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Welcome Home! Kind Of.

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 13, 2021

This happened to my friend’s parents around 1980. They lived in one of fourteen almost identical and fairly new apartment blocks at one end of four different car parks.

Fifty or so people from the area were going on a trip and had rented a bus for the day. All of them were picked up at the car park closest to where the aforementioned parents lived. The trip they went on involved quite a lot of drinking and they were far from sober when they got back home.

For reasons unknown, they were all dropped off at the neighbouring car park to the one they’d been picked up at. The parents in question didn’t notice and went to what they thought was their block of apartments. It wasn’t; theirs was four blocks away. They went into what they thought was their apartment, and only after having taken off their coats and shoes did they notice that they were in the wrong place.

The person living there was apparently a heavy sleeper because they managed to leave without anyone noticing.

I don’t know if the door wasn’t locked or if the key just happened to fit. There are more than 1000 apartments in those fourteen blocks and I’m sure there were a lot fewer different apartment key combinations installed back then.

Good Thing You’re Alive, Because I’m Going To Kill You

, , , , , | Friendly | March 24, 2021

As a student, my wife used to live in an apartment block that was built specifically for students. The insulation of the building was extremely poor. When someone walked through the corridor on the same level, it was clearly audible in her studio apartment. During winter, it was next to impossible to warm it up, while during summer, the heat was intense because the architect apparently thought a black building would look nice. And obviously, she could hear every sound her next-door neighbours made. Luckily, her best friend was one of them and she, like my wife, couldn’t stand loud noises.

One day, my wife woke up to the “lovely” sound of her other neighbour’s radio, which was playing quite loud. Since she spent most of the day at home, this made the day quite tense. Several times she walked over and rang the door in the hope that he would turn down the music. He never answered, apparently since the music was so loud.

By night, my wife was obviously fed up. She wanted to go to sleep, which the loud music made impossible for her due to her light sleeping. After some final attempts to get his attention, she decided enough was enough and called the police.

When the police arrived, they couldn’t get him to respond, either. My wife, however, had also mentioned to them that she had tried to talk to her neighbour the whole day, but that he never answered the door, while the music kept playing. She had noticed that it was now taking strangely long for him to reply and suggested that something could have happened to the neighbour. This was enough reason for the police to try and force the door open. They didn’t manage. Another student, who walked by, ironically did. (No, he was no burglar. He just had experience with accidentally locking himself out.)

Now, what on earth had happened to the neighbour? Was he dead? Or just completely stoned? No, nothing of the sort. Turns out, he wasn’t even home that day. And that he had forgotten to turn off the alarm of his clock radio.

What Planet Did These Weirdos Come From?!

, , , , | Friendly | March 8, 2021

I live in a part of the country where there is a “strong men are tough” stigma. At the same time, there is an undercurrent of fear of dogs. I found a puppy who has grown into a beautiful and mild-tempered, medium-sized husky. Recently, I adopted a companion for him: seven-week-old chow. She is roughly four pounds, doesn’t know a stranger, and approaches everyone with a wiggling backside and a tongue ready for kisses.

I live on the second floor to the left of the stair landing with no other entrance or exit. It’s nine o’clock at night. I have just taken my fur babies out to do their business and we are circling back through the parking lot heading to our stairwell. I see ahead of us a carful of young men pull in and get out of their car. There are five of them and they look to be about six feet tall on average, in their early twenties, all walking in front of us, also clearly headed for our stairwell. 

I slow down a little to give them time to get upstairs and not feel like they are being followed. I am fairly confident they are going to see my neighbor, whose door is right in front of the landing. They get to the top and my small pack starts up the stairs. Rather than go into the apartment, all five assume positions around the landing. They hear us start up and turn to face us.

One man looks at my puppies.

Young Man #1: “Do they bite?”

I reply in as friendly a way as possible.

Me: “No, but the husky sheds, so clear a path if you don’t want fur all over you.” 

Instantly, the seas parted as they all pressed as far away from us as possible. I got to my door and started fumbling with my keys. These are both puppies, less than five months old, and still in training. I managed to get my door open and sent the husky in but accidentally dropped my four-pound ball-of-love’s leash. She instantly started her wiggle dance of friendship and clumsily started heading for these five LARGE grown men. 

As one, in perfect synchrony, they lept to attention from their chairs and lounge positions and RAN down the stairs! They didn’t stop at the stairs, though, and despite my regaining control before she was even to the edge of the landing, they got back in their car, and the next sound I heard was the squealing of tires as they peeled out of the parking lot!

To this day, I cannot figure out what terrified them so bad about something that would have fit inside their shoe or pocket.

The last sound after the tires was my laughter, which lasted for forty-five minutes.

Not Ringing Any Bells

, , , , | Friendly | February 10, 2021

I live on the ground floor of an apartment building. It’s around midnight and I’m in bed. Suddenly, my doorbell rings. Not expecting anyone or anything, especially not at this time, I figure whoever is ringing wants someone else in the building — maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend working late or something — and just missed the right bell. 

But then my bell rings again. I roll out of bed and pad over to the intercom.

Me: “Yes?”

Guy: “Yeah, sorry, I rang the wrong bell.”

Me: “What, twice in a row?”

Guy: “Yeah, sorry. Can you let me in, though?”

Me: *Pauses* “No? Because I have no clue who you are?!”

Guy: “All right, then.”

Bewildered, I went back to bed. A few moments later, I heard the front door open and someone going upstairs. Seems like the third time was the charm.

Toddlers And Feral Cats: A Perfect Pair

, , , , , | Related | February 6, 2021

My first apartment complex had a number of feral cats that would roam the outskirts of the complex since some of the homeowners put out food for them. I was very bored at the time, as I’d just moved to this new area and didn’t know anyone yet, so out of curiosity, I took out some meat one evening to see if a feral cat would come to me to eat.

One little kitten “volunteered” himself by running up to me when he saw me try to feed the other cats, which was already far more outgoing than any of the other ferals.  

He was cautious at first, fleeing from me after taking his meat as the others did. After a number of feedings, I eventually got him to come to me to take the meat out of my hand. Some feedings after that, he would tolerate my right hand briefly touching his head when he grabbed the food out of my left hand. Some feedings after that, he would accept a single stroke of his head to get food. And finally, after a long-fought war, he would willingly allow me to pet him after I finished feeding him.

Eventually, my complex put out cages to catch all the cats, and when my favorite cat was caught, I went to the local shelter and adopted him officially. It took him a few days to get used to being in a house, but he came out of his shell and became a very affectionate cat who loved to be pet. Every night when I got up to go to bed, he would race to my bedroom and take up a spot on the pillows above my head and spend all night curled up with me.

A little while later, I offered to allow some friends to stay at my apartment for the night to save on hotel costs. I warned them that my cat was technically a feral cat, having spent his kittenhood outside with only my intermittent brief visits to feed him for human interaction. Even though he had come to trust me, since I fed him as a kitten, I didn’t know how he would be around other humans. I told them if he was a problem I would lock him in the laundry room for the evening.

When they arrived, their toddler was fascinated by my cat and chased the poor feline all over my small apartment trying to hold him. She was too young to know how to handle cats and so was always trying to pull the poor cat’s tail or pick him up awkwardly. Originally, I was afraid he might lash out at her, but he tolerated her admirably, never once hissing or growling at her no matter what she did.

However, most shocking of all was that, as soon as they managed to get the toddler to go to sleep, my cat went over to her bed and curled up above her head for the night. That was the only night he didn’t sleep with me, having assigned himself to watching over the toddler that had tormented him all evening, instead.

After that, it was clear, despite having grown up outside, that he was always meant to be with people. I’m quite thankful for my random decision to relieve my boredom by seeing whether I could tame a “feral” cat.

This story is part of our Best Of February 2021 roundup!

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