Father Versus Mother Nature

, , , , , | Right | April 22, 2021

I am working as an instructor in a high ropes course. Our business is based in a beautiful forest, so you can enjoy nature, take zip lines through the trees, climb through nets and onto bridges, and so on. To reach us, you have to walk about five minutes through the forest by a footpath.

It is the first day without rain for about a week, so the ground is still muddy and wet. We always recommend outdoor clothing — clothes which could get dirty and be cleaned easily. I am standing at our hut waiting for customers when this middle-aged father with his children and his wife appear.

Me: “Good morning, sir! Would you like to go on an adventure with us?”

Customer: “I want a refund! Look at my shoes! They’re totally messed up… It’s very dirty and muddy in the woods!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, it’s rained a lot the whole week.”

Customer: “You have to build a street or something! It’s unacceptable!”

Me: “I understand, but with all due respect, sir, this is an outdoor activity park. I am afraid we’re not allowed to build streets through the forest. We are just happy to be allowed to build this business here.”

Customer: *Screaming* “What bad service! Who do you think you are?! I want a refund! Now!”

Me: “I’m sorry. This is an adventure course with zip-lines; you will get a little bit dirty. I’m afraid we cannot give you a refund for something you didn’t book or pay.”

Customer: “Get me your manager! Now!”

I do as I’m told and the guy repeats his complaint about the mud and my “rude and bad service.” My manager listens and smiles.

Manager: “You have two options now: leave or have a wonderful day with your family here. But you won’t get a refund, discount, or anything else. It’s your choice.”

The guy’s family, who had been silent up to this point, was now in a panic. The kids wanted to go climbing in the trees and Mama did not want crying and arguing children. In the end, they just paid. My manager later gave the kids a free entry to our mini-golf, while their parents argued a lot about his behaviour.

Related:
Mother Versus Nature

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What A Doggone Fool

, , , , , | Legal | April 11, 2021

I am walking my family’s two dogs a little later than usual, when the streets are busier and more people and animals are around. One of the dogs spots people walking their dog and starts barking her little head off, so I do my best to pull her and our other dog away without causing issues for the other dog walkers. Just as we put more distance between the other dog and us:

Man: “HEY! LADY! EXCUSE ME!”

I turn around and there is an elderly man approaching me, spitting mad.

Man: “How dare you let your dogs go crazy like this?! If you cannot keep them controlled, you should keep them muzzled since they’re clearly aggressive!”

One of the dogs has been calmly sniffing trees around us and the other one is eyeing the man distrustfully and lightly growling since she dislikes raised voices.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t see the other dog as we were turning a corner, and I did my best to control the situation—”

Man: “I don’t care! Your dogs are a danger and you’re an awful dog owner! I’ll call the police on you!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry—”

Passerby: “Hey, man, leave the girl alone! It’s not a big deal, and you’re causing more chaos at this point.”

Man: “NO! She needs to be punished! I’ll call the police on her! She’s disturbing the peace!”

This goes on for a few minutes before I get fed up, apologise to him again, and turn away to continue walking the dogs, with him shouting after me about how he’ll call the police on me for having aggressive dogs, But I think nothing of it, because hey, what police officer would go out because a dog barked at another dog?

Later, as I go around the block and start heading home, I see a police car pull up behind me and two officers get out. Surprised, I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

Me: “Oh, don’t tell me he actually called the police on me!”

Police Officer #1: “We got a report about aggressive dogs in the area. Do you know anything about that?”

I recount the story as best as I can, starting to shake a bit from anxiety over this. While I’m telling the story, one of the dogs is gladly taking the chance to lay down and the other is making friends with the officers and getting petted by one of them.

Police Officer #2: “Well, clearly, this was a pointless call, as your dogs are clearly friendly and not aggressive at all.”

They gesture to the dog who’s basking in their colleague’s attention.

Police Officer #2: “Carry on, miss, and have a good day!”

Me: “Thank you! You, too, and I’m sorry for the trouble!”

Shaken, I returned home and told my mum about what happened. She was understandably upset, and my dad helped me walk the dogs the next few days, just in case the crazy old man came back again. The kicker? I remembered seeing the man before that day when I was retelling the story to my mum; he had come up to me to ask for directions a few weeks before and had even admired how well-behaved the dogs were, petting the very same dog he deemed “aggressive and dangerous”! Thankfully, I haven’t seen him since then, but I do hope he’s nicer now.

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Keep On Truckin’, Girl!

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 14, 2021

I’m taking a walk, going a little slow because I’m still recovering from an ankle injury, and I start crossing the street — admittedly jaywalking — right as a small convertible, roof down in the sunny weather, pulls up from a cross-street and gets ready to turn. A truck pulls up behind her after a few seconds and honks almost immediately, since she’s waiting for me, and I almost feel guilty about my slow pace until the young lady in her little car twists around to glare at him.

Lady: “There’s a pedestrian! Quit acting like an a**hole!”

Truck Driver: “Hey, watch your mouth! I could run right over you.”

Lady: “So, do it, then!”

The truck driver didn’t seem to know how to respond, and with a flip of her ponytail, the girl turned back and started moving, since I was finally out of the way.

I don’t usually enjoy road rage, but something about that young woman in her tiny car chewing him out without hesitation and calling his bluff just tickled me that day!

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These People Don’t Rock At Being Parents

, , , , , | Friendly | March 12, 2021

I am hiking up the back-and-forth part of the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon with my husband when something lands beside me. I don’t see it, but I hear it. Then another, then a third. Then, my husband grabs me and pulls me to the rock wall just as a stone comes flying over from above and lands almost right where I was standing. We look up and see two small heads poking over the edge.

My husband yells up to them.

Husband: “Hey! Stop throwing stuff!”

Voice Above: “Okay!”

It stops for a while, and then another stone comes down, landing just a few feet in front of us. Again, two small heads are looking down at us.

Husband: “Stop!”

Voice Above: “Okay!”

We reach the top and find two children — maybe seven at the oldest — tossing small rocks over the edge, and not like they are trying to get them out into the Canyon, more like spiking a volleyball. There are two adults with them but they are busy taking photos of the Canyon and each other.

Husband: “Are you the ones throwing rocks down there?”

Child #1: “No.”

Child #2: “Watch!”

He picks up a stone about the size of a mandarin orange and whips it down to the trail below.

Me: *Gently* “You could hurt someone doing that.”

Child #1: “Mommy! Help!”

The mother looks up, alarmed. My husband and I are still further from the kids than the parents.

Mother: “What the f***?!”

She pulls her children behind her. The father steps up.

Me: “Your kids are throwing rocks at hikers.”

Mother: “They’re just having fun.”

Father: “They’re fine.”

Husband: “They’re going to kill someone.”

Father: *Scoffs* “Nobody gets killed with rocks.”

Me: “That is—”

Husband: “Look, we almost got hit several times. It’s dangerous.”

Father: “P***y.”

We walked on without another word to the family. We did notify a park staff member in the welcome center, but I don’t know if anything ever happened after.

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As Long As The Dog Is Happy, That’s All We Care About

, , , , , | Legal | January 13, 2021

This story takes place shortly after I am hired for my first job as a police officer. The city that hired me has a mandatory leash law for dogs. Sadly, some of my fellow officers have recently ended up shooting a few nuisance dogs, which has been spun in an effort to show that our department hates dogs.

One day, while I’m walking around my patrol area — in full uniform and with a running body camera — a large puppy turns the corner ahead of me, sees me, and sprints over in a rush of puppy excitement. The pup seems friendly and well-trained — at least for a puppy — and it’s wearing a collar, so after getting it to sit, I give it a scratch and kneel down to read the tag on the collar.

Suddenly, a woman turns the same corner the pup came from and starts sprinting over, screaming.

Woman: “Get away from my dog! Don’t you dare hurt him!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s okay. He’s a friendly guy. I’m just taking a look at his tag.”

Woman: “Just let him go! He hasn’t done anything!”

Me: “The only thing I’m seeing wrong is that he doesn’t have a leash.”

Woman: “I have it right here.”

She pulls a leash out of her sweatshirt pocket and clips it to the pup’s collar.

Me: “Did he escape from your yard or something?”

Woman: “No, we were taking a walk. He likes to move faster than I do, so I let him off his leash so he can wander more. He doesn’t usually go this far away from me.”

Me: “Well, ma’am… based on that, I’m going to have to give you a citation for not having a leash on him.”

Woman: “You can’t do that! I didn’t know about the leash law, and I had a leash right here! I didn’t do anything wrong!”

Me: *While writing out the citation* “Unfortunately, you just admitted that you intentionally let your dog walk without a leash. That’s illegal in [City], so I have to write a citation.”

Woman: *With a smug look now* “Well, he has a leash now, so you can’t prove anything!”

Me: “Ma’am, all [City] police officers wear body cameras. You and your dog have been on camera this entire time. I need your information for the citation.”

She glared at me and refused to give me her information, so I knelt down and started reading her name, address, and telephone number off the pup’s tag, making sure to hold the tag in a position where my body camera would get a good recording of it. When the woman realized what I was doing, she scoffed, dragged the pup away from me, and refused to take the completed citation when I tried to hand it to her.

She tried to fight the citation in court, but my body camera footage of the entire incident was more than enough for the judge to rule that the citation was legitimate.

On a happy note: a few months after her court appearance, the woman was arrested for some unrelated crimes and sentenced to a prison term. Because she lived alone and had nobody to take care of her now-adult dog, he was taken to a local animal shelter. Shortly after, he was adopted by another local family who have taken excellent care of him and his leash. I still see the dog most days when I’m on patrol, and I have started carrying a few dog treats in my pockets for him and the other friendly dogs in the neighborhood.


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

Read the next Best Of January 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of January 2021 roundup!

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