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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Grand Gesture To Get To Grand Rapids

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 25, 2019

(I’m on a bus going back home from Columbus, Ohio to my small hometown in northern Michigan. Since it’s a small town, the bus stop is the lobby of a small motel. Just as I’m getting off, the passenger in front of me holds up his phone, and I can see that he is trying to communicate with me with a translator app.)

Passenger: *through the app* “How much longer until we get to Grand Rapids?”

(I overheard him speaking in Spanish earlier, and being fluent enough in the language, I explain:)

Me: *in Spanish* “You needed to transfer to another bus back in Flint, but don’t worry; I’ll help you.”

(I walk up to the driver, who has gotten off the bus for a smoke break.)

Me: “This man was headed to Grand Rapids but missed his transfer in Flint. Is there something you can do to help? Also, he doesn’t speak English so I’ll have to translate.”

(The driver agrees and gets on her phone, and then goes in to talk to the motel’s clerk. A few minutes later, she turns to me:)

Driver: “Okay, we’ve got him a room here for the night, and the next bus to Flint leaves here at noon tomorrow. He doesn’t have to buy another ticket.”

(I relayed this information to the passenger in Spanish, and he thanked me for his help. The next day, he texted me and let me know that he’d gotten on the bus. A little while later, he texted me because he wasn’t sure if he was headed in the right direction, but from his description, I could tell he was headed to Flint as intended. Later on, he informed me that he made it to Flint and got on the right bus to Grand Rapids. I had a lot of Spanish-speaking friends and classmates when I took high school Spanish, which I think was helpful in making the language stick. It’s good to see that all these years later, I’m still fluent enough to do a good deed with it!)

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Bumper To Bumper Bumpers

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 24, 2019

One day, I decided to buy and put a bumper sticker on my car. The bumper sticker read, “Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reasons.” 

Sometime later, I was with my parents at a store and I saw a bumper sticker that I got my mom to buy me. This one read, “Don’t steal. The government hates competition”. 

Fast forward a few months later. I’m at the mall just browsing around and after an hour or two, I head out to my car. As I get close to it, I see a piece of paper that was placed under the driver side windshield wiper. At first, I think I’ve gotten a ticket but when I look at the paper, I read, “Congratulations! I love your bumper stickers.” 

To whoever put that note under my windshield wiper, glad I could make your day.

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A Fluff In Wolf’s Clothing

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 23, 2019

(When I am a child, my family goes to an Independence Day carnival every year after watching the Independence Day parade. There are quite a few standard carnival rides, but there are also a few large tents where activities like spin art, sand art, and airbrush tattoos are available. I am walking around in these tents when I see one of the biggest, fluffiest, happiest dogs I have ever seen. He is on a harness and surrounded by small children petting him. He seems to be having the time of his life, and his owner is watching to make sure no one gets too rough. I ask the owner if I can pet her dog and she allows me to. The dog is drinking it up like a happy puppy.)

Me: *petting the dog* “He’s so sweet! Is he a husky?”

Owner: *laughs* “Nope, he’s a gray wolf!”

(To this day, I still use “I once petted a wolf” for playing Two Truths and a Lie!)

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