Spreading Sunshine A Petal At A Time

, , , , | Friendly | January 25, 2021

Back before the health crisis caused everything to shut down, I used to enjoy going out to gigs, bars, and club nights in town frequently. Unfortunately, as a woman in my early twenties, I’ve had to deal with my (un)fair share of creeps and uncomfortable encounters.

But I don’t want to dwell on those. I’d rather share the most positive story of late-night drunk strangers. These kinds of stories are rare but they restore much of my lost faith in humanity.

I was walking through the town centre after midnight to get to the bus stop, and there were still many people lingering around the brightly-lit main shopping street. As usual, I was walking quickly and avoiding eye contact. Suddenly, a smiling blur of twirling skirts and loose curls spun into my field of vision.

A clearly inebriated young woman danced over to me and pressed a sunflower into my hand.

Woman: “You’re beautiful!”

And she twirled off.

I’ve never been good with plants, but I kept that flower alive as long as I could. I wish more drunk strangers just wanted to give out flowers and good vibes.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

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You’ll Go “Clunk” When Your Mom Gets Hold Of You

, , , , , | Legal | January 12, 2021

In the early 1980s when my parents are first married, they are staying in the town my dad grew up in. The town has less than 2,500 people. Everyone knows everyone else, and they’re all related in some way. One night, after having dinner with his parents, they return to the place they are staying to find someone has broken in and stolen most of their things, including my mother’s collapsible pool stick, which is her pride and joy.

They report it to the police, tell his parents, and try to find a way to calm down. Dad suggests they go to the local bar, get a couple of drinks, and maybe ask around about it. As they sit there and talk to some people, Mom hears a very familiar noise. It’s the distinctive “clunk” noise that her pool stick makes when it strikes the cue ball. She gets my dad’s attention and points out the pool table to him.

One of his cousins is playing pool, and the stick he’s using is the one making the “clunk” noise.

Mom: “[Dad], that’s my stick!”

Knowing better than to cause a scene in a bar, my dad went to the payphone… and called his aunt. He told her what had happened and that he thought her son was the one who’d broken into the house. His aunt came down immediately and dragged my dad’s cousin out by the collar of his shirt, screaming up one side and cussing down the other. 

Turns out, he HAD been the one to break into the house, figuring my mom, who was from out of state, would have really valuable stuff to sell. Luckily, he hadn’t had a chance to sell anything, and they got everything back.

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

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A Olive And Breathe…

, , | Right | January 9, 2021

I work at a bar that specializes in beer, and we sell some simple food: chips for 1€ and chips with olives for 2€. A completely sober patron comes and asks for two pints and chips.

Me: “Will that be chips or chips with olives?”

Patron: “What’s the difference?”

Me: “Just chips are 1€; it’s 2€ with the olives.”

Patron: “Yeah, but what’s the difference?”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you, man. One plate has olives; the other one doesn’t.”

Patron: “I don’t understand.”

With an internal facepalm, I give him the two pints and a plate of just chips.

Me: “That will be 4€, please.”

The patron opened his mouth as if to say something but saw I was already doing something else and just dropped the money on the bar and left.

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Creepy, Cut-Off, and Caught!

, , , , , , , | Right | January 8, 2021

It is the summer of 2008 and I am working at a sports bar/pool hall as a cocktail server. I could write volumes about my time there, particularly the constant sexual harassment. This is long before #MeToo and I’m ashamed to say that in favor of a chill, one-of-the-guys reputation, I just play along. Soon, I’ve heard it all and it is nearly impossible to offend me. Until this one jerk. 

We are in the suburbs of Virginia, about a forty-minute drive from DC. A lot of our Happy Hour crowd consists of government employees and military folk from Quantico. 

At the very end of the bar, right next to my station, there’s a very inebriated man being loud and obnoxious. I am running the pool balls through a machine that cleans and polishes them. 

The fact that I am “polishing balls” is enough to set off the obnoxious jerk. He makes several poor attempts at ball jokes, slurring badly and gesturing sloppily. It isn’t anything I haven’t heard a million times so I roll my eyes and ignore him.

He does NOT like that. He starts ranting very loudly.

Customer: “I hate b****es who don’t like sex, like my whore ex-wife!”

He tries to involve the man next to him, who is staring intently at his drink, very clearly trying to not engage with him. I quickly make myself busy elsewhere.

Eventually, I have to go back. When he notices me, he gets excited and leans as close to me as he can without leaving his stool, and asks:

Customer: “What about you, little girl? Do you like sex?” 

I cannot describe how lecherous and disgusting his tone is, even while slurring. The way he says, “little girl,” makes my skin crawl.

Me: “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

Customer: *Scoffs* “I knew it! These hot young p***ies all hate sex, but they love to tease!”

The bartender beats me to the punch and tells him:

Bartender: “You talk to her like that again, you’ll be kicked out.”

The perv waves him off and starts talking to his unfortunate “new friend” next to him. However, as soon as the bartender is out of earshot, the perv leans back towards me.

Customer: “Ya know, I could teach you all about sex, little girl. I could make you like it. I know what to do.”

I am beyond horrified and frozen in shock. Good thing he is too drunk to control the volume of his voice, as the bartender storms over.

Bartender: “That’s it, buddy, you’re out!”

He slams down the guy’s tab, which he wisely had already printed out, just in case. Everyone at the bar, including several large regulars, are staring at him menacingly — except the guy next to him, who is doing something on his phone. He wises up and pays begrudgingly, grumbling and cursing the whole time. Then, he stumbles out of the bar.

The shock has subsided, but I am still shaking with helpless fury that I didn’t speak up for myself. I am so disgusted by what he said, I want to go scrub off three layers of skin in a long, hot shower.

Just when I think I am doomed to a ten-hour shift of furious repulsion, the quiet guy who has been barstool neighbors with the perv becomes my hero. After paying, he approaches me with a big smile.

Barstool Neighbor: “Don’t worry, I got him for you. I work for the DEA.”

He shows me his badge.

Barstool Neighbor: “That idiot actually asked me if I wanted to buy some Percocet! I’m off the clock, so I told him my ‘buddy’ was interested and asked for his phone number. He’s about to go sell some drugs to an agent who will nail his a**!”

As he leaves, I look at the bartender, who heard everything, in amazement. With a look of dawning realization, he says:

Bartender: “Oh, he was on pain pills! I wondered how he got so trashed on two drinks…”

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

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, , , , , , | Right | December 17, 2020

I am working in a small English village pub. We’re not the fanciest, but we do quite well.

I am serving a regular when I’m interrupted.

Man: “Excuse me! I was here before that man! I deserve to be served first.”

The man he is referring to has been sat at the bar for two hours, so his statement is unlikely.

Me: “Sorry, I didn’t see you there. What can I get you?”

Man: “What red wines do you have? Do you have rioja or chianti?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t sell rioja, chianti, or pinot noir by the glass; we do sell it by the bottle. If you only want a glass, we do have merlot, shiraz, pinotage, and a malbec.”

Man: “I’ll have a pint of [Italian beer], and I’ll go and ask my wife about the wine.”

Me: “Sounds good!”

I pour his beer and he comes back a few minutes later.

Man: “I’ll have a glass of the pinot, please.”

Me: “We don’t sell pinot noir by the glass. Did you mean the pinot grigio?”

Man: “That’s what I said!”

Me: “Are you sure? If your wife wants a red wine, she might not be happy with—”

Man: “Just get me the sodding wine!”

I pour the wine and take his money. A few minutes later, a red-faced woman comes to the bar.

Woman: “What sort of idiot mixes up a pinot grigio and a pinot noir?!”

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