Neighborhood Cat Watch

, , | France | Hopeless | May 11, 2016

(As a teenager, I was bullied at school. The bullying lasted four years and it traumatized me to the point I have now a hard time trusting people. Now I live in my own apartment with a cute, very friendly cat. My cat disappears one night and I worry a lot. I remember I have the phone number of a neighbor. I’m phoning her answering machine.)

Me: “Hello, I’m sorry to bother you. I’m Ms. [My Name] and my young calico cat, [Cat], went missing yesterday. So, I’m wondering if maybe you saw her. Anyway, maybe she’ll be back tonight. Have a nice day!”

(She calls back later.)

Neighbor #1: “Hello, yes, I know this cat! She often asks me for cuddles when I’m back from work! You know what? I know a neighbor who feeds the stray cats around. I’ll tell her everything; maybe she saw her! I think you should make small posters. What do you think?”

Me: “That’s a great idea! Thank you ever so much!”

(I try the small posters method. Then I get another phone call.)

Neighbor #2: “Hello, I’m [Neighbor #2] and I found one of your posters. I’m really sorry for you. I mean, your cat is so lovable; my grandson loves her! If I were you, I would tell my vet and go to [Place].”

Me: “Thank you very much. I’ll do that!”

Neighbor #2: “Also, could you please tell me when she’s back?”

Me: “Of course!”

(In the following days, many neighbors went to me, asked me if my cat was back and gave me some advice about how to get her back. I was really worried, yet I couldn’t believe how kind these people were. Then after three days, my cat came back home on her own, hungry yet unharmed. I sent a collective text message to thank my wonderful neighbors. This was a few weeks ago, yet there are still people who come to me and tell me they’re glad my cat is back!)

Out Shopping For A New Friend

, , , | Scotland, UK | Hopeless | April 18, 2016

(I am a teenage Chinese male, but was born and raised in Scotland, so I have the local accent and cultural awareness. For as long as I can remember, a grumpy old woman has lived on the other side of the street. She would moan and scowl at most passersby, but is mostly harmless. I am leaving my house for football practise, when I notice the old lady get off the bus with what looks like heavy shopping bags.)

Me: “Excuse me, would you like me to help you with your shopping?”

(The old lady just stops and stares at me for a moment, like a deer in headlights.)

Me: “I know you only live down the road, but those look heavy.”

(The old lady is still staring, but wordlessly hands me her bags. I take them and we slowly walk towards her house.)

Me: “Wow, you seem to have a lot in here. Are you planning a feast?”

(My efforts of small talk don’t seem to get anywhere, so we walk slowly in silence, until we get to her front door.)

Me: “If you’d like, I can take these to your kitchen for you?”

(At this point she finally speaks.)

Old Lady: “How long have you been able to speak English?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Old Lady: “Your English. It’s almost like you’re a local.”

Me: “That’s because I am. I was born in Dundee.”

Old Lady: “All this time, I thought you couldn’t speak English.”

Me: “Well, I guess we just never spoke to each other until now.”

Old Lady: “No, I suppose we didn’t.”

(She then opens her front door, and gestures for me to take her bags inside. Straight away, I can tell that this old lady might not be able to take care of herself very well, as the house is a bit of a mess, and the kitchen surfaces are dirty and sticky. The old lady seems a little embarrassed so I don’t make anything of it.)

Me: “Right, let me know where you want me to put your shopping.”

(I put the things away for her, making small talk. She says she’s seen me grow up over the years but just assumed because we are Chinese we don’t speak English and don’t associate with ‘locals.’ I am able to correct a few of her misconceptions, too. I finally put the last of her shopping away.)

Me: “Okay, that should be everything.”

Old Lady: “Would you like to stay for a cup of tea?”

(I’m about to mention that I will be late for my football practise, but the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice indicates that she probably hasn’t shared a cup of tea with anyone for a long time.)

Me: “You know what? A cup of tea sounds fantastic.”

(And for the first time in my entire life of knowing this grumpy old woman on my street, I see her smile.)

Old Lady: “Oh, lovely! I’ll get out the good biscuits!”

(For the next hour we chatted some more and got to know each other. She was a widow in her seventies who had lived alone for the last sixteen years, and didn’t make friends easily. From this one hour chat, we established an ongoing plan where I would go to the local supermarket with her once a week to help with the shopping and come back for a cup of tea, and I helped out around the house to keep it clean and tidy. We invited her over to our house for every birthday, Christmas, and even Chinese New Year, which she found very interesting, although the food may have been a little too spicy for her! We remained friends for ten years until her death, where my entire family attended her funeral, much to the surprise of her family, who hadn’t visited her once in the last decade. She will always be a close friend I will remember for the rest of my life.)

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Not A Tall Tale

| Duncan, BC, Canada | Friendly | March 1, 2016

(My mom’s band has been asked to be the last performance on the biggest night of the local folk music festival. I have spent the event with her, and when the big moment comes, get in the front row of dancers. I sidle sideways trying to find a good spot to film from, and settle in. Then, from behind me, I hear a sad voice speak up.)

Voice: “Awww, why’d you have to stop in front of meee?”

(It should be noted that at 5’2″, I am by no means tall, so I turn around to discover that I had decided to stop directly in front of a woman no taller than my shoulder. Naturally, I moved over a bit…)

If Music Be The Fruit Of Jealousy

| Squamish, BC, Canada | Romantic | August 24, 2015

(I’ve meet a guy at a music festival and we really hit it off, spending most of the weekend together. I want to see a particular musician perform, and he and his friend seem enthusiastic, so we all go together. The musician comes out on stage to massive applause and plays one of my all-time favourite songs.)

Me: “God, isn’t he awesome?!”

Guy: “He’s all right, I guess.”

Me: “Not gonna lie. I’m basically in love with that dude. Such a great performer too, all that energy.”

Guy: “He’s probably coked up out of his mind.”

Me: “…I’m aware of his substance issues, since half his last album was about them.”

Guy: “I’m just saying, you know, he’s not THAT amazing.”

Guy’s Friend: “Man, what’s your damage tonight? You LOVE [Musician], like, almost as much as she does.”

Me: “Seriously?”

Guy’s Friend: “Oh yeah, he’s a major fan. ”

Me: “…Wait, are you actually jealous? Dude, you’ve known me all of two days! Are you for real mad because I have a crush on a rock star?”

Guy: “I’m not jealous! I’m just saying he has issues.”

Me: “I think his music is great. I don’t want to marry him or something.”

Guy: “Would you sleep with him?”

Me: “I don’t really think that’s even a possibility, but wouldn’t you?”

Guy’s Friend: “He would.”

Guy: “…Okay, yes, probably, but that’s not the point!”

Me: “So the point is you want me to what, invite you along if for some reason I get the chance to have sex with [Musician]?!”

(That did actually make him laugh and admit he was acting weird. The rest of the concert was fantastic and as far as I know none of us had sex with Musician.)

No ID, No Idea, Part 14

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Right | October 18, 2013

(I am a volunteer bartender at a big music festival. We are required to check everyone’s ID upon ordering a drink. It’s now late into the festival, and customers are already pretty drunk.)

Customer: “Can I get a beer?”

Me: “Yes, can I see some ID?”

Customer: *as he’s pulling out his ID* “Okay, but it’s fake!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Yeah, it’s fake. Will you still serve me?”

Me: “Absolutely not!”

Customer: *shoves ID in my face* “Does it look fake!?”

Me: “You just told me your ID is fake. I cannot serve you.”

Customer: “Fine! I’ll go over here!” *moves a foot over to the next bartender’s line*

Me: “I will tell them not to serve you.”

Customer: “Seriously!? WHAT THE H***! I JUST WANT SOME ALCOHOL!”

(At this point the bar manager has witnessed what has transpired.)



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