They Read You Like Sheet Music

, , , , , | Friendly | June 2, 2021

Five girls approach me, dressed in punk-style gear and complete with wild spiked or mohawked rainbow dyed hair.

Girl #1: “You like hip hop, right?”

Me: “Yeah!

I’m lying in hopes of scoring a phone number; in truth, I actually hate it. I happen to like hardcore heavy metal music.

Girl #1: “Cool! We’re a local hip hop group; we’re [Group].”

She introduces each girl and they shake my hand.

Girl #1: “We’re really trying to get our name out there because we don’t have an agent or promoter or anything. We have to do the legwork ourselves, knocking on every door we can, hoping someday we can finally get ourselves a record contract.”

Me: “Hey! [Music Artists] started out by selling tapes out of a car trunk, so don’t feel ashamed at all. I respect what you’re doing.”

Girl #1: “Would you be so kind as to buy one of our CDs? We’re happy to take anything you offer.”

Admiring their effort trying to make it to the top by any means possible, I paid them $10 for a CD despite the fact that I knew it was going to end up as a beer coaster next to my computer. They heartily thanked me and we went our separate ways.

About two months later, I randomly came across the CD and decided to pop it in for the h*** of it, seeing that I paid money for it anyway.

IT WAS HARDCORE METAL AND I LOVED IT! Sneaky little b***ards!

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Dogs Bring EVERYONE Together

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I’m a bubbly, gregarious woman who’s been with the company for over four years. Last year, an older man came and joined our team. He’s a lone wolf who works away quietly in his office, only joining us to eat his lunch silently while the rest of us chat. He has a service dog that he keeps in his office and, one rough day, I ask him if I can pet his dog for comfort. He invites me in and I sit on the floor for his Schnauzer to come console me. This starts to become a semi-regular occurrence where I go in to visit his dog right before home time.

At first, we don’t talk past the pleasantries, but after a few weeks, I begin talking to him. It is one-sided talk about stock market issues, which I was just dipping my toes into, or a huge hack that has just happened. A few weeks after that, he begins to respond and my soliloquies become a pleasant back and forth where I learn that he has a full and interesting life. We begin sitting together at lunch and I start dragging him into the group’s conversations.

Months later, as I sit with his dog smushed bodily against me, he quietly thanks me for inviting me into the group.

Me: “What? No. Of course. Everyone thinks you’re great.”

He lowers his head as he confesses to me that he was let go from his last two jobs because of harassment claims from women.

Coworker: “I’m on the spectrum, so I have a really hard time interacting with people. I can’t read people so I can’t really tell if I’m being inappropriate or something. I figured it would just be best to stay quiet here so I wouldn’t upset anyone.”

Me: “Man, that’s horrible. My dad’s on the spectrum so I guess you kind of remind me of him. Everyone here likes you, and listen, I’ll let you know if I see you’re making anyone uncomfortable, okay?”

He smiled and nodded as I extricated myself from under his adoring dog so we could all go home.

He’s doing great and feeling safe in our group. I think it helps that I grew up with an autistic father. I subconsciously keep him focused on a topic, but not bogged down. I also make sure he’s heard but doesn’t overwhelm the discussion. Other coworkers have started doing the same thing.

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Indy’s A Hit With All Generations!

, , , , | Related | May 30, 2021

My grandfather, who was born in 1915, really liked movies but not anything he thought of as “modern films”. He was also an accomplished and successful chef.

One day, I was watching the second “Indiana Jones” movie at my grandparents’ place and my grandpa came into the living room and asked what I was watching.

Me: “That’s not something you would like. It’s new and also quite violent.”

Grandpa: “Oh, all right, then.”

As he was about to leave, the banquet scene came on. He stopped and started watching. When the eels came out of the snake, he said:

Grandpa: “That’s how we used to serve them.”

He then stayed and watched the rest of the film and rather enjoyed it.

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The Grand Tale Of Spike The Fearless And His Spiky Foe

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 26, 2021

Here comes the tale of fright and sacrifice that lead to our family accidentally adopting a stray kitten.

It was the middle of the night, and all was quiet in the cul-de-sac of the family home. I was tucked up asleep in my room with our cat purring on my pillow, my sister was off in dreamland in her sleepout in the back garden, and my parents were happily away in snoozetown in their shared bed. The time was around 2:00 am when something startled my stepfather awake.

He tried to ignore it, but after about five minutes, it was clear that the piercing sound was not going to end. Even if it was only disturbing him, he had to find and put an end to the disturbance. He put on a dressing gown, fished out a flashlight, and slipped out the front door.

The small front yard revealed nothing but the innocent plants; there was nothing hiding under the cars outside the fence. He tiptoed around, poking the light everywhere, until the sound led him across the small road into a neighbour’s yard where he found a tiny kitten being attacked by a hedgehog!

The kitten, no bigger than a palm, was wailing its little lungs out and trying to escape the prickle-beast, which had at least 20% more body than it did. The hedgehog also had the young cat’s ear in its mouth and seemed very determined that this should continue.

Being the proud cat lover that my stepfather was, he indignantly chased the hedgehog off into the bushes and let the kitten calm down before backing off, figuring the mother cat would soon be along to protect her little jellybean. He was too small to be far from her. Confident, he headed back to bed.

Ten minutes later, the noise had started up again. Confused, my stepfather grabbed the bathrobe and the torch again and slipped back out of the house. Despite his best hopes, the mother had not come back to her defiant child, but the hedgehog had! It was once again attempting to make a meal out of the helpless but very noisy little soul. Once more, my stepfather chased away the hungry rodent and scooped up the little palmful of kitten. But what to do with this bean? He decided the safest course of action would be to spirit it over the roadway and into our front yard. Surely then the mother would deem it safe to come rescue her infant, and there’d be no way a hedgehog would find it again. He found a good spot to tuck the kitten where it would be safe and warm for the mother to find and returned to the comfort of his bed.

You’ll never guess what woke him up two hours later. On went the robe, out came the torch. He rushed into the front garden to find that the mother had not tracked the kitten over the road, but a certain prickly fiend had! Once more, the barbed beast was driven off, and the kitten was placed in a basket on our back porch, with no more noise for the rest of the night.

Come the morning, it was still there. No mother had come hunting for her child, so we took it upon ourselves to attempt to comfort the shrill little creature with a jaunty half-ear. As we attempted to get him to eat and find him a place where he would be welcomed, our local SPCA rounded up a white cat with a similarly-sized white kitten. Maybe the mother and a sibling, but we will never know.

The loud-mouthed little jellybean made himself at home with us, even if our current cat did not approve, hissing viciously before running away and hiding on something tall.

We called him Spike. One of us because he had the one ear, one of us because Spike Milligan had just passed away, and one of us because he was a saucy little devil who would much rather bite someone than eat the food he was begging for. He lived a good life and ended up weighing eight kg — about twice the normal weight for a cat. He was eternally loud and always loved waking my stepfather up at two in the morning with his piercing cries, even when he had a cat door.

It just goes to show, sometimes you do have to scream when something goes wrong.

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No Such Thing As Overinflated Kindness

, , , , , | Right | May 26, 2021

My sister and I are flying from New York to Texas. I’m a very nervous flyer and get massive anxiety. We are in the air when I feel a panic attack coming on. At that moment, my sister gets my attention.

Sister: “Uh, [My Name], is this normal?”

I look at her tray and the bag of chips she bought in the airport has inflated a crazy amount. I’ve never seen that happen before.

Sister: “I really want to eat them but I don’t know if it’s safe to open.”

Me: “I’m not sure either. We really don’t need it to pop.”

The flight attendant is coming around, and when she gives us our drinks, I ask about the bag.

Me: “She really wants to eat them, but we’re worried it’ll pop. Is it okay to open the chips?”

The flight attendant is so nice and assures us it will be okay as long as we open it slowly. We have a good laugh about it, and my sister is able to eat her chips. We spend a week in Texas, and on the plane ride home, my sister gets my attention.

Sister: “Hey, isn’t that the same flight attendant from the trip here?”

I look over and I’m not sure. We argue for a bit until the flight attendant comes over to us. 

Me: “Excuse me. I’m sorry if this is a weird question, but do you fly this route often?” 

Not surprisingly, the flight attendant gives me a confused look. 

Me: “A week ago today, my sister and I flew to Texas. See, she had this bag of chips that was really inflated and—”

The flight attendant cracks up.

Flight Attendant: “Yes! I remember you! You were sitting over there! Any over-inflated bags today?”

Me: *Laughing* “No, none today. We didn’t get any snacks from the airport.”

Flight Attendant: “That’s okay! What can I get you?”

The flight attendant gives us a handful of cookies and pretzels for free!

Me: “Oh, no, really, it’s okay!”

Flight Attendant: “You were so nice on the last flight and so nice today. This is the least I can do!”

To that flight attendant, thank you for making me laugh and forget I was flying because flying is my least favorite thing to do. You helped start and end an amazing trip and that ended up being the last time we saw our dad before he passed away.

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