The Mother Of All Viruses

, , , , , | Related | July 10, 2018

My family moved into a new house in the mid to late 90s. Being a teenager, the first thing I did was set up our computer and get AOL running. At some point later in the day, my mom went to use the phone, and instead of a dial tone, there was a weird beeping. She was convinced I had gone on the Internet and somehow downloaded a virus to our phone line, and there was nothing I could do to convince her otherwise.

She then made me call up technical support and sit on hold for over an hour to get the virus out of our phone. I was a shy kid who hated being on the phone talking to strangers, anyway, much less when I knew the thing I had to ask was moronic. So, when I finally got a tech on the line, I couldn’t stop cringing as I explained the “problem” to them. Shockingly, their response was that it wasn’t possible to get a virus on a phone line. Somehow them saying it was acceptable.

Oh, and we found out later that the person that previously had the phone line had set up voicemail on the line, and that beeping instead of dial tone was used to indicate a message had been left.

Taking Catty Behavior To A Whole New Level

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 8, 2018

When I was a child, my dad had a bunch of friends from work over. Our elderly cat is friendly and likes to come out and say hi to new people, which wasn’t a problem until he jumped up onto the couch to come and sit with me, his favorite person. One of Dad’s coworkers then proceeded to grab my cat by the neck — not even the skin on the back of his neck, his actual neck — and slam him onto the hardwood floor and shout at him, “Animals do not belong on the couch!”

There was an awkward silence as everyone processed what she’d just done. The cat ran and hid, and was in so much pain afterwards that we had to get him checked out by a vet. Turns out she slammed him onto the ground so hard that she broke two of his ribs, which never healed properly because he was so old. She was ordered to get out right away, and anytime she tried to get a word in, my dad would shout, “GET OUT!” over her until she left. I’d never seen him so angry in my life.

She later got fired from her job because she acted like my dad had been unreasonable and kept trying to start drama with him until their boss got sick of it.

Best Little Brother, Period

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | July 6, 2018

My 15-year-old daughter was having particularly painful period cramps one day, and spent the day lying in bed. Her 12-year-old little brother asked what was wrong, and she told him; we’re very open about these sorts of things in our family. He then asked me if he could go for a bike ride, and I said yes.

He took his bike down to the nearest grocery store, went in and bought several of his sister’s favorite chocolate bars with his own money, and brought them home for her, telling her he hoped she felt better soon.

He’s going to make some lucky girl a wonderful boyfriend and husband someday.

Webcam Versus Scam

, , , , , | Legal | July 6, 2018

I was working in a computer shop, when after a busy morning, we discovered one of our display machines missing. Tracing through the morning’s sales we narrowed down the culprits to two men who’d come in together – one had occupied the salesperson with questions, while the other searched the store for something valuable and portable, before carrying it off.

They were very smooth, but they made two main mistakes. The first: our store dealt in used equipment, so they thought the perfect way to case the joint would be to come in a day early with an old motherboard. We still had this in our back room -– along with a detailed form containing the name, address, phone number, and other identifying information about one of them. City regulations treated this aspect of our business as if we were a pawn shop; he’d had to show picture ID to get us to look at the potential sale.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, his partner had been screwing around with the display computers while they were in the store, and managed to take several pictures of himself with the webcam on it, saving them to the desktop.

When the police arrived that afternoon we were able to give them everything they needed, gift-wrapped.

Later on, we found that the culprits denied ever having been in our store… Then, when confronted with proof, they tried to claim individual innocence, blaming each other for the crime.

I don’t think we ever got our stolen property back, but the police were apparently able to charge them based on the provable falsehoods of their stories.

The Cosmos Of Kindness

, , , , , , | Hopeless | July 5, 2018

This is one of those weird cosmic coincidences. Five or so years ago I was driving home from work and noticed a homeless girl, probably in her early 20s, standing at the exit of an underpass. It was the middle of a Phoenix summer in the afternoon, so this girl was braving near 115-degree weather, which is hot enough to cause heat stroke. Her shirt was in tatters, held together with safety pins, and she only had a rough-looking bag slung over her shoulder.

As I didn’t have any food or cash on me, I pulled over and talked to her. It turns out she’d been kicked out of her home by an abusive now-ex boyfriend, who had destroyed all of her belongings out of spite. I offered to get her some healthy food from a nearby grocery store, which she gladly accepted. In the end, I got her some healthy-ish meals that wouldn’t spoil easily — lots of dried fruits and unsalted nuts — vitamins, a new shirt, and tampons, as the poor girl had been without for several months. She was immensely grateful, and refused any further help from me. She went about her day, and I quickly forgot the incident.

Fast forward a few years later, and one of my roommates was in a horrible car accident. When I rushed to the hospital, guess who the EMT who got her in the ambulance was?

That girl helped save my roommate’s life, and I’ll forever be thankful to her for it.

Just goes to show you that kindness really can save a life!

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