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Raising Kids Must Be Such Fun

, , , , , , , | Related | December 28, 2022

You know that age where children have just learned how to read, and, being so proud of their new skills, will read everything and anything they see around them out loud? I am window shopping one day and hear a squeaky voice quite near me. I look up and see a little boy around six or seven years old.

Little Boy: “S-t-op… STOP!”

The boy’s father, who’s holding his hand, responds.

Father: “That’s right, son; that says ‘stop’. It’s called a stop sign, and it means that every car and bicycle coming from that street needs to stop first and really look closely before they can cross the street.”

Little Boy: “S-e-x-s-hop. Sex-hop? Daddy, what’s a sex-hop?”

Father: *Completely unfazed* “That’s a shop. A place for grown-up people where they can get videos and booklets of naked people.”

Little Boy: “Why?”

Father: “Sometimes people enjoy looking at other naked people. It makes them happy.”

Little Boy: “Do you like that?”

The boy’s father thinks about it.

Father: “Mmmmm… Not so much. I like looking at your mummy when she’s naked. Or dressed. I like looking at your mummy very much. Most of those people in the videos and booklets aren’t as pretty as she is.”

Little Boy: “That could be true. Mummy is very pretty, after all.”

And on their merry way they went, happily chatting and reading everything out loud.

When A Run Turns Into A Stroll(er)

, , , , , | Friendly | December 24, 2022

I used to run/walk my way through marathons and ultras. I wasn’t fast, but with my jog/walk method, I could cover a lot of miles any time I wanted to. I’d usually do three to five miles on my “daily” runs, and then on the weekends, I’d do a “long” run of twenty miles or more. I was in my mid-fifties when this happened.

I had to be at work by five-thirty in the morning, so to get in a forty-five-minute jog, get ready, and drive half an hour to work, I was used to getting up well before three am. I’d get up at about the same time on my long-run days. The vast majority of my training runs were in the early morning dark, the best time of the day.

I had a twenty-two miler scheduled one weekend. I’d been out there for a while this time and was on the way back home. About five miles out, I checked my watch and realized I needed to add another mile or so to reach my goal. I was passing an exclusive neighborhood and debated running through there to add another fifteen or twenty minutes or getting it somewhere else closer to the house. I won the debate and made the quick decision to go in.

It had a few small rolling inclines on the streets, and as I entered, the sun had just gotten fully up, so it was bright enough to see everything clearly.

I was jogging slightly downhill and saw a young father pushing a stroller toward me. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, shortly after sun-up, and he was pushing his child in the quiet street rather than on the sidewalk. That seemed safe enough — you could hear a vehicle long before it got close.

As they were coming up the incline in my direction, the father stopped, left the stroller, and started looking at something in the grass between the curb and the sidewalk. I pulled out a bottle and got a big mouthful of water as he bent over and checked whatever it was he’d seen.

Ever, ever, ever so slowly, as he was investigating his find, that stroller made a leisurely turn in the street and began to roll gently away. They were probably about fifty feet away from me at this point.

I wanted to warn him, but I had a mouthful of water and all I could get out was an incomprehensible, “Blurg!”

The dad looked at me, palms up, shrugged his shoulders, and shook his head. What was I saying?

By now, I had spit the water out and pointed at the kid. “The stroller!” I hollered. The stroller had managed a complete u-turn and was gathering speed down the small hill; it had traveled easily thirty feet from him.

He bulleted toward that stroller. By the time he caught it, it was no more than three feet away from the rear bumper of a large pickup truck parked on the other side of the street with a heavy-duty three-ball trailer hitch sticking out — right at face level for a small child snuggled into a stroller.

As I approached, I took a walk break. He was quite thankful that I had spotted the situation and told me so.

Me: “It’s just lucky that I came through here; I almost went on by.”

Man: “It just wouldn’t do to take him home with a broken face; his mom wouldn’t like that at all, not at all. I think we’ll keep this between us guys until he’s about old enough to vote.”

I laughed a bit.

Me: “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Maybe check the brakes on that thing next time you stop.”

He thanked me again and we went our separate ways.

I got a little over twenty-two miles that morning.

Looking Out For Others Is The Cat’s Meow

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | December 23, 2022

There’s a beggar I see on the corner almost every day on my way home from work. She has a cat that stands by her and poses with her and her sign. Her cat looks much better cared for than she does.

I don’t give her anything because I’m honestly too poor to.

One day, I see an ambulance parked near where she stands. I see her being loaded onto the ambulance. I don’t see the cat anywhere. I don’t know what possesses me to, but I park my car and wait. After the noises die down, I start hearing a “mrrrr” noise.

Her cat slowly creeps its way out of hiding, walks over to her sign, and lies on the ground. I pick the cat up and carry it to my car.

I take the cat to the vet to get it checked out. The cat doesn’t have a chip, but it’s not my cat, so I opt not to chip it. We get the cat some shots and a prescription for some medicine for fleas and ticks.

I care for the cat at my apartment for a while, waiting. Every day, I check to see if the beggar has come back.

A few months later, she’s back, though she looks very sad. I drive home, then drive back out to her, and deposit her cat in her arms.

I learn, for the first time, her name and her cat’s name. I also promise her that, next time something happens to her, I’ll try to care for her cat, and I give her my contact number.

So far, both she and her cat seem to be in good health.

Wood You Take A Moment To Examine Your Entitlement?

, , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: jlea7285 | December 19, 2022

I live in a large city — over one million people — and rather than buy wood for my barbecue and fireplace, I watch for tree removal and salvage local material. Our plant waste is removed one cubic yard per week, and therefore, most homeowners are more than willing to allow others to salvage wood so that it does not harm their grass. It is a win-win situation.

At a nearby home, a large tree had been removed, which was conveniently on the road leading to my home. The tree was close to eighty feet tall and four feet thick at its largest point prior to removal. The branches were the size of normal trees, but it was rotten in the center. I received permission to take as much wood as I wanted. Every day, I carried a maul, which is a sledgehammer-axe combination for splitting wood, and I would immediately load split pieces.

During this work, a woman in a car stopped and asked me if the wood was for sale. I advised that it was free. The woman pulled over, exited her vehicle, inspected the pile, and eventually started admiring my truckload.

Woman: “Take this wood out of your car and put it in mine.”

Me: “No, that will not do. Once it’s in my truck, it isn’t coming out. But I will split some wood and help you load it.”

This apparently was not good enough. She tried to make me feel bad, but I advised her that providing any help was more than required. She resorted to rude comments, and I advised her that she could then split and load her own wood.

I thought that was the end when she left angrily, but no. Law enforcement arrived on the scene within fifteen minutes having received a report.

Peace Officer: “Are you making money?”

Me: “No, making chicken and ribs.”

The peace officers laughed at that. I explained the woman’s actions and we laughed a bit more.

Peace Officer: “When are you barbecuing?”

Me: “This weekend! Just follow the good smells for a heaping plate.”

Not To Sound All Elderly, But… Get Your Nose Out Of Your Phone!

, , | Friendly | December 16, 2022

I use a mobility scooter. I arranged to meet a friend for a day out shopping in the town centre, and I arrived early, so I “parked” in front of a newsagent window on the high street, popped in and got a drink, and sat back on my scooter to wait.

I was tucked in against the wall, with around five feet of pavement between me and the road. I was browsing my phone when I became aware of someone right in front of me. I looked up just in time to see a woman walking directly at me while looking at her phone. I didn’t even have time to speak before she crashed into the front of the scooter and sort of collapsed over the tiller right into me.

People came rushing to help — it was a busy Saturday — and she was already screaming at me before they dragged her off of me.

Woman: *Crying* “You drove into me! I’m going to sue you! People like you shouldn’t be allowed out in public!”

People standing around were fussing and checking that I was okay — I was fine — and reassuring me that they had seen everything and would be witnesses. I was gobsmacked as it all happened so fast, but I finally pulled myself together enough to say something as I pulled my scooter keys out of my pocket.

Me: “Hey, lady! How did I hit you when the scooter’s parked and not even switched on?”

She gulped, looked around, saw the crowd of people all glaring at her, grabbed her bags, and stormed off.

I had a lovely story to tell my friend!