Small Town, Big Country

, , , , | Friendly | July 1, 2020

Several years ago, we moved to a tiny town in Eastern Ontario very near the nation’s capital, Ottawa. Ottawa has huge celebrations for Canada Day, July 1. We’ve learned that areas surrounding Ottawa view themselves as detached from Ontario and Canada, but we didn’t realize by how much until this conversation.

The area is also very insular, not recognizing much of the world beyond its own boundaries. During our first summer in the area this conversation occurs.

Me: “Does [Small Town of about 75 residents] have any Canada Day celebrations?”

Local Official: “Yes, on [date in June rather than July 1].”

Me: *Puzzled* “Is that so the celebrations don’t conflict with those in the [Very Nearby Capital]?”

The official speaks in a tone as if I’d suggested a perversion.

Local Official: “No. Nobody goes to that! It’s so it doesn’t conflict with the big celebration in [Nearest ‘Town’ of a few hundred people].”

Me: “Okay, so we won’t miss that!”

We go to the June celebration in the tiny town, which is a picnic with very modest fireworks in the evening. On July 1st, we go to the festivities in the nearby “big town” which centres around a parade. The parade consists of locals driving their own undecorated cars around the main drag for an hour, followed by two horses. I speak to a local at the parade.

Me: “Have you ever been to the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa?”

Local: “What?! There’s a parade there, too?!”

Me: *Internally* “We have soooooooo moved to the wrong place.”

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The Secret With Dogs Is Consistency

, , , , , | Friendly | May 28, 2020

A neighbor’s dog, large but still a puppy, has slipped her collar. The dog is usually very well-behaved and has learned commands well. The neighbor is pretty friendly, laid back, and in control, so I am a bit surprised to see the dog running back and forth in the street as the young man chases after, swinging her leash and cursing and yelling at the dog to stop.

Of course, the dog thinks it is a great, fun game and keeps running, staying close but out of reach, and nearly getting hit by cars a couple of times. “Stop” is probably not a command that she’s been taught.

Me: “[Neighbor], stop and command [Dog] to ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’ She thinks you’re playing with her and she’ll keep running if you keep chasing her.

Neighbor: “She’s my dog and I’ll handle it my way. Butt out!”

As I watch, the “game” continues for several more minutes, the neighbor getting more and more frustrated and upset at his dog but still chasing after her and cursing and shouting. Finally, after the dog is nearly hit by another car, he stops running.

Neighbor: “[Dog], sit! Stay!”

The dog immediately sat, allowing the young man to walk right up and slip her collar back on and lead her back home.

Although it was hard not to say anything, I didn’t, as I was glad disaster was avoided and I didn’t want to antagonize the already upset young man. The next time I saw them, the dog was wearing a sturdy harness, and for several weeks after, the neighbor avoided eye contact with me.

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What A Garbage Truck Driver

, , , , | Working | May 15, 2020

I wake up one morning to hear shouting outside and a loud bang against my house. I go outside and find my next-door neighbor on her front lawn shaking her head.

I discover that the Internet cable that runs to my house has been mostly ripped from the building and from the overhead pole and is hanging across the street, stopping traffic.

My neighbor fills me in: apparently, a garbage truck collecting from the apartment building across the street from me did not do a very good turn into the apartment’s parking lot. The wire had gone over the back of the truck and hung behind it, effectively blocking him in.

My neighbor had gone over and let him know that the cable was behind him and that he would have to pull all the way into the parking lot and then turn around; otherwise, he would hit the cable. 

The garbage truck driver then thanked my neighbor, waited until she was far enough away, and then reversed at full speed, ripping down the cable. Then, he gave my neighbor a friendly wave and drove off.

My ISP managed to restring the cable fairly quickly but let’s just say that there were a fair few complaints made to the city that morning. As far as I know, that garbage truck driver hasn’t been back.

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Unfiltered Story #193788

, , | Unfiltered | May 15, 2020

I was walking to my apartment and it was ugly raining. I didn’t have an umbrella and I was carring two heavy bags. Some old lady came to me and said “here, take this umbrella and let me help you with those to your place so you won’t get too wet”
It was the most beautiful thing a stranger have ever done for me because I’ve always all my life helped people when they needed it and didn’t thought I will get the same from a complete stranger.

This Family’s A Whole Package Of Bad Behavior

, , , , , | Legal | April 14, 2020

My neighborhood has been dealing with a rash of thefts of packages and mail from porches and mailboxes. I end up installing a camera to hopefully catch whoever it was in the act, and I end up getting a hit when a jacket I ordered gets stolen from my porch. The perp is a teenage girl who walks up to my porch and shoves the package into her backpack.

I manage to get a still from the camera that shows a fairly clear shot of her face while she is shoving the package into the bag, which I put onto a poster and post on a couple of the lamp posts near my house, asking for information about the “package thief.” I don’t actually expect anything to come from it; I just hope to maybe shame them into stopping or something. 

To my surprise, I get a phone call the very next day.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name].

Woman: “You need to take down those posters!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Woman: “You are in big trouble if you don’t take those posters down, now!”

Me: “I’m not taking down anything. I have the right to record my property, and I can use the images how I wish.”

Woman: “My daughter isn’t a thief!”

I look at the phone, taking note of the number in a text document in case I can look up who this is later. I respond in a fakely sweet voice.

Me: “Oh, I’m so, so sorry. I had no idea I was accusing such an upstanding young woman. If I could have your name and address, I’ll write a personal apology for the inconvenience.”

Woman: “It’s [Woman], at [Address].”

I stare at my phone again, this time in shock that it actually worked, before I quickly type things down.

Me: “Right, that will be in the mail shortly.”

I hang up before she can say anything else, and then promptly call the police. I explain what happened and what I did. The person on the other end is a little hung up on the poster and tells me that I really shouldn’t have done that but does promise to look into things. 

It is a few days until I hear back, but I end up getting contacted to get the actual video as evidence. Apparently, the police sent an officer by to check things out and the woman spit in their face after opening the door, which was not a smart move. They found the packaging for a bunch of packages in the house, but unfortunately, most of the stuff had already been sold on, so I never got my jacket back or any of the other packages.

However, the story doesn’t end there. About a month or so later, my front door is vandalized with spray paint, including a note about me “running my mouth.” I repaint it, and then a couple of days later, I get another call from the same number.

Me: “Hello?”

Woman: “That’s what you get! You ruined my daughter’s life, and I’m going to make your life a living h***! You b****!”

She tore off, swearing at me and screaming until I hung up. She immediately tried to call back, but I kept ignoring it while I called up the police again. In a massive karmic coincidence, there was a cop car driving through in the area that happened to be passing by my house just in time to see this woman’s daughter, with a spray can, defacing my door again. So, while I was on the phone, I got a knock at the door and found two officers, with the girl, explaining how they’d seen her graffitiing my doorway.

I explained things, they took the daughter to head over to her mother’s house, and I haven’t heard a thing about it since then. So far, no more graffiti or stolen packages. We’ll see if whatever happened actually sticks.

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