Going Hard On Softball

, , , , , | Friendly | October 11, 2019

(My husband served three combat tours in Iraq as a convoy driver and suffers from very severe post-traumatic stress disorder as a result. One of his triggers is strange people showing up to our residence unannounced such as salesmen, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. When he is medically retired from the Army we buy a house on a long private driveway/road that has five other homes along it. The driveway is pretty secluded and leads to the shore of a large pond at the end. The driveway has several large, “NO TRESPASSING,” “NO SOLICITING,” and “PRIVATE DRIVEWAY” signs at the entrance due to the fact that the residents do not want to be bothered by strange callers. My husband really enjoys living there and has even made a really good friend with one of the neighbors, a Vietnam veteran with equally severe PTSD. This is what happens when a teenage girl decides to go door to door in the neighborhood to recruit players for the softball league that she is on. The doorbell rings multiple times as if someone is leaning on it.)

Husband: *starting to freak out* “There is someone at the door and there is a strange car in the driveway! Answer the door for me!”

(I am working on my doctoral dissertation in the family room level of our split level and I walk upstairs to answer the door.)

Teenage Girl: “Hi! Are you the mom? I am with [Softball League] and I am recruiting middle- and high-school-age girls to play on our team–”

Me: *cutting her off* “Excuse me. Did you not see the “no trespassing” and other signs at the beginning of the driveway? You are not welcome here. My husband has PTSD from the war and you are upsetting him. Leave now!”

Teenage Girl: “Yeah, that’s what the guy at the end of the road said and he was really angry. He started screaming at me to leave, but our coach told us to go to every street in this section of town to try to get players for our softball league. I didn’t think that the “no trespassing” and “no soliciting” signs applied to me because I am recruiting for [Softball League].”

Me: “Does your coach know that you just broke the law by entering private property that has been posted multiple times? Furthermore, there are no children on this street. With the exception of the state trooper that lives next door and my husband and I, everyone on this street is over the age of 55.”

Teenage Girl: *shoves a brochure into my hand* “Just take this brochure; you must know some teenage girl who wants to join our softball league. You and your neighbors are just trying to hold our team back. The people on this street really need to be more patriotic and support your community!”

(I realize that my husband has let [Vietnam Veteran] into the house through the sliding glass doors on the upstairs deck, and I hear him and my husband start to curse at the top of their lungs.)

Vietnam Veteran: “Are you stupid, young lady?! We lost brothers in two different wars trying to defend your freedom to have your stupid softball league! Don’t accuse us of not being patriotic unless you are prepared to enlist in the armed forces the day you graduate from high school like both of us did. We almost died for your freedom and we have the right to live in a place where people can’t bother us! This is private property. Leave now!

Teenage Girl: “But we don’t have enough people for our softball league!”

Me: “How is it our problem? You are trespassing on private property. Leave now!”

(At this time, the state trooper neighbor has heard the commotion and has come over.)

State Trooper: “Are you guys okay?” *to me, my husband, and [Vietnam Veteran]* “I saw a strange car in your driveway and I heard yelling.”

(I explain the situation to the state trooper neighbor and he pulls out his badge.)

State Trooper: *to teenage girl* “I am–” *states full name and title* “–and you are trespassing on clearly-marked private property. You have upset three of my neighbors, two of whom are veterans with quite severe PTSD. You have been asked to leave multiple times. Get off of this property now or I will be forced to issue you a court summons for trespassing!”

Teenage Girl: “But our team! We can’t have our league now!”

(I hand the brochure that was forced into my hand to the state trooper. The brochure has a number for the girl’s coach.)

State Trooper: “I am going to call your coach and tell her that you trespassed on private property and tried to bully someone into recruiting for you. Do I have to arrest you for refusing to leave?”

(The girl turned white, got in her car, and left the property. My state trooper neighbor called the girl’s coach, who was not very happy to hear what her player did to recruit for the league. Apparently, several girls from the league took it upon themselves to canvas every street in the small city that we live in to get girls to play in their league when they found out that the league didn’t have enough players. The coach told the state trooper that one girl was almost arrested for trying to force her way into the home of an elderly woman just to try to talk the woman’s granddaughter into joining the softball league!)

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The Long Fish Stick Of The Law  

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2019

Me: “Thanks for calling [Company]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’ve just been down to your outlet in Denver and the waitress wouldn’t serve me.”

Me: “Sorry to hear that. Can I take some details?”

Customer: “Sure. At 8:55 pm, I came down to get a fish sticks and fries meal and the lady wouldn’t let me in. “

Me: “Did she say why?”

Customer: “Yes, she said half an hour ago they just got robbed and the police were there.”

Me: “So, the store was closed due to a robbery?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: *bewildered* “Right…”

Customer: “So, I’m very unhappy I didn’t get my fish sticks. It’s not my fault they got robbed.”

Me: “And you still want to complain?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.”

Me: “Okay, then…”

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When The Men Take “Me Too” Seriously

, , , , , | Working | October 10, 2019

(I work away from home a lot, and on this job, I’m part of a team that’s all staying in the same hotel. I run to keep fit, so I always take my running gear with me when I’m staying away. I go out for a run one evening and pass some of my colleagues on their way to get food as I do so. The next day, I hear a commotion from another part of the store, shortly before one of my team leaders appears with one of the other guys dragging his feet behind him.)

Team Leader: “[Coworker] has something to say to you.”

Coworker: *mutters something inaudible*

Team Leader: “I don’t think that [My Name] heard that.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry for taking photos of you while you were running last night and showing them to other people. I won’t do it again.”

Team Leader: “He’s deleted the photos from his phone and Google Images, and he emptied the bin. They’re gone.”

Coworker: “It’s not my fault you have a nice a***.”

Team Leader: “And it seems we need to have another chat.”

(Luckily, that was someone assigned to set up a department on the mezzanine level, and I was setting up one downstairs, so I didn’t have to encounter him very often. The other blokes on the team all agreed that he was out of line. As the guy I was working alongside put it, “Yeah, you’ve got a nice a***, but taking a photo of it without your permission is rude, and sharing that photo is completely out of line.”)

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I Say Tomato, You Say Marijuana

, , , , | Legal | October 9, 2019

When I was growing up in the 80s, my parents were basically hippies. We lived in a rural area. We raised chickens, ducks, and goats and grew our own vegetables, some of them in a greenhouse, along with other kinds of plants.

One night around midnight, we heard a crash and a revving car engine. We ran outside and saw that someone had broken into our greenhouse and stolen some of our plants.

We moved some things around and went back to bed. Then, around two in the morning, there was a knock at the door. It was the cops. They said some kids had been pulled over for reckless driving and had confessed to breaking into our greenhouse and stealing our plants. They wanted to investigate the damage.

My parents took them to the greenhouse, and the cops asked them to estimate the value of the stolen plants and the damage to our property. My mother made up a ridiculously high number, which they put into their report.

The plants that were stolen were tomato plants, some of them with unripe tomatoes on them. Furthermore, in order to get to the tomato plants, the kids had to pass by our actual — immature — potted marijuana plants, which by this time were safely hidden in our bathroom. The cops gave us a funny knowing look, but they had no probable cause to search our house, after all.

And my parents ended up making a tidy profit on the busted screen door of our greenhouse.

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Dine And Dash And Rehash

, , , | Legal | October 3, 2019

A young man came into our restaurant, drank two beers, ate a meal, and then dine-and-dashed on one of our servers. A few weeks later, he comes in alone again. We believe that we recognize him as the dine-and-dasher from a few weeks before and keep a close eye on him. At the end of his meal, when he believes no one is looking, he picks up his backpack and speed-walks out the front door. This time, however, our kitchen manager is lurking behind the podium and follows the young man outside. A few moments later, they both return, the young man looking rather sheepish. He apologizes to his server profusely for “forgetting” to pay before he left. He then produces a wallet with several cards. 

The first one does not work. He slips it into his pocket.

The second doesn’t work. He slips it into his pocket.

“Just one minute,” he says, “I’ve got another card in my truck.” He drops his backpack on the seat of the booth, goes outside for a few minutes, and comes back with another card. This card also does not work. The young man is becoming very anxious and is starting to shake. Fifteen minutes have passed and it is obvious that he has no way to pay for his meal. He pulls out his iPhone and calls somebody. He tries another card. No dice. The card goes into his pocket. 

Then, he hands his wallet to the server and says that he is meeting someone outside and they will come in and pay for his meal. He takes his backpack and leaves. He does not come back. 

We open the wallet to find two unregistered [Coffee Shop] loyalty cards, one [Burger Joint] gift card, and an expired condom. That’s it.

We don’t have to pay for walk-outs; of course, we did our due diligence. But we think we embarrassed him enough that he will not be back.

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