of grapes, quite confused. Collecting himself, he got out his phone — seven minutes left! He decided to sprint for it… and made it! (It turned out it was not worth it after all!)

I’m very proud of my husband. Maybe that’s why the grapes taste extra sweet.

Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 45
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 44
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 43
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 42
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 41

We Hope He Was In A Hurry To Get A Carseat For His Kid!

, , , , , | Friendly | June 27, 2022

My friend and I are maybe seventeen years old. My friend is driving, and we’re on a two-lane road that is kind of windy and has some small hills on it. There is no passing on the road at any point simply due to the fact that you cannot see what’s coming around the corner.

The speed limit on the road is thirty miles per hour because there are some residential houses on the road, and so many turns and bends in the road make it unsafe to go much faster.

We come upon this part of the road where it goes up a hill for about 150 feet, and then at the crest, it goes back down around 200 or 250 feet, but then the road bends to the left and you cannot see what’s coming around the bend of the road.

As we approach the bottom of the hill, my friend is already going about thirty-five miles per hour. A pickup truck flies up behind us from almost out of nowhere and the driver is right on our bumper. The guy is so close that we cannot see his windshield, just the grill and headlights of this truck, and he’s flashing his headlights.

Being teenagers and feeling like we should teach the guy a lesson, my friend slows down as we’re going up the hill. He takes his foot off the gas and we slow down to maybe fifteen miles per hour as we reach the top of the hill.

This doesn’t keep the guy in the pickup truck from backing off. He’s still right on our bumper. Once we reach the top of the hill, my friend puts his foot back on the gas pedal and we start to slowly pick up speed, but this just isn’t working for the pickup driver. He swerves across the double yellow center line to pass us.

This choice of action leads my friend to step on the gas pedal, and for a few moments, we are racing the pickup truck down a two-lane road that goes for a few hundred feet before going around a bend. I look left and see a young girl, maybe around the age of five, not in a child seat. She has a look of fear in her eyes as she stands on the passenger seat, clinging to the headrest.

Me: “Just let the jerk pass us, [Friend]. He’s got a little kid in the truck with him.”

My friend agreed and slowed down to let the truck get in front of us just before we got to the bottom of the road where it bent around the corner. Not even a second after the truck got back in the right lane, a car coming from the other direction came around the bend.

My friend and I, not making the best decisions at first, were almost the cause of a head-on collision that would have certainly gotten someone killed. Then again, I’m not sure if the pickup driver’s decisions were in the best interest of his daughter as she rode with him.

All in all, an accident was avoided by us, but it did make us rethink our choices when it comes to trying to teach someone a lesson when driving.

You Show Me Yours And I’ll Show You Mine

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 25, 2022

I once borrowed a copy of the Satanic Bible from a friend. I was on my way home on the bus when an older woman sat next to me and started chatting. For the first five minutes or so, it was all small talk. She then opened her bag and pulled out a big, very well-loved Bible.

Woman: “Have you found Jesus? Would you like to read my Bible?”

I opened my purse, pulled out the Satanic Bible, and said:

Me: “No, thank you. Would you like to read mine?”

She moved seats.

Maybe They Just Run Cold. Or Maybe You Should Mind Your Business.

, , , , , | Friendly | June 23, 2022

I’m sitting in Dubai airport waiting for my flight to begin boarding. It’s early morning and probably around 21°C outside, but I know it’ll get hotter. It’s pleasantly warm in the terminal. I’m carrying a heavy winter coat. A man comes along, sees my coat, and starts berating me for having it.

Man: “Why would you even have that coat? Do you know how warm it is outside? How stupid are you that you brought a winter coat to Dubai?”

Me: “I’m going to Amsterdam. I’ll need it there.”

He just stared at me and walked off.

Seriously, I’m in an airport, clearly going somewhere else, and it’s winter in the Northern hemisphere. Obviously, the coat would be necessary at some point in my travels.