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Encounters with friends & strangers

A Million-Dollar Solution

, , , , , | Friendly | September 4, 2021

I live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a Homeowner’s Association, but it does have an old retiree that still seems convinced it is his job to enforce some nebulous rules for the neighborhood that he has made up in his head.

My wife and I are expecting our first child, so my office needs to be turned into a nursery. I decide to build a detached garage/office in our backyard since I work from home and think we will need the storage. I’m building it myself but I do everything by the book and have all the proper forms, signatures, and building codes all checked and double-checked.

The retiree still takes extreme offense to this for reasons I will never quite understand and has delayed the build by months, as the city continually asks me to stop work while they investigate “anonymous” reports of me violating building code or doing work without a permit. During one of the periods between investigations, I am doing work on the building when the retiree walks up to my front yard and starts talking to me over the fence. 

Retiree: “Why are you still building that thing?”

Me: “Why wouldn’t I? My wife and I want it built, so it’s getting built.”

Retiree: “The city came out here the other day to shut you down for building that death trap.”

Me: “No, the city came out the other day to investigate the fourth ‘anonymous’ tip that turned out to be false — just like the last time, they said it was up to code and perfectly fine.”

Retiree: “What do you know? You aren’t a builder. You’re just throwing up that eyesore that will probably cave in the first time it rains! You need to pull this all down!”

Me: “Okay.”

Retiree: *Pauses* “Really?”

Me: “Sure, as soon as you give me a million dollars.”

Retiree: “Why on earth would I do that?”

Me: “For a million dollars, I’ll sell you the property and you can do whatever you please with it.”

Retiree: “I’m not paying you any money!”

Me: “Then you don’t get a vote on what I do on my land. Either turn your a** around and get off my property or the cops will remove you.”

The cops did end up needing to come to remove the man. But thankfully, the record of him trespassing and making multiple false reports discredited his future reports to the city and I was able to finish the building in peace.

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A Different Kind Of Thrill Ride

, , , , , | Friendly | September 3, 2021

Some friends and I are planning to go to a local amusement park. The original plan is for it to be my boyfriend, my roommate, her boyfriend, [Friend #1], [Friend #2], and me. Shortly before we plan to go, [Friend #1] backs out; there’s a possibility she might be pregnant, and if she is, she shouldn’t be going on amusement park rides. [Roommate] and I become concerned that [Friend #2] will feel like a fifth wheel along with two couples, so we discuss together making sure we take turns so she isn’t always riding alone. I let my boyfriend know that he shouldn’t expect me to ride with him every time, and the reason why.

Boyfriend: “Oh, I thought [Friend #1] was coming, too.”

Me: “She was, but she and her husband are trying to get pregnant—”

Boyfriend: “And the only time they can try is on [day we’re going]?”

I then explained to him that it was more about her not knowing if she was pregnant yet and rides warning that pregnant women shouldn’t ride them. But I’m still ribbing him that his immediate thought was that our friend would tell us, “Sorry, I can’t come; I have to have sex with my husband that day!”

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I Know You Don’t Work Here, But Could You For Just A Sec?

, , , , , | Friendly | September 2, 2021

Halfway through my grocery shopping, I get to the spice aisle and find that the jar of cinnamon I need is pushed back on a high shelf out of my reach.

I turn to the closest man, easily a foot taller than me.

Me: “Excuse me, could you help me—”

Man: “I don’t work here.”

Me: “Oh, I know. I’m just hoping for some help—”

Man: “I don’t work here.”

Me: “I know. I just can’t—”

The man turns away from me, so I ask loudly:

Me: “Can you reach this cinnamon for me?!”

He turns and sees my issue and hangs his head.

Man: “Sorry.”

He easily snags a jar of cinnamon and hands it to me.

Me: “Thanks, man.”

I really was thankful, but he just slunk off.

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We’ll Put Good Money On Her Being Hired Again

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 1, 2021

I’ve just finished a weeklong stint of house-sitting for a neighbor. Most of my duties had to do with taking care of their pets, so their three dogs love me. I go over to their house after they get home to give them back their garage door opener.

The dogs go crazy when I ring the doorbell, and when my neighbor opens the door, two of them get out. One of them merely sits next to me and begs for pats and ear scratches, which I am happy to give him, while the other begins running around the front yard.

I give my neighbor the garage door opener back and we discuss payment for a minute before she goes to call the dogs back inside. The affectionate dog obliges, but the other one is not listening to her, no matter how many times she calls.

In an effort to help, I call, “[Dog]! Go inside! Come on inside!”

The dog immediately comes back, goes inside, and doesn’t try to run back out. My neighbor laughs and gripes about how of course they listen to the girl who fed and loved them for a week but not her.

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How To Get Yourself Permanently Uninvited

, , , , , | Friendly | August 31, 2021

Every few weeks, [Friend #1], [Friend #2], [Friend #3], and I plan little outings to catch up. This week is my turn to plan. [Friend 1#] tells me that [Friend #4] wants to go. I agree, even though I barely know him, because it brings the cost down and he seems like a nice guy. Before booking and paying, I send out a mass text.

Me: “Hi, all! The total for our adventure is $1,000. With all five of us, it’s $200 each. Is that okay with everyone or should we look for something smaller?”

The first three friends agree that it’s okay. [Friend #4] doesn’t respond. I wait for a full day before contacting him directly.

Me: “Are you good for $200 for [event]?”

Friend #4: “K.”

Me: “Okay, I’m gonna book it. You can pay me there.”

Friend #4: “I said OK.”

The day of the event comes and we all gather at my house. My first three friends have cash in hand, but [Friend #4] shows up empty-handed. I pull him aside. 

Me: *Quietly* “Hey, do you have your money?”

Friend #4: “No.”

Me: “I told you it’s $200 to go out today.”

Friend #4: “I don’t have that kind of money.”

Me: *Frustrated* “So why did you tell me you were good? I asked—”

Friend #4: “You said I could go.”

Me: “If you pay.”

Friend #4: “You didn’t say that. You invited me out and now you expect me to pay?”

Me: *Sigh* “If we cover you, can you pay us back?”

Friend #4: “You already paid for everything, right? It’s not a lot more if you—”

Me: “No. You pay or you don’t go.”

Friend #4: “I drove all the way here and you aren’t going to let me go?”

I shrug.

Friend #4: “F*** you!”

I’m one of those people who laugh when they get mad, like now.

Me: “Get the f*** out of here.”

Friend #4: “You know what? I heard you were a c***, but I gave you the benefit. Now I see he was right. You’re f****** white-a** trash. F*** you!”

I tell our friends what happened. [Friend #1] shakes his head. 

Friend #1: “I’m sorry, [My Name]. He has money; he just doesn’t like to spend it. He pulled the same s*** at dinner the other night.”

Me: “Well… thanks for being so flexible. But if any of you ask if [Friend #4] can come with us again, my answer is no.”

My friends all pitched in to help cover [Friend #4]’s absence. He tried to wedge his way into another event a few weeks later, but I shut him down without hesitation.

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