Tricks Of The Tramway

, , , | Legal | October 27, 2018

(I am sitting in the tram, on my way home. A young man enters the tram.)

Young Man: “Excuse me, can I ask something? I lost my phone and I was sitting here before. Did you see something?”

Me: “No, I didn’t, but I could’ve missed it. Let me get up for you.”

Young Man: “No, no! That’s absolutely not needed!”

Me: “It’s okay; I need to get off soon, anyway.”

(The young man looks uneasy, as if he didn’t expect me to get up. I also notice he has a phone in his hand. Still, I step aside and the young man starts looking.)

Young Man: “Eh… I could’ve been sitting over there… Thanks, anyway.”

(The young man walked away and got off the next stop. At the next stop he apparently saw someone he knew, as the two nodded at each other. I decided to remain standing; I needed to get off the next stop, anyway. I then thought, “Wait, how does he even know this is the same tram? Wouldn’t you get on on the opposite direction, then?” At home I checked my things and everything was accounted for. Still, I decides to send a message to the tram company. They then informed me they would send my description through to security. It was most likely a trick to either pick my pockets or bag, or even try to scan my bank card — it has a chip so you don’t have to swipe it, but can hold it close to the machine, instead. He also could’ve asked me to use my phone to call his, to see if we could hear it, so he could snatch the phone from my hands, or follow me with his friend to ambush me and steal it. I am now very glad I stepped aside so he couldn’t reach my bag, that I always keep my bag closed, and that I have so much junk in there that scanning would be very difficult. Plus, I have a phone that doesn’t even have Internet.)


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No More Narrow Escapes

, , , , , | Legal | October 26, 2018

I live on a narrow one-way street. Emphasis on “narrow” and “one-way.” One day I’m driving home. It’s been a long day; it’s summertime and hot.

I’m very tired and just want to go to bed. Coming round the corner of my street, I have to slam on my brakes because a car is coming towards me.

So, there we stand. The driver in the other car, a young girl, starts shooing and gesturing that I have to back up. We all know her; she has a habit of driving down our street the wrong way because it saves her 500 meters on her ride home. There have been several complaints filed against her, but the police say, “We have to catch her in the act if we want anything to happen.”

I’ve had it for today. I turn off the engine, pull on the handbrake, get out, and lock my car. I take pictures of my car, the other driver, and the license plate on her car with my phone.

She rolls her window down and starts shouting. I just say, “You always knowingly neglect the traffic signs. So now, you back up and get the h*** out of here because I’m calling the police.” And I walk the 50 meters home, meanwhile calling the police.

There’s a lot of yelling and honking behind me; I don’t care. A lot of my neighbours come to watch what all this honking was about.

While I’m sitting inside, I hear a car reversing through our street. At least, I hear a car driving backwards and forwards and backwards again to avoid scratching the parked cars — I did tell you this was a narrow street.

The next day a neighbour tells me it took her 30 minutes to get out of our street. I guess that all the neighbours laughing and making fun of her wasn’t helping her driving skills, either. Best thing was that the police just happened to arrive in time to witness her reversing down our street. She did get several fines.

No one has ever seen her drive through our street again.

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A Buffet Of Bad Behavior

, , , | Legal | October 25, 2018

(Our hotel is a few blocks away from a homeless shelter, so sometimes the homeless come to feast at our breakfast buffet. A young man in his twenties sits and eats like a wolf.)

Coworker: “Sir, are you a guest here?”

Man: “Naw.”

Coworker: “This is only for guests; you must leave.”

Man: “I’ll eat if I want to! Ain’t no skinny wimmin gonna tell me ta leave!” *still eating like crazy*

Me: “Sir, if you don’t leave, I’ll call the police.”

Man: “This is a public place!”

(This is a common misconception; though our business is open to the public, it is privately owned.)

Me: “No, it’s not public, and if you continue to stay, I’ll call the police.”

Man: *with full mouth* “Eff you!” *swallows* “D*** government controlled b****es.”

(I picked up the phone and dialed. The man’s grumbles got louder when I asked for the police. A cop showed up, and the man suddenly got up, grabbed about five donuts and three muffins, then ran around like crazy with his cheeks full like a chipmunk. The cop tried to grab him but he was super quick. My coworker and I were dumbfounded, and we never saw him again.)

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It’s Immoral To Be Different From Me!

, , , , , | Legal | October 24, 2018

(I work nights, Sunday night to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday nights off. I leave for work around nine pm due to the length of my commute. About four pm one Sunday afternoon, I’m roused from a rather peaceful sleep by a series of knocking on the door… rather loud, insistent knocking. Dragging myself to the door, I open it to find a police officer and one of my neighbors standing on my porch.)

Me: *bleary-eyed and yawning* “Whasthisbout?”

Officer: “There have been some calls about your activities, and we felt the need to check on you.”

Me: “Activities? What do you mean, ‘activities’?”

Officer: “Do you mind stepping outside?”

Me: “Considering you just woke me up from a deep sleep? Yeah. What’s this all about?”

Neighbor: “I’ll tell you what it’s about, mister! No one ever sees you during the day, and we all see you wandering off to God-knows-where late at night, only to return in the early morning! That’s not right. We know you’re up to something, and we’re not putting up with your immoral lifestyle any longer!”

Me: “Immoral lifestyle?”

Neighbor: *to the officer* “It’s just not right. He’s probably selling drugs or something. I don’t feel safe with him around here!”

Officer: *to her* “I’ll handle it, ma’am. Sir, we’ve had several calls, and it’s starting to become a problem. Drugs are an issue in this area, so it’d be easier on everyone if you just cooperated and told us what you are doing. Mind stepping out here so we can talk?”

Me: “I’m heading to work.”

Neighbor: “See?! He admits it!”

Officer: “And where do you work, sir? Do you have a number we can confirm that with?”

Me: “I do.” *rattles off work phone number*

Officer: *not really paying attention as he writes* “And what do you do there, sir?”

Me: “I’m the night duty watch sergeant.”

Officer: *still not paying attention* “Uh-huh. And where is this?”

Me: “[Local Prison].”

(At this point the officer blinks and then looks up. He looks back to the notes and then says slowly.)

Officer: “You work at [Prison]?”

Me: “Yep. I’m the night watch sergeant over B block.”

(The neighbor’s smug face has started to sour at this point as she looks to the officer. He, however, turns on her.)

Officer: “So, let me get this straight. You see him leaving late at night, and then coming back early in the morning… and it never dawned on you that maybe he works nights?”

Neighbor: “But… it’s immoral! He should be at home at night, and he never shows up to church; we’ve not seen him there once! This is America. It’s a law; he has to go to church on Sunday!”

Officer: “No, lady, it’s not a law. There’s no such law.”

(Turning back to me, he nodded, apologized for waking me up, and then told the lady that he was done. As I was closing my door, I heard her shrill voice screaming, “But it’s the LAW! This is a Christian nation; he HAS to go to church!” The next day, after I got off work, I stopped by the local church and had a word with the pastor there. He’s something of an old family friend. I related what the lady had said, and that she’d called the police on me. He said that he wasn’t at all surprised, and noted that she’d come to him with it first, only to leave in a huff when he explained that he wasn’t going to do anything about it and advised her that it was best left alone. I lived there another six months with the biddy glowering at me every day as I came home from work, before I rented another house closer to work.)

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No Litigation Hesitation

, , , , , | Legal | October 23, 2018

I am a very experienced, expensive lawyer who has worked in the area of family law for over nineteen years. I am well known in my field, and have acted for people in expensive, protracted disputes.

I say this because the capacity of some clients to think that for “reasons” they know more about family law than I never ceases to amaze me.

My favourite was when a client was determined to take a course of action (involving the commencement of litigation rather than trying to resolve matters by way of a negotiation) which I had no doubt would cost him more in legal costs and result in a less favourable outcome.

Because I’m not an idiot, I advised him against his preferred course of action clearly, and confirmed my advice by way of letter, which he countersigned.

About a year later, the client had spent maybe $30,000.00 more in legal costs than he should have, and received the same, if not worse, outcome than would have occurred in a negotiated outcome.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, he was furious with me, although he knew that my advice had been clear and, because he’d countersigned the letter, he couldn’t deny receiving it.

I asked what on earth I had done wrong. His response will live with me until my dying day:


Sometimes… I just can’t.

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