If Only There Was A Bobble Hat For Every Black Hat

, , , | Romantic | April 19, 2021

My sisters and I are on a family skiing holiday in France with our dad; we are from England. I’ve gotten into the hotel lift with one of my younger sisters and two guys; [Guy #1] is wearing a black beanie whilst [Guy #2] is wearing a very bright, multicoloured stripey bobble hat with a neon green and pink bobble. [Guy #1] gives us a very obvious once-over whilst clearly trying not to look obvious. He nudges [Guy #2] and nods to us, and he glances at us.

Guy #1: *Quite loudly* “They’re fit. The s*** I’d do to them…”

Guy #2: *Shaking his head* “’Cause that’s not creepy, [Guy #1]. Just ogling two random girls and then talking about them.”

Guy #1: “Chill, they’re French. They don’t understand.”

Guy #2: “They can still pick up on body language and tone. You’re about as subtle as a brick to the face. Plus, it’s still creepy. Even if they weren’t in an enclosed square with us, they’re people, you get that?”

Guy #1: “I’m not like, saying I’d hurt them. Just like, I’d show ’em a good time.”

Guy #2: “Mate, no.”

Guy #1: “If they consented! Obviously!”

Guy #2: “It’s creepy to talk about two girls like that! Basic respect is a basic right!”

Guy #1: “They’re French! We’re speaking English! It’s fine!”

Sister: “Just FYI, French people learn English in school.”

There’s a really awkward silence. [Guy #2] takes off his hat and starts twisting it.

Guy #1: “Your English is very good”

Me: “That’s because we’re British.”

There’s another really awkward silence. [Guy #2] twists his hat more.

Guy #1: “Soooooooo… wanna like… get a drink later?”

Guy #2: *Hitting [Guy #1] with his hat* “Mate! No! Stop! I swear he’s just an idiot with absolute zero awareness; he’s not some dodgy perv that hurts girls! Or anyone, really! Paper bags are a bigger threat, I swear!”

The lift opens, and [Guy #2] pushes [Guy #1] out.

Guy #2: “Lovely meeting you. I’m really sorry!”

A few days later, we’re grabbing breakfast in the hotel lobby with our dad.

Dad: “That was weird.”

Me: *Not really paying attention* “Hmm?”

Dad: “Two guys walked in, one in the brightest bobble hat I have ever seen, the other in a black hat. Bobble Hat seemed to look at [Sister], grabbed Black Hat, and pushed him out of the lobby.”

We clued Dad into what had happened but didn’t see much of either of the two guys. I can only presume [Guy #2] would spot us and steer [Guy #1] away.

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Who Mourns For Adonis?

, , , , , , | Right | March 23, 2021

I am conducting an English-speaking tour of the museum for some American tourists. We are in the Greek history section where we have several very famous and beautiful statues from the period.

Me: “This is the statue of Adonis, the ancient Greek god of beauty and desire.”

I am interrupted by one of the tourists, a middle-aged woman.

Tourist: “Nu-uh! That’s a man!”

Me: “Yes, Adonis was a male god.”

Tourist: “Ain’t no man gonna be a god of beauty. That’s the… uh… the Venus!”

Me: “Venus was the Roman goddess of beauty and love, and her Greek counterpart would have been Aphrodite.”

Tourist: “No! No man is going to be beautiful! That’s just wrong!”

Me: “I… uh… Well, I am sorry, ma’am, but that’s what the ancient Greeks believed.”

Tourist: “I bet he was one of those men who dressed up as women! That’s wrong!”

I let her rant for a while as she was not being too loud and I could continue the tour, only for my heart to sink as we progressed along the tour and got to another famous statue: Hermaphroditus, the god of hermaphrodites and effeminates.


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

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Being Trilingual Is Such A Burden Sometimes

, , , , | Right | February 12, 2021

I am the somewhat stupid customer here. It’s a Sunday morning and I’m browsing a baked goods stall for breakfast. I’m on this island unexpectedly because there were rough seas and our ship had to divert to a different port, so I’m still adjusting.

Me: “I’d like twelve of the beignets with cheese.”

Merchant: “The beignets. You want twelve for six Euros?”

Me: *Suddenly in Italian* “Yes, for six.”

Merchant: *In French* “Pardon?”

Me: *Laughing, speaking in French* “I’m sorry. I just arrived from Italy and still think in their language.”

Merchant: *Laughing* “I thought you were American.”

Me: “Oh, I am. I’m just very confused today.”

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Fluent In Python And Kindness

, , , , | Friendly | February 12, 2021

I’m a programmer from France, and at the beginning of this story I am living in the UK. One day, my mom, who works in the town hall of a little village in France, tells me about a man who posted an announcement for a “web admin who can use [Technology].” My grandparents and mother know him; he is in charge of the local movie association. The village is too little to have his own movie theater, so this man decided to display movies in the church once or twice a week. He is in his fifties or something and lost his son to cancer last year.

I’ve never used [Technology], but I think I could give it a try, and I call the man.

Man: “Hi, thanks for helping me. You know, it’s my son that created the website, but now, I need to add something to it, and obviously, I can’t do it on my own.”

He gives me the technical details, and I work on it over the weekend. It’s not really hard to do, but I’ve never worked with this and I’m picking up work from someone else. The son did leave some documentation on the website. Yes, programmer folks, he left documentation for his side project.

I manage to do it and call the man back. He thanks me profusely.

Man: “You know, this website, that’s kind of the last thing I got from my son. I would have been so sad to let it go and not update it. Thanks again. We’re going to open a bottle of champagne with my wife!”

It’s clear that he has tears in his eyes, and I have some, too, of course. 

Me: “Yes, it was not a big deal, really. I was happy to help!”

Two days later, my mom sends me a picture of a 100€ bill.

Mom: “He came by the town hall this morning and left that for you. I told him it was too much but he insisted.”

I was not expecting any payment at all, so that was really nice of him!

Fast forward six months. I come back to France, and the man asks for my help another time, which I gladly accept. I invite him to come to my grandparents’ house so we can finally meet in person. Before coming, he sends me a text.

Man: “Hi! Sorry if it seems inappropriate, but what is your birth year?”

I answered, and he and his wife arrived at our home a few hours later with a bottle of wine dated from my birth year! We talked, I helped him, and it was really nice to meet them both.


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

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Catch Train 22

, , , , , , | Working | February 5, 2021

My town goes into curfew at 6:00 pm because of the health crisis, and our station decides that this is a good time to cut back on trains. In my job, only [Coworker #1] lives far enough away to have to take the train every night, and when he gets out at 5:00 pm, there is no train for him.

I can hear his supervisor talking to the boss.

Supervisor: “But he leaves at 4:30?”

Boss: “Yes! Temporarily; we are trying to find solutions.”

Supervisor: “Everyone is grumbling because he’s leaving early!”

Boss: “It’s taken off of his days off.”

Supervisor: “But even so, it’s not normal for someone to leave early.”

Boss: “If he goes out on time, he doesn’t have any more trains, and I wouldn’t make him sleep outside, and if we leave him in the offices, we have to have someone to watch over him. Do you agree to stay here tonight?”

The supervisor left and agreed to let him go at 4:30 pm.

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