Law-Breakers Are Bigger In Texas

, , , , | Legal | June 6, 2020

I grew up in a tourist town in Colorado which got a lot of traffic from out of state. While local drivers aren’t always sane, the tourists tend to be even worse. Speed limits are broken, stop signs are ignored, double yellow lines are crossed, etc.

One day, my uncle is visiting and has picked me up from school. As we’re heading home, we see a driver from Texas obviously break a law, narrowly avoiding an accident.

Me: “Well, Texas drivers do tend to go crazy around here.”

Uncle: “[My Name], that’s not very nice. Different states have different laws; they can’t be expected to know them all.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure a red light still means ‘stop’ in Texas.”

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Breaking News: There Are Idiots Everywhere

, , , , , , | Legal | May 29, 2020

My dad told me this story, as one of the strangest events he had ever witnessed in his life. At the time, he was visiting the US from Australia and had decided to go to a cafe for his morning coffee. The main road the cafe was located on had been blocked off and cleared by the local police for a bicycle race coming through the area.

There were signs everywhere, traffic cones, and policemen blocking off intersecting streets. But somehow, a car managed to get through the barriers, or partway through, and ended up stuck on the road. This all happened right outside the cafe, so my dad got front-row seats to the bizarre debacle that happened next. 

A policeman approached the vehicle and tried to explain to the driver that she had to turn around, as the area had been blocked off in anticipation of the race that was about to come through. To my dad’s astonishment, the woman completely ignored the policeman. She wouldn’t even roll down the window; she just pretended like she couldn’t hear him.

The cop got more and more frustrated, repeating louder and louder that she needed to turn around to keep the road clear, and she just continued to ignore him. It got to the point where the cop pulled out his gun and pointed it at the woman — something which completely shocked my dad because it would have been illegal for an Australian cop to pull out a gun under the same circumstances. But even with a gun aimed at her at point-blank range, and the owner of said gun yelling at her to get out of the car, the lady still ignored him!

Finally, the cop ended up using the butt of his gun to break the window, and only then did the driver acknowledge his presence. Just when my dad didn’t think things could get any weirder, the crazy lady got out of the car and started berating the cop for breaking her window, insisting that he was going to have to pay for the damage.

She was arrested, of course. The whole thing was so absurd that my dad could barely rationalise it; it almost seemed like a parody sketch or a prank of some kind. My dad joked that he had half a mind to go up to the two of them after all that to thank them for the entertainment they had put on for the tourists and ask where he was supposed to pay.

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Lock Up Your Mouth And Throw Away The Key

, , , , , | Working | May 18, 2020

My friend and I are with her mother running errands and we accidentally lock the keys in the car. We call the locksmith and he uses a coat-hanger-like tool to try to open the lock through the driver’s window slot, but he is having trouble.

Locksmith: “This model is a huge pain sometimes. That’s one of the reasons they use them for cop cars. Sorry this is taking so long!”

He keeps working a few more minutes without success.

Locksmith: “Ugh, I still can’t get this one open. I could’ve unlocked every single other car on this block by now!”

Thankfully, he didn’t prove it to us, but we were all a little taken aback nonetheless. He did eventually get the car unlocked, though!

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A Pregnant Pause In The Middle Of Their Ride

, , , , | Legal | May 13, 2020

I’m pregnant with my second child and I begin to feel a few contractions. I call my doctor and she wants me to get an exam before the upcoming delivery, so I take a rideshare to the hospital. I know, from my first birth, that I’m still hours away before the baby comes out, and the contractions are still manageable without much more than a grunt, but car rides are very uncomfortable under those conditions.

We get stuck in traffic a few blocks from the hospital, and I suggest the driver turns on a different street that, from what I can remember from the last time I went to that hospital, will get us there. But I’m wrong and the driver makes a U-turn to get us back to the right path. It’s a little residential street, and several streets just like this one are two-way streets in this area. But this is not one.

We come out, going the wrong way, to find out the cause of the traffic jam was a police block. The cop is very excited to bust my poor driver for going the wrong way.

Cop: “You are going the wrong way; what were you thinking?”

Driver: “Sorry, I—”

I know all this is my fault, and I feel awful, so I open my window to intervene.

Me: “Sorry, officer! It was my fault!”

I feel a contraction coming and I let out a roaring scream like in the movies. I catch my breath and continue.

Me: “You see, I’m having a baby and we need to get to the hospital—”

I point to the hospital, just a block away

Me: “—and I thought this street got us there.”

The officer gets very alarmed and tells us to follow him.

I’m very happy he let the driver go without a ticket, especially since cops here are notorious for asking for bribes. But my driver is almost freaking out.

Driver: “WAIT! YOU’RE IN LABOR?”

I let out a very relieved laugh and explained to him that, well, technically, I was, but the baby was still hours away. 

The cop got in his car and escorted us the short distance, sirens blazing. It was all very cinematographic and completely unnecessary since there was no traffic past the police block.

We got there in minutes and all was well with us. I even went back home and then back to the hospital — no wrong roads this time — before having my baby later that day.


This story is part of our Brazil roundup!

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Failed The Perception Check On That Turtle’s Danger Level

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 13, 2020

A few years before I was born, my parents borrowed my dad’s parents’ cottage for a weekend — a cottage my dad, along with his parents and siblings, had built by hand. My mom hadn’t spent as much time in the area, but both of them are lifelong Canadians who grew up in Ontario.

They were driving along bend after bend of the single-lane road to the cottage, really a pair of dirt ruts with grass in between, crowded on either side by trees. They came around a curve and there was a car stopped, facing the other way.

There were occasional grassy pull-outs. If you met someone coming the other way, you would both stop, you’d have a brief negotiation as to who drove backward better and who had a shorter distance to go, and then one of you would back up to a pull-out and let the other guy by. And hey, this guy was already stopped! So, my parents got out to chat.

Then, they realized why the guy stopped: there was a turtle in the middle of the road! The guy was standing there watching it from a wary distance.

My mom got a stick and started trying to gently “hockey” the turtle off the road, into the forest on one side. After all, it was just some poor, helpless turtle. Right?

The guy blurted out in a thick German accent, “Careful! Ees un schnapping turtle!”

My mom was about to ask how he could tell when the turtle spun around to face her, lunged up at her face, and snapped — on thin air, thankfully. She dropped her stick and jumped back with a yell.

The schnapping turtle landed, turned back the way it was originally facing, and hurried into the forest, because f*** humans with our cars and sticks, apparently. Negotiations regarding backward driving were peacefully concluded and the cottage weekend otherwise unfolded as intended.

And that’s the tale of how some guy born and raised on the other side of an ocean beat some born-here Canucks at a Knowledge (Canada) check.

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