When Being Chatty Saves People

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 15, 2019

(I’m walking to the library with my four-year-old. She’s skipping alongside me, chattering happily, waving frantically, and yelling, “HI!” at everyone we pass and every car that goes past. Nothing unusual. About a block from the library, she waves and says, “Hi!” into what I think is just an empty laneway, but as we step forward, I realise there’s an elderly man standing there in his pajamas, in the middle of the lane, with a small dog running in circles around his feet.)

Man: “Why, hello, young lady! Out for a walk, are we?”

Daughter: “Yep! We’re going to the library!”

(The old man looks confusedly at us for a moment. At first, I think it’s because my daughter’s speech impediment means she pronounces it as, “yiberry,” but as we pause, I realise that he has no shoes on and his pajama pants are covered in mud. I can also see that his feet are bleeding in a few places, like he’s been stepping on prickles. It’s INCREDIBLY cold today and I finally realise how cold he must be, and his dog isn’t on a lead but seems to be getting more and more worked up.)

Me: “Yep, off to the library. Where are you off to today, mate?”

Man: “Ah… I’m a bit late for work! I work down at the ice works but, well, bit embarrassing but I seem to have gotten turned around.”

(The ice works in our town is now a historical site. It hasn’t been operational in almost forty years at this point.)

Me: “Happens to the best of us, mate. I know the way, though; how about you come with us?”

(After a bit of convincing and my daughter excitedly yelling about her new friend coming along, I convince him to come out onto the footpath and stand on the grass instead of the asphalt. Trying to give him my jacket doesn’t work — he staunchly refuses to take “a young lass’s jacket on a cold day” — and he is getting more agitated but never angry or violent. I stand there wondering what the heck to do next when suddenly a car screeches to a stop at the kerb. A middle-aged man leaps out of the car and hurtles towards us.)

Younger Man: “DAD! Dad, Jesus Christ, I’ve been looking for you everywhere! What the h*** are you doing?”

(The guy honestly looks like he’s about to cry, as does his dad, who seems even more confused at this point.)

Older Man: “No time to play right now, [Younger Man]. I’m late for work, mate. I gotta go.”

(The younger guy tries for a few minutes to convince his dad to get in the car, to no avail, when my daughter pipes up from behind us.)

Daughter: “Excuse me! Maybe it’s warm in the car, and you can go home and get your shoes for work!” 

(The older man seemed to accept this, after checking his feet and realising he did, indeed, have no shoes on. After the older guy and his dog were safely stowed away, his son informed me that they live CLEAR across town, and the guy had been missing for FIVE HOURS in the freezing cold. His little dog had seen him take off and obviously decided that his human shouldn’t go alone, and they’d been at large for most of the day. The younger man thanked me profusely, even though I barely did anything, and I’ve never been so thankful that my daughter wants to talk to everyone she meets.)

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Directions As Wrong As Their Attitude

, , , , | Right | July 5, 2019

(We have a lot of cruise ships visit our town during summer. Today, there are two large ones in town. Consequently, there are a lot of tourists wandering around. I’m walking my dog around the wharf area, dressed in an old pair of jeans, T-shirt, and shoes to match. A couple of tourists approach me.)

Tourist: “Excuse me, sir, could you tell me where the Tourist Information Office is?”

Me: “Sure, it’s just over there.“ *points* “You can see the sign.”

Tourist: “Thank you.” *walks off*

(Another couple of tourists see this.)

Tourist #2: “Hi. I wonder if you could point us in the direction of the art gallery?

Me: “No problems. It’s just over the road there; the entrance is at that end of the building.”

(Another woman is hovering, and as soon as [Tourist #2] walks off she comes up.)

Tourist #3: *rudely* “Where’s [Tourist Attraction]?”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Tourist #3: “You heard me. Where’s [Tourist Attraction]? You’re the tourist guide; you should know where everything is.”

Me: *looking down at my clothes and my dog* “Um…”

Tourist #3: “Hurry up; I haven’t got all day!”

Me: “Okay, go up that road two blocks, turn right, go down a block, and you can’t miss it.”

Tourist #3: “Humph.”

(I continued to walk my dog, secure in the knowledge that she was heading in the opposite direction to the one she asked me for.)

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They Deserve A Cat Nap After This Rescue

, , , , , , | Hopeless | June 10, 2019

(I’m driving home from the grocery store at around 2:00 pm and I am about to pull into a left turn lane. This is a really busy street. A bunch of cars in front of me get a green light and are about to start going. One car throws their door open and drops a tiny kitten out onto the middle of the road in front of my car. I stop my car, blocking the lane, throw on my hazards, and hop out. Yes, I realize it’s incredibly dangerous, and a really poorly thought-out move.)

Me: “Here, kitty.”

(As I make noises to call the cat, a woman on the other side of the street calls out to me.)

Woman: “Is that your baby?”

Me:No! Someone just threw it on to the road.”

Woman: “If it comes this way, I’ll grab it.”

(I am able to run, grab the kitten, and wrap it in my sweater, but not without getting scratched and bitten. It calms down, and I’m able to get strapped in before any other cars come by in my lane and before the light turns green. I head home and wake my husband up.)

Me: *crying and talking fast* “Babe, I was driving home and someone dropped a kitten out of their car in front of me. I’ll totally take it to the humane society since we said we didn’t want more pets. But I’m upset and I need you.”

Husband: *calming me down* “Looks like we have a new member of the family.”

(It’s been three weeks. The vet says he’s perfectly healthy. He’s fully acclimated to our other three cats and our kids. He’s the sweetest little love bug. Thanks to the jerk who threw a kitten out of their car, we now have an amazing new member of the family.)

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Hell’s Angels’ Little Angel

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 26, 2019

There is a scenic overlook close enough to our house that we generally take the drive every fall and spring. There are breathtaking vistas about every three miles. My middle child has disabilities and can get overwhelmed by things. She doesn’t particularly like heights but will look out the window each time we pull over to take pictures. She is content, though, to stay in the van with the door open.

At one stop, I was taking pictures when I heard a large group of motorcycles roll in. I knew what would happen next.

Sure enough, when I turned around, my child had unbuckled, jumped out of the van, and run over to the bikers. She loves motorcycles and those who ride them. She doesn’t talk much but can say, “Oooh! Nice!” clearly.

I walked over and listened to the bikers telling my daughter about their bikes and asking her what she thought of each.

I asked if I could take a picture of them all and they all smiled and posed. My very short daughter, clad in pink, was surrounded by men and women in black leather. They all smiled brightly for the shot.

Then, each handed me their cell phones so they could get a picture of their own.

We chatted on that vista for another fifteen minutes or so. My daughter sat on one man’s bike while he and I discussed the best lunch destinations nearby.

My daughter was disappointed that she didn’t get to ride off with her new friends, but she was happy enough to get hugs and high-fives before we went our separate ways.

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That Cost You Deer-ly

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 26, 2019

About one weekend a month, I do archery competitions where I walk with a group of four through the forest, shooting foam animals along a path. It’s idyllic, and it’s great to keep up with my archery friends.

One such weekend, the first target to shoot was a deer. We were standing 15 meters from it, one of us aiming, when a woman came screaming from her car which was haphazardly stopped at the side of the road.

Astonished, my friend quickly un-nocked his arrow as she lept between us and the target. We were shocked at her ranting until we deciphered that she was under the impression that our target was a real deer and it was tied in place. We tried to explain and to tell her to turn and look, but she was having none of it.

With other archers coming out of the woods to see what was going on, I slipped past her — a feat in itself because she was still desperate to protect this “poor animal” — and pulled the removable head off the deer.

Rendered speechless for a really long time, she then snapped out of it, yelling at us for shooting at tied-up animals as she stormed back to her car.

The people putting on the shoot traded out the deer — the only target visible from the road — for a two-meter-tall cobra that had been further down the path. No one bothered us about shooting at that thing.

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