This Story Has A Goodie Ending

, , , , , | Right | June 16, 2020

My store has recently begun giving out gift bags which include a bookmark, sticker, and color-changing “mood” pencil with the store logo on them, as well as crayons and some puzzles. Normally, we give these to younger schoolchildren or adults who mention having kids at home. 

Three young teenage girls come into the store wearing school lanyards, and at least one of them has a school ID on their lanyard, so I assume they must be freshmen. They all browse the store, but only one of them winds up buying anything.

Me: *Ringing up the purchase* “And… are y’all too old for goodie bags?”

Girl #1: “What?”

Me: *Sarcastically over-enthusiastic* “Wanna be the coolest kids in your grade?!”

All Three: “Yes!”

I laugh and hand each of them a goodie bag.

Girl #2: “Oh, my God! We get crayons?!

Girl #1: “Look! There’s a word search!”

Girl #3: *Gasping* “The pencils change color! This is so cool!”

They left the store happily, and I continued laughing.


This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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You Never Know What You Might Find On These Hiking Trails

, , , , , , , | Right | June 10, 2020

My dad was born in Norway but lived in Tennessee from the age of three. In the 1970s, at seventeen, he spends a summer in Norway and gets a summer job at a hiking and camping equipment store. Despite Dad being more fluent in English than Norwegian, his boss always wants to take care of the foreign customers, as he speaks German, Spanish, English, and Russian, in addition to Norwegian. One day, he comes up to Dad, slightly panicked.

Boss: “Can you help that family? I could swear they’re speaking English, but I can’t understand a single word they’re saying!”

As Dad approaches, he hears the couple speaking to their kids in one of the most backwoods Appalachian accents he’s ever heard. He decides to have fun with it.

Dad: “Well, hey, y’all! How’s everything goin’? What can I help y’all find this evenin’?”

The family looks overjoyed.

Man: “Lawdamercy, son, it sure is a blessin’ to find someone who can understand us! We been here a week and can’t nobody understand a blessed thing we say! Where you from?”

They talk, and Dad learns that the couple has won the lottery and always wanted to visit the Land of the Vikings. They’re from a city not too far from where Dad grew up.

Man: “We ain’t got any stores like this round [Town], do we?”

Dad: “Naw, the closest one is in [City four hours away]. Their prices are about twice what ours is here, and their stuff don’t hold a candle to ours, quality-wise. What all are y’all lookin’ to get?”

They end up spending the equivalent of over $1,000 in clothes, shoes, backpacking gear, climbing gear, and rafting gear, and Dad tells them where around Oslo would be best to hike with their ten- and fourteen-year-old kids. He also tells them about some fun trails back home to try.

After they’ve left, the boss comes up to Dad.

Boss: “How— What— When— How did you do that? That was more than we usually sell in a week! What language was that?”

Dad: “It was good old East Tennessean American English. The accent is one that more rural folks have in the area where I live. They’re avid hikers and just won the lottery, and it was like a breath of fresh air to have someone speak to them who could understand them and knew exactly what equipment they needed.”

Boss: “Well! I know you’ve been saving up to get that new exterior frame backpacking backpack. You’ve got, what, half saved up?”

Dad: “About that, yeah.”

Boss: “How about you give me half of what you’ve saved and we will call it even? I can’t believe you just did that!”

About thirty years later, Dad, Mom, my sister, and I are hiking at a state park in Tennessee. Dad is using that same backpack, as he still does today. We see another backpacking family taking a break, and Dad stops in shock.

Dad: “Excuse me, sir, but does that pack happen to be from [Store in Norway]?”

Hiker: “Well, yeah! My dad got it there about thirty years ago when we went there on vacation! My daughter’s using the one he got for me then! Why do you ask?”

Dad: *Long pause* “Did… Did you happen to go there ’cause your dad won the lottery?”

Hiker: *Surprised* “Uh, yeah! How’d you know?”

Dad: “I believe I am the one that sold y’all those packs! Y’all got so much stuff, my boss let me have this pack 75% off as a thank you!”

Hiker: “Oh, wow! I do remember that! That’s crazy! Hah! And you sure weren’t kidding about the quality, were you? It’s been, what, thirty years or so?”

Dad: “About that, yeah.”

The hiker told Dad about how the rest of the Norway trip went and shared some fun tales of the adventures they went on in Tennessee using the equipment Dad had sold them. They exchanged numbers, and Dad has since taught the hiker and his kids how to mountain bike. The hiker is a boat repairman and always gives Dad a good deal on servicing his boat. It’s crazy what a little serendipity and customer service will bring your way!


This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for June 2020!

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Motoring Right On Through To Your License

, , , , , | Learning | June 1, 2020

When I am twenty-two, I decide to get a license to drive the second-largest motorcycle, which is the best I can do at the time. (A2, for you EU-citizens out there.) In drivers’ ed for a normal car, I had teachers that I would classify as “meh” at best, but for the motorcycle lessons, my teacher is awesome and knows exactly how to motivate his students.

While I love the driving lessons, the thought of taking the practical exam makes me very nervous as I failed several times when getting a license to drive a car. My teacher has already asked which spot I would prefer for the driving exercises as he has the possibility to make a suggestion to the examiner — unofficially, of course.

One thing that I am scared of most is one of the basic exercises: driving in a perfect circle. It’s not that I can’t do it technically; it’s just that the radius isn’t marked on the ground and I am terrible at guessing how many metres I am from the centre. This goes for motorcycling, biking, or horseback riding — I just can’t do it.

My teacher knows this and tries to calm me down by explaining that the examiner can choose from several exercises but he can only choose one, which means that if I am tested in, for example, stop-and-go, I won’t have to do the circle. I am good at stop-and-go, so I really hope we will do that one.

Fifteen minutes before the exam, we stop at a gas station to fill up and check the tyre pressure. Nervous as I am, I do something stupid and fall down with the motorcycle, hurting my knee — but not so bad that I couldn’t continue — and breaking the clutch lever! I can’t drive like this safely so we stop at the motorcycle dealership and my teacher calls the examiner to tell him we will run late. While the lever is being replaced, I am standing outside in tears. This is about as bad as it can get.

My teacher tries to calm me down. “Okay, so that is done now; it’s over,” he says. “Now you can focus on the exam and pass it.”

“I can try,” I say, shakily.

My teacher says confidently, “No! We’re not here to try. It’s far too expensive for that. You’re gonna do it!”

Cheered up only a little, I start the exam. For the base exercises, my teacher makes sure we go to the place I know best. Now comes the part I am so scared of; will the examiner make me drive in circles? I try to tell myself how unlikely that is when I hear my teacher over the radio making a subtle suggestion to the examiner.

“So, which exercise should we do first? Stop-and-go or—”

“Yeah, yeah, do that,” the examiner says.

I immediately cheer up over the little trick my teacher pulled, even if, on second thought, the examiner probably knew exactly what was going on.

And that’s how my teacher chose the perfect spot for the exam, saved me from the possibility of circle driving, and later even told the examiner that a line I illegally crossed was absolutely impossible to see with the wet surface of the road. I passed on the first try!

To this day, I think he is the perfect teacher and if I ever find the money to do the license for big motorcycles, I will definitely go to him! Even if I still have a guilty conscience about denting that motorcycle.

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Rational, Considerate Humans Do Exist (We’re Shocked, Too)

, , , , , | Related | May 29, 2020

I am leaving a store when I pass a mother with her children. One of them points to an open disabled parking spot.

Child: “Mom, that spot’s open! We could have parked there!”

Mom: “No, that’s for people who have trouble walking. Grandpa says that if you park there when you don’t need it, my aunt will haunt you.”

I can’t help laughing, and the mom notices.

Mom: *Smiling* “My late aunt used a wheelchair. Dad made sure we kids knew not to park there unless we have a pass for it!”

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A Sprinkle Of The Lord

, , , , , | Right | May 24, 2020

My church has a “Two Wheel Ministry” in which everyone with a motorcycle gets together on the first Sunday of every month, weather permitting, and goes on a long ride together after service. The Pastor rides ahead of the group and the ones who run it run behind them in order to assist in keeping everyone together, as not everyone is used to riding in large groups.

On this particular ride, we’re about thirty bikes strong. Even though the weather is really nice, most people are dressed in their riding leathers and you wouldn’t automatically know we’re a bunch of church-goers out for fun.

We make our mid-trip stop, which is about an hour into the ride, to get gas and stretch. There happens to be a famous American coffee shop in the same parking lot and we all decide to have a short stop over to grab something to drink.

The look on the faces of the wait staff and the few customers as around fifteen of us file in is priceless. It is a mix of shock, fear, and confusion. Always being one to be able to read the room, the head of the motorcycle group turns around and addresses us.

Group Leader:Okay, listen up! Tall orders only! Anyone else getting whipped cream on their coffee?!”

Almost All Of Us Together: “I am!”

Me: “And yes! Yes, I do want sprinkles!”

I hear the door open and, without missing a beat, I hear my pastor shout:

Pastor: “Oh, heck yeah! SPRINKLES!”

The staff started laughing and you could see everyone relax. We introduced ourselves to the few customers there and the staff as we waited for our drinks. We picked up a few new members to the church that day, too. It was great.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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