Encounters with friends & strangers

That Must Have Been One Important Cigarette

, , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: fredzred | June 21, 2021

I had abdominal surgery twelve days ago. I am finally feeling up for shopping and there are things I need from the hardware store. I’m a thirty-year-old disabled woman in a wheelchair — I’m an incomplete quadriplegic — and I don’t have a car, so I get a taxi — with a ramp on the back so I don’t have to get out of my wheelchair.

The taxi driver drops me off and I go in to do my thing. Nothing out of the ordinary. When I finish my shopping, I call to get the taxi back. It will be a fifteen-minute wait, but it is such a nice day that I don’t mind waiting outside.

As I am waiting, I notice that someone is parked in the disabled parking space but there are no disabled tags on the windscreen. It’s annoying, but I honestly don’t care at this point; I just want to get home. About ten minutes later, I see a middle-aged woman walk out of the store and go straight to that car. She opens the boot, puts her shopping in, and goes around to the driver’s side. But instead of getting in, she gets out a cigarette and starts looking at her phone.

A few minutes after that, my taxi arrives. [Taxi Driver], being the polite and patient man he is, waits for the woman to drive out of the car space. The woman knows he is waiting for her and she is d*** sure she is parking illegally in the disabled parking space, but do you think she cares? She finishes her cigarette and gets into her car.

We wait. And wait. And then wait some more. Then, [Taxi Driver] gets rightly fed up and parks the taxi directly behind the woman’s car, blocking her in. This is when things get interesting.

The woman begins to honk her horn repetitively for a few seconds, and then she gets out of her car.

Woman: “What the bloody heck do ya think ya doin’? Ya blocked me in!”

Taxi Driver: *In a mock-apologetic tone* “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but I needed the car space. And you seemed to want to stay there. Just thought I’d do you a favor. Now, if you don’t mind, I have a job to do.”

[Taxi Driver] gestured in my direction as I gave the woman a BIG smile. I hate confrontation, so I appreciated [Taxi Driver] doing it for me. [Taxi Driver] got into the car and fastened me and my wheelchair into place. All the while, the woman was yelling profanities and threatening to call the police. If it were any other day, I would have been happy to call the police so the woman would get a fine. But I just wanted to go home.

It only took a few minutes before I was secured in the car and we left, but I made sure to give the woman a smile and a one-finger salute through the window as we were leaving, which made the encounter all the sweeter.

1 Thumbs
458

Insult The Farmers And You’ll Be Sure To Pay

, , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: USPO-222 | June 19, 2021

An attorney that I work with regularly as part of my job moved from an area with a very high cost of living to our rural community. He sold his $2,000,000 house — paid off and inherited from his grandparents — and bought over fifty acres with a huge house in a bedroom community that has a lot of dairy farms. He always used to say how it was much better living up here, both in terms of the lifestyle and monetarily, as his urban $2,000,000 house had property taxes in excess of $40,000 a year.

In addition to the huge house, the property was about forty acres of fields with a roughly ten-acre woodlot. After he moved into his new house, the attorney was approached by his neighbor, one of the area dairy farmers.

Farmer: “I had a handshake agreement with the former owner of your property. I mow the fields for hay two or three times per year and harvest a sustainable amount of trees out of the woodlot. In exchange, the old owner got 10% of the chopped wood, which is more than enough to heat your house all year long without having to run the oil boiler for anything more than hot water. I’d like to keep this arrangement going, as it worked out well for both of us for over a decade.”

The attorney thought the former owner was being taken advantage of and refused to do a handshake agreement.

Attorney: “Give me a week to draw up a proper contract.”

The farmer was not overjoyed with making this out to be more than a gentlemen’s agreement but agreed to come back the following week. The attorney decided that what would be “fair” was that the farmer should pay him $1,000 each time he mowed the fields for hay, since the farmer would feed the hay to his cows for “free” otherwise (completely ignoring that the farmer was using his own equipment and time to do the haying) and that the lawyer deserved 50% of the chopped wood, not 10%, or at least the 50% of the revenue the farmer got from selling the excess chopped wood (again ignoring the equipment and time investment of the farmer). As you can guess, the farmer refused.

This all happened in late 2019, when the fields were rather bare and the supply of chopped wood for the house was full. Well, then came 2020, and the fields started looking like garbage because none of the other farmers would pay to hay the fields. In fact, after speaking with the first farmer, the attorney found that all of the other area farmers were unwilling to mow the fields unless the attorney paid THEM $1,000 per mowing. And, of course, come wintertime, the attorney’s woodpile was depleted and he had to use the oil boiler to heat his entire home, costing well over $300 a month in winter heating costs.

Then we came to early 2021, tax prep season. The farmer, being a good and dutiful community-minded citizen, informed the town that he did not cultivate any of the attorney’s land for the entirety of 2020, nor did he know of any other farmers who had done so. Well, as it turns out, this was a big deal, because in our state, farmland is assessed at a much lower value than residential property and additionally has a separate and lower tax rate. The attorney’s land had previously been entirely zoned as farmland, except for the house and a few acres of lawn around it. The town sent out an assessor and rezoned the entire fifty-plus acres as residential, which more than tripled the taxable property value and imposed the residential tax rate rather than the much lower farm tax rate. The attorney was quite surprised and furiously told me, and everyone else we work with, all this past week how he’s going to sue the town because they now expect him to pay $50,000 a year in property taxes.

1 Thumbs
494

The Highest Of Crimes

, , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: sweetpoison02 | June 18, 2021

As a teenager, many years ago, my favourite book was Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice. What can I say? I was very much into the Emo Vampires back then.

My best friend asked to borrow it, as she was curious because of how often I spoke about it. Normally, I didn’t like loaning out books as I’m very particular about them and didn’t like to risk them being damaged, but as I said, this was my best friend, so I agreed and brought the book into school the next day to loan to her.

A few weeks went by and I asked her how she was getting on with the book, what she thought, etc. She told me she’d gotten about halfway through, but her little sister had gotten her hands on it and drawn all over the pages, so she threw it out. She then asked me when I’d buy another copy and if she could finish it when I did.

I told her she should be buying me a new copy. She said it wasn’t her fault her sister had ruined it and she wasn’t going to pay for it.

We aren’t friends anymore.

1 Thumbs
504

Someone Has To Lose In Every Game

, , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: Matissieboy2 | June 17, 2021

When I am fourteen, I go to a gaming event near my home. A couple of friends and I bring our laptops and compete against others. It is about noon when I start my first round.

Kid: “Look, Mom!” *Pointing in my general direction* “That laptop is really cool. I want one!”

The mother comes over to me.

Mother: “Hi, sweetie. My son really likes your laptop. Can he play a match on it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this laptop is very expensive. I don’t trust a stranger to play on it.”

Mother: “Don’t worry; I know my kid. He’ll be fine.”

Me: *Slightly annoyed* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but like I said, I don’t trust a stranger with my equipment. The answer is no.”

It appears as if the mother understands; I don’t hear anything from her for a while. Then, I take a bathroom break. I come back from the bathroom and my laptop is gone!

Me: *To my friend* “What happened to my laptop?!”

Friend: “This woman came up to me and asked if someone was using this seat, and when I was distracted, she took it. I have no idea where they went.”

I start to panic. After running around for what feels like an eternity, I finally find the kid playing on MY laptop. When I approach, the kid’s mother starts shouting.

Mother: “Help! Help! This man is trying to steal my kid’s computer!”

Security comes and brings me to some sort of interrogation room. I explain what happened, but they don’t believe me.

Security: “Are there any witnesses that can prove your story?”

Me: “My friend and the others around could confirm it.”

We walk back to the table and the security officer asks everyone what happened individually. He comes back to me.

Security: “I’m sorry for not believing you, young man. It appears you were telling the truth all along.”

The security went to the mother and the kid and demanded that they give me back my laptop. The woman refused, and when she realized she couldn’t get her way out of it, she took the laptop and smashed it on the floor. My laptop that I’d had to save so long for was smashed to pieces.

Court didn’t exactly do her well; she had to pay back the laptop and an additional €500. Luckily, I didn’t ever see her again.

1 Thumbs
608

Lifestyles Of The Cheap And The Hungry

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 15, 2021

Back in the depths of time, when I was in high school, one of my friends was notoriously cheap. He had money but loathed spending it on anything except his hobbies. I was driving back to town after taking the group to a convention when we decided to pull over at a chain restaurant for lunch. The waiter handed us the menus and asked us what we wanted to drink.

Me: “Iced tea, please.”

Friend #2: “Coke.”

Friend #3: “Coffee.”

Friend #1: “I’ll just have water.”

The rest of us rolled our eyes at that but looked through the menus and decided what we wanted to eat. [Friend #1] spent a lot of time checking the menu for the cheapest item and was still at it when the waiter returned.

Waiter: “Have we decided what we’re having?”

Friend #2: “I’ll have a cheeseburger and onion rings.”

Friend #3: “Could I get [restaurant specialty meal]?”

Me: “I’d like a cheeseburger and fries.”

[Friend #1] was silent.

Waiter: “Sir? Are you ready to order?”

Friend #1: “I’d like the a la mode.”

Everyone at the table sat there in shock. The waiter rallied quickly.

Waiter: “You said you wanted a la mode?”

Friend #1: “That’s all I want.”

Waiter: “Uh… most people have that with pie.”

Friend #1: “Nope. I’ll just have the a la mode.

He handed the waiter his menu.

Waiter: “O… kay. One a la mode it is.”

The waiter headed for the kitchen to put in our order and we all rounded on [Friend #1].

All Of Us: “What the h*** is wrong with you? Who the h*** orders a la mode by itself? It’s supposed to be served on a slice of pie!”

Friend #1: “It’s the cheapest thing on the menu.”

Our food was quickly brought out to us, and [Friend #1] got a very small scoop of vanilla ice cream served on an otherwise empty saucer. We mocked him mercilessly throughout the meal and during the drive back to town. 

Me: A la mode may have been the cheapest item on the menu, but it wasn’t the cheapest thing in that restaurant.”

Friend #1: *Looking interested* “What was the cheapest thing at the restaurant?”

All Of Us: “YOU!”

1 Thumbs
475