A Moderately Terrifying Cycle

, , , | Legal | March 27, 2020

My dad is a big fan of bikes; he’s the kind of guy who has three bikes on the wall and is still searching eBay for a deal on more bikes. One day, he has gone to the local bike shop near our house to get one of his bikes fixed. He loads his bike back into the back of his truck and the repair guy asks if he wants to do a survey. My dad agrees.

After five minutes, he returns outside to find his truck has been busted open and his bike missing. He asks the bike shop guy if they have security cameras and they say no. Desperate, he goes to the biltong shop next door. (Biltong is South African snack food; it’s like dried meat sticks.)

After asking the guy if he has cameras, the man asks what was stolen. After my dad explains, the guy tells him to say he was in the biltong store instead of the bike shop, and then the guy calls someone. A few minutes later, a very buff man comes in and asks my dad what was stolen. My dad explains that his bike was stolen while he was in the shop and the owner tells the buff guy that they have a deal and they don’t steal stuff from customers of his store.

They argue for a bit and then the buff guy makes a call. Then, another guy shows up with my dad’s bike. The buff guy then asks my dad if he wants to beat this guy because he broke the rules! My dad says he just wants his bike back and, after a few rounds of, “Someone has to,” and, “Are you sure?” he hands my dad his bike. The buff guy says that the bike looks very expensive and he thinks he deserves a “reward” for getting it back.

The shop owner starts talking about their deal and the buff guy leaves. My dad takes his bike and goes home. In short, my dad accidentally discovered that our local biltong shop pays off criminals so they don’t steal from customers.

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And Now Our Night Shift Begins

, , , | Working | March 25, 2020

I used to live with my parents just outside of a small town about thirty minutes away from where I live now. When I lived with my parents, I moved to the night shift at work, because it’s a shorter shift and still gives me freedom to get stuff done during the day.

December of 2018, I move into a house with my now fianceé and her mother. It’s not the greatest part of town — a group of kids between 12 and 18 recently went around and robbed stores and carjacked two cars at gunpoint, to give an example — but it’s the only house we can get a loan for, and we are desperate.

I’m still working the night shift, and three times now I’ve had to call into work because of gunshots nearby, and police have been looking for suspects. This third time, my supervisor asks me if this is real, so I tell him the general area of where I live, and then I tell him to watch the news the next day. Sure enough, it’s on the news the next evening about someone found dead in a suspected drug-related incident, and the police are looking for suspects. My supervisor pulls me aside to ask me if I want to switch to day shifts.

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A Body Of Evidence

, , , , , , | Right | March 20, 2020

(A customer sets a large amount of chains on the counter.)

Customer: “Do you think this is enough to hold down a body?”

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A Would-Be Thief Has His Eyes Opened

, , , , | Healthy | March 7, 2020

(I work with patients at an eye specialist, checking vision and administering eye drops. One day, one of my newer coworkers comes to me about a patient.)

Coworker: “He’s complaining about his eye being sore, but he’s asking way too many questions about [expensive temporary numbing agent for office use only].”

(I trust his judgment, so I ask another technician to casually restock something in the exam room where the patient is waiting for the doctor and take the numbing drop with him when he’s done. Not ten minutes later, when the doctor goes to see him…)

Patient: “Hey, Doc, why can’t you give me some more of those numbing drops?”

Doctor: “Because too much is toxic for your eyes. A patient stole a bottle years ago and used it non-stop for days; it really damaged their eye.”

Patient: “Good thing you said that, Doc, because I was planning on stealing that bottle!”

(He said this without any embarrassment whatsoever! I only hope he learned not to mess around with that sort of thing.)

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Excuse Us Whilst We Fling Our Phones Into A River

, , , , , , | Romantic | March 6, 2020

I used to work in a car stereo shop. We had a reputation for electrical work; mechanics in the area would often refer tricky stuff to us because we were the only ones who had the equipment and knowledge to figure it out.

One day we received a call saying that they were referring a customer to us with questions about a GPS tracker.

After a short discussion, it became clear that the customer was trying to find out if a tracker had been somehow installed in her car. Apparently, her crazy ex had been stalking her all over town… just happening to appear wherever she was, even at places where he should have had no idea that she was even there.

I had never seen someone look so scared; she was pale as a ghost and her voice shook when she spoke. She was so terrified that she was literally looking over her shoulder every few seconds and speaking in whispers. 

I gave a cursory inspection at the easy spots in the parking lot. There was nothing under the wheel, nothing on the roof or under the chassis, nothing in the engine compartment, and nothing under or in the seats. There was no factory GPS, no On-Star, nothing that would track her. 

I told her that I didn’t see anything in the typical spots, but if he had somehow managed to have access to her vehicle for a good block of time, then God knows where it could be. 

I told her that I would have to do a shop charge to go deeper. For $75 an hour, we’d look anywhere and for as long as she wanted.

She paid for two hours of inspection without blinking. We took the whole dash apart, dropped the headliner, pulled a bunch of interior panels, flashlight and mirrored the chassis, and generally tore the thing apart. We couldn’t find a single wire out of place anywhere. The whole thing looked totally stock and untouched. (After a while in the industry, you can tell if you’re the first to remove a panel.)

I handed her the keys and reviewed what we did and where we looked as I walked her back to her car. She looked so relieved to finally know there was nothing on her vehicle.

Then, her ex drove by our lot, staring her down. He wasn’t even subtle; he was practically hanging out the window, staring at her like a hawk stares at a fat mouse.

That was my holy-s*** moment: watching this guy blatantly cruise past our business. I’m a big guy, and he didn’t even spare me a glance.

She just burst into tears, practically diving behind me to hide. One of my coworkers came sprinting over to us and said that that vehicle had cruised past three times already, and this was his fourth pass in the two hours we had been stripping her car practically down to the paint.

I walked her back into the store. I told her that we knew it wasn’t in her car, but that I wanted to check something that might help her.

I asked to look at her phone. 

Sure enough, location services were on and had geotagged at our store on Facebook. In fact, it had geotagged everywhere she’d seen him. 

She had him blocked from all her social media in moments and turned the location services off for good measure.

We moved her vehicle out of sight from the road and called the police. We didn’t want her leaving without some proper actions taken, or without a police vehicle on-site to make sure she got away without him coming by again.

From there, we helped her get a restraining order filed against him, and she was able to leave safely.

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