Encounters with friends & strangers

Maybe She’s A Wizard And This Is Her First Phone Call?

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 4, 2021

I was a very shy, overly sensitive child and it didn’t take much to upset me. I always tried very hard to be polite to adults because I didn’t like people being angry with me.

I was probably about seven or eight. It was in the evening, we were at home, and the phone rang. My father asked me to answer it, figuring it was probably one of our family members.

I picked up the receiver and said hello, only to hear a woman screaming.


I immediately teared up because, again, I was a wimpy kid, and because this strange adult was yelling at me and I had no idea why. When I tried to explain that all I’d done was answer, she began to scream louder. I was pretty upset by this point and handed the phone to my father, sobbing that I didn’t know what was wrong.

My father was very angry himself and snapped into the phone



My father immediately hung up on her and calmed me down, explaining that in situations like that, I had every right to be “rude” and hang up anyone, even an adult, who was behaving like that.

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Don’t Let Your Guinea Pigs Be Her Guinea Pigs

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 3, 2021

I have guinea pigs. I have a friend over who also owns guinea pigs. We’re having a conversation while I chop vegetables in the kitchen to feed my pigs.

Friend: “Aren’t you going to add the dressing?”

Me: “Oh, this isn’t for me. It’s for the guinea pigs.”

Friend: “I know. But you aren’t going to add dressing to it?”

Me: “No, I’m not going to add salad dressing to vegetables meant for guinea pigs.”

Friend: “But I always put raspberry vinaigrette on my guinea pigs’ vegetables! It makes them taste better!”

I stare at her in silence a moment before realizing that she’s dead serious.

Me: “That is a very bad idea and it will make them very sick. Guinea pigs should not eat salad dressing.”

Friend: “Really? So, I’m supposed to just give them plain vegetables?”

Me: “Believe me, your guinea pigs would prefer them if they were plain!”

She often calls me complaining about how her guinea pigs have gastrointestinal issues all the time and never mentioned adding salad dressing to their food when I asked her what she was feeding them.

I can’t believe she’s owned guinea pigs longer than I have and didn’t know that you aren’t supposed to feed them salad dressing. I’m never asking her to watch my pigs for me when I’m away again.

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This Is The Army, Major D**k

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 2, 2021

I’m going to meet my sister at a restaurant, and I have a service dog. She’s responsible for keeping me company for panic attacks and PTSD, which was brought on by my time in the military. It’s a time in my life which I normally don’t like to talk about, but it’s important to know for this story.

I enter the restaurant, and the hostess tells me that it will be a few minutes before a table opens up and I am welcome to wait until then. I notice a few people looking at my dog. My dog is a golden retriever, not particularly aggressive or unpredictable; normally, she’s a ball of sunshine. But today, someone decides to be rude about it. 

Man: “Hey, there’s no dogs allowed, buddy.”

Man’s Wife: “Honey, it’s a service dog. They have to allow them.”

Man: “This guy isn’t blind or deaf! He doesn’t need a freaking dog!”

Man’s Wife: “[Man], service dogs do more than help the blind or deaf. They can help with seizures, blood sugar, and so many other things.”

Man: “Hey, buddy, what do you have? Why do you supposedly ‘need’ a service dog?”

Man’s Wife: “[Man]! Don’t be rude!”

Me: “I served time in the army. I fought in a war. I have panic attacks and PTSD because I saw so much death and destruction and was forced to kill two men to save my own life and that of my squad members.”

I could feel myself starting to get worked up. My service dog laid her head on my leg and whined, and I took the pills my doctor prescribed and petted her until I calmed down. By then, my sister had arrived at the restaurant, and the man looked properly abashed. His wife told me that her husband was a major d**k, and that I was a hero and I was the reason why he was allowed to be a major d**k.

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The English Are Everywhere!

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2021

I am in a lift — ahem, elevator — with an English colleague. His parents are from Hong Kong and speak no English, but he grew up in a town on the Sussex coast so his accent is pure home counties; think Hugh Grant but without the London twang. The third person in the lift is a stranger.

Me: “Where should we go for dinner tonight?”

Colleague: “Maybe that hamburger place on Washington Square [Colleague #2] suggested?”

Stranger: *Pointing* “You shouldn’t have that accent!”

She immediately clapped her hand over her mouth and looked embarrassed, apologising. He laughed it off because he got it. Asian accent, sure. Asian with an American accent, sure. Asian with a British accent, shocking!

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Let’s Hash This Out

, , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2021

I am shopping at a local grocery store and I’m in the canned food aisle grabbing a couple of cans of corned beef hash. A woman who appears to be in her mid-seventies stops and stares at me as I put the cans in my basket.

Woman: “Ugh. How can you eat that stuff?”

I look her right in the eye.

Me: “Usually with a fork, but if all my forks are in the dishwasher, a spoon works just fine.”

She goes from disgusted to offended in a split second and starts to sputter out something, but I interrupt her.

Me: “Ask a stupid question, get a smarta** answer.”

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