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Encounters with friends & strangers

Married To A Holey Man

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 7, 2022

I am talking with the married coworkers from this story.

Wife: “If I don’t stop him, he wears clothes with holes in. He’s terrible.”

[Husband] mutters.

Me: “I’ve noticed that my socks don’t wear out evenly, surprisingly, so if I put two pairs on, the holes don’t line up and they’re still wearable.”

[Husband] starts listening with interest.


Married To A Yes-Man

With A “Mama Bear” Like That, This Cub Didn’t Stand A Chance

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: california-old-timer | December 5, 2022

This took place in the summer of 1975. At the time, my sons were nine and seven, and they were in the Cub Scouts. Like most kids, they quickly made friends with the other kids, and as a dad, I made friends with the other dads that volunteered. Most of us got along well with the families except for [Mother] and her son.

[Mother] was extremely clueless about her own son and basically refused to parent him. She was more into the lifestyle of a mom, being in mommy groups, and spending her husband’s money rather than being a good parent to her son. The dad was a good person but worked a lot so he was absent. Their nine-year-old son, [Kid] was a NOTORIOUS BULLY. He was overly aggressive, he hit other children, he stole items, and he was extremely disrespectful toward other adults. When the other parents brought this up, [Mother] would make constant excuses for him.

Mother: “He’s just a boy! He’s just expressing himself! Your kids started it!”

What made it worse was that [Mother] would pacify her son’s behavior with sweets, toys, and other things that he wanted.

Because of this, the other parents and I didn’t invite [Mother] and her son to events that took place outside of Scouts. [Mother] would often call our home about getting sleepovers or having her son play with our kids, which we were adamant about not happening. If we didn’t give in, she said:

Mother: “You’re bullying my son by excluding him! How could you do that to a child?!”

She also threatened to call the governor for discrimination because she’s a baptist.

In late June, the other parents and I were talking about a beach trip to Santa Cruz and bringing our families with us. We talked through everything among the ten other moms and dads, planning this out. [Mother] must have overheard what we were saying.

Mother: “Can you take my son with you? I have to do something with my husband.”

Me: “What?! Where?”

Mother: “To Santa Cruz.”

Me: “Uh, no. You and your son are not invited. This a friends-only trip.”

Kid: “You’re a big meanie!”

He kicked me in the leg and ran away.

Mother: “Look what you did! Child hater!”

She chased after him.

Because this was a big trip, we decided to go shopping and hit the road on Friday. We had to do lots of shopping in bulk to reasonably feed twelve adults and eighteen kids.

My wife and I, along with four other parents, were watching the cars and keeping the kids occupied. For a brief moment, I turned my attention to my car to turn the air conditioning up cause my kids said that they were hot.

I turned back around and [Kid] was there with his bag and [Mother] was peeling out in her station wagon. We are all just in shock, asking ourselves, “Is this really happening to us?”

The boy’s mother had given him a note that listed his allergies and an emergency phone number. We called — no answer. We couldn’t leave the kid there alone and we were not going to bring him with us, so we opted to call the police. We put the kid in the car to keep him out of the sun, and we made the call. We report [Mother] for the abandonment of her child. They sent an officer out in about fifteen minutes.

As the other parents and I were heading back to the cars to wait for the police, we saw that [Kid] was pulling my four-year-old daughter’s hair. The reason why? The kids had some snacks in the cooler and didn’t want to share them with [Kid]; he didn’t ask them nicely, just demanded that they give him food.

As we ran toward the cars, ten of the boys pulled [Kid] off of my daughter and started to BEAT HIS A**! Now, the kids had two years of rage toward this kid bottled up inside, so what took place wasn’t surprising.

By the time we got there and broke up the fight, [Kid] was bleeding and crying. He called us all mean and started cussing us out and hitting things.

Kid: “I want to go on the trip! I want to go on the trip! I want to go on the trip now!

He kept parroting this over and over again until I yelled at him to shut up, which only made him cry more. Now, I will admit I was probably in the wrong here. Maybe I should have extended some compassion, but my child was crying and being harassed.

The police arrived soon after and we explained what had happened.

The police took [Kid], and apparently, he was dropped off at his father’s job. [Mother] received a child neglect charge. When she saw that our kids had beaten [Kid] up, she tried to charge our kids for assault. It was dropped because it was self-defense.

You Can’t Have Our Cake And Eat It, Too

, , , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: OldLadyT-RexArms | December 3, 2022

I’m thirty-one so this story is a tad bit old, but it still makes my family laugh to this day. It’s good enough that, despite my memory loss from having had grand mal seizures during the first twelve years of my life, I still remember it like it was yesterday. It takes place on my ninth birthday.

We’re at a public park with my family and friends. We’ve got the cake and candy and pizza and snacks. Don’t forget party favors!

We’re having fun and hanging out and having a blast, and there are these kids slowly eyeing us from the park. Now, mind you, my mom isn’t dumb. She grew up poor, so she knows what it’s like being a kid and watching kids around you get stuff while you get nothing. We give people food and goodie bags. We aren’t a**holes. We share with the public. We can’t give the whole world things, but we share.

Some parents come up with their group of kids not long after we’ve given some skateboarders goodie bags.

Man: “Nice party you have here.”

Dad: “Thanks. How can we help you?”

Woman #1: “It’s my daughter’s birthday today.”

Mom: “Well, happy birthday. Would you like some cake?”

The little girl looks like she simply wants cake, and so do her friends. My sisters and friends are more than willing to welcome them to join us, but this woman and her friends aren’t going to let that happen until they put my mom in her place.

Woman #1: “She won’t be having cake. Not until you understand how disrespectful it is to come to a public park and eat like this in front of others.”

My grandmother gets up.

Grandmother: “Excuse me?”

Woman #2: “Well, my daughter is hungry.”

Sister: “Didn’t we literally just offer cake?”

Woman #1: “That doesn’t matter. You can’t just come here and eat like cretins while my children starve!”

The group of parents mumbles in the background about how we didn’t offer them food or drink.

Mom: “Then bring food. It’s a public park. I’m here having a birthday party for my daughter. I’ve given plenty of food to children already. I can’t be held responsible for the fact that you aren’t trying to feed your children. Look. I offered your starving daughter cake, and you continued to let her starve. So, who’s the disrespectful one now?”

The woman made this face like my mom had just smacked her. Mom handed the little girl some cake, and her mom grabbed her by the arm and stormed off angrily.

The other people kind of hung around and my mom eyed them, telling them that they should either leave or stay. They pretty much apologized and grabbed some cake, and it became a bigger party than expected.

Two years later, the same woman tried doing this to us again over chicken nuggets. Only, when she realized it was us, she panicked and started laughing, literally trying to make it into a joke. My mom just gave her the finger and slowly devoured a nugget as the lady backed away. I swear, she has no life.

It Takes A Village (Priest)

, , , , | Friendly | December 1, 2022

I’m doing a study for which I need to interview residents of a few towns and villages who identify as [Nationality] and can speak [Language]. For that, I usually try to contact the local priest, since he usually knows best where to look for interviewees — and, since I’m of the same faith as them, it’s an additional icebreaker with the [Nationality]’s community if I meet them at church. 

I’m in [Town] and have been told that [Town Priest] will be at the church today. As I approach the church, I see a priest walking to his car and hurry toward him.

Me: “I’m so sorry. Are you the priest?”

Priest: *Flabbergasted* “Yes.”

I begin to explain about my research.

Priest: “I’m not [Town Priest]. I’m [Village Priest] from [Village].”

Just… my… luck…

With lots of awkward mumbling from me, the situation was cleared up, and he agreed when I asked him if I could visit [Village], too; it’s got many [Language] speakers, as well. Then, I finally went to the church and met with [Town Priest], too, who was there already. 

Only later did I realize how it must have looked like to [Village Priest]. With me running toward him in such a hurry and asking if he was a priest, he probably thought someone was in dire need of last rites!

Didn’t Ex-speck-t To Be So Sleepy

, , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2022

I’m on the phone with a friend late at night. I’m working with some software for a hobby, and she’s writing a paper for school.

Friend: “Why won’t this period delete?!”

Me: “Is it a speck on your screen?”

There’s a moment of silence.

Friend: “Yes…”

Me: *Trying not to laugh* “That’s what you get for writing a paper at 11:42 at night!”