Not Too Chicken To Defend Themselves

, , , , , , | Hopeless | September 14, 2019

As a kid, I had a flock of chickens that we tried to keep at 20 to 30 birds. We raised the birds for the eggs and for fun, so we took care of our sick and injured birds.

We bought two silkies — little puffball chickens — and they stuck together. One of the silkies, later named Frankenmonk — or Monk for short — ended up getting an eye infection and lost her eye around when she got a neck injury, so we put the two silkies in the garage while the one healed, and then returned them to the flock.

We didn’t know if Monk and Puff, the other silkie, were males or females as they are notoriously difficult to determine the gender on, but we knew that Puff took care of Monk. Wherever one was, the other was, too.

One day, one of our Rhode Island Red roosters — about four times the size of the silkies at the time — decided to breed with Monk, and as soon as he tried, Puff flung her body into the rooster, knocking him down. Puff and Monk then continued on their way as if nothing had happened.

In my six years of owning chickens, this is still one of my favorite memories.

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How Can She Still Be A Ray Of Sunshine Without Caffeine?

, , , , , , | Hopeless | September 10, 2019

(I work with one of the sweetest girls on the earth. She constantly looks out for the younger teens, takes on more than her fair share of work, and makes sure everyone gets their break. She’s not a manager because they don’t offer enough, but everyone loves her. She is pure sunshine and always a happy person who dresses in bright colors and is always cheerful. Ironically, she’s the one we always call to deal with the angry or irritated customers because she can always calm them down. Today, I see this huge guy — he’s at least 6’5” and has to weigh at least 240 pounds — come in dressed in leather with tattoos, a beard, and longer hair. He looks like he could and would break everyone in half. He’s carrying a coffee, which is against our rules; no outside food or drink are allowed. I radio over my headset for her, letting her know this guy has coffee, and she radios back that she’ll be right over. She literally squeals when she sees him and his face lights up. He then hands her the coffee and kisses her on the cheek and she grabs his hand and drags him over to meet me, where I’m standing with my mouth open.)

Coworker: “This is my guy! [Guy], this is one of the coworkers I work with.”

Guy: “Nice to meet you. Sorry about breaking the rules, but her coffee pot broke last night and I knew she needed some caffeine.”

(We stood there chatting a bit and I found out that he helps out with the local kids’ hospital, volunteers at the animal shelter, and basically is wrapped around my coworker’s finger. Just goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover.)

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The Restorative Powers Of Good Parenting (And Cake!)

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | September 6, 2019

I was heading in to work one day and saw a man with his children. The man was, shall we say, a beefcake. Super muscular, short-cropped hair, tattoos — a dudebro as I like to call them. His son in the cart was crying about something, and instead of consoling him or helping, he just shouted a barrage of, “YOU KEEP UP THAT CRYING AND I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT,” over and over finishing with, “DRY IT UP. DRY IT.”

Disgusted, I headed into the store and heard other customers making fun of him. I wish I could’ve said something, but as I was in uniform, I couldn’t start a conflict with a customer.

I headed over to the bakery and started to get my tasks together. Another man and his son were looking at the full-service cake case, trying to decide on a birthday cake for the son. The dad asked, “All right, bud, which one do you want?” The little boy excitedly said, “The unicorn!” I cringed, expecting the worst from the dad. The cake had a swirl of pink and purple hair with blue and white roses. Unfortunately, in cake decorating, the terms “boy cakes” and “girl cakes” get thrown around a lot. The dad said, “Okay, buddy! Ma’am, can we get the unicorn?”

Some people are garbage, but at least there some who restore my faith in humanity to balance it all out, unicorn cake in hand.

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Fist Bump Away The Grump

, , , , | Hopeless | August 29, 2019

As I was walking along the shop floor at work, I saw a bloke in a wheelchair being pushed along by someone else. All of a sudden, he offered a person nearby a fist bump.

His companion protested, saying no one wanted to fist bump him. As she said this, the other person, a complete stranger, returned the gesture. The bloke’s face lit right up.

He offered his fist up to the next person they passed, which was me. I couldn’t refuse, not when it would make him so happy.

As they turned down the next aisle I heard the companion say, “Okay, it’s a fist bump day,” so I’m guessing he kept going.

Thank you, random gentleman. It may have cheered you up, but your happiness was infectious and now I’m walking around with a smile, too.

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Excuse Me While I Play The World’s Most Expensive Violin

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 27, 2019

I took a trip to visit New York with my dad after graduating from high school. One of the places on his list for us to visit was a “rare violin shop,” since I played violin all four years and participated in the honor orchestra, as well. We made our way down the crowded streets and eventually stopped in front of a ritzy-looking, tall building. 

This sleek-looking building was not what I had pictured when I heard “rare violin shop.” I’d been imagining some street-level shop, open to the public, with some interesting and older violins on display, maybe with a luthier in the back. As we walked inside, took the elevator to the sixth floor, and stood in front of what appeared to be a private condo, I knew something felt off. I voiced my concerns to my dad as he rang the doorbell but was ignored. My dad had never been great at interpreting social standards. 

We were greeted by a receptionist who asked if we had an appointment, since they were by appointment only. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole and I was instantly hyper-aware of the sweaty, summer tourist outfits we had on. My dad eagerly told them that no, we didn’t but, gee, my daughter plays the violin with her high school orchestra and isn’t that great? And we would love to just pop inside and browse! Don’t mind us!

The receptionist gave him an odd look but took it in stride and excused herself to talk to someone behind a door. She came back with the owner, a well-dressed man, who told us that since he had no other appointments right now, he would love to give us a tour!

The starting price for a violin here, we found out, was 10k. He showed us around a very private-feeling and swanky-looking condo, pointed out a room where he casually mentioned he would chat with Joshua Bell when he came by, and opened the most interesting two-person safe I’ve ever seen to show me several multi-million-dollar violins. My jaw was on the floor the entire time. He dutifully and cheerfully answered every question my dad or I asked, and asked me questions in return about my orchestra and what pieces I liked to play, as well.

At the end, the man picked up a — lower-end, but still worth at least a million dollars! — Stradivarius and asked me to pizz a string while he held it. I very gingerly plucked a string and he triumphantly said, “There. Now you’ve played a Stradivarius.”

I don’t remember his name at this point, but to that man, I’m so glad that you ignored my dad’s bad manners and lack of social awareness and decided to take the time out of your day to show a no-appointment, non-customer around. You helped inspire me to continue loving and pursuing my instrument after high school! I still play to this day, and I’ve picked up some other instruments along the way, too!

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