The Power Of Snuggles

, , , , , | Hopeless | May 3, 2018

My parents and I are stopping by a favorite restaurant for lunch after a therapy appointment, which was difficult but productive. After we get out of the car, we can hear what sounds like a man calling for his pet and, having a pet ourselves, instinctively look over to see what is going on.

It’s not a pretty sight. The shouting man is in a wheelchair, and he is wheeling after a little Chihuahua as fast as his arms and the bumpy pavement allow. Said Chihuahua, dragging along a retractable leash, is gunning for a squirrel which is headed to a side street. This being Massachusetts, the road is ridiculous; it’s incredibly narrow, yet still allows bumper-to-bumper parking on both sides, lets people drive on both sides, has a speed limit of 35 mph — roughly 56 kmh, for the non-American audience — and plenty of people who go faster than that limit. An able-bodied person, a tiny little Chihuahua, and a squirrel could bypass the parked cars, but somebody in a wheelchair has no chance of getting by them without taking a detour to the nearest crosswalk first.

In a panic, my parents and I rush over to the other side of the road to intercept the dog before it puts itself in big danger. The dog is laser-focused on the squirrel and doesn’t even acknowledge us at first. Fortunately, the squirrel is spooked by our charge and takes a sharp left behind a fence and into a tree, out of the dog’s sight. With the squirrel confirmed lost, the dog starts bouncing towards my parents and me and starts demanding that we snuggle — though Mom restrains me, not knowing if the dog is friendly.

It turns out the dog is the remarkably friendly pet of the man in a wheelchair. Apparently, the dog has the body of a Chihuahua, but his personality and mind are more like the Xolo breed, meaning that he’s social, quiet, loyal, somewhat active, and a lover of snuggles, but unable to resist the allure of a good chase. We have lovely, comforting snuggles, with the dog making the rounds to each and every family member. We make small talk with the man as he wheels over to reunite with his beloved pet.

The man and his dog are absolutely adorable. I will never forget the way that man’s face lights up when he sees that his dog is safe, and that we cared about his dog enough to try to prevent it from rushing into the road. He brightens even more when my mom hands him the leash, and the dog sees it as his cue to hop into his owner’s lap and snuggle. The two of them are like father and son. The whole experience causes us cheer up, too, after the difficult therapy session, though the man never knew what exactly had been going on in our lives.

Dog on lap, the man wheels away with a big grin on his face. We never saw him again, nor even remembered his or his dog’s names. The adorable bond between him and his Chihuahua, as well as both of their warmth and kindness, however, we could never forget. If you’re reading this, sir, thank you for being a kind, caring, and loving person. You and your dog were simply yourselves, but that was all you needed to be and more to make our day so much brighter when we needed it.

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Paying It Back And Paying It Forward

, , , , , | Hopeless | April 28, 2018

(It’s just before Christmas, and I am in a particularly bad spot. I can’t pay my bills, and every penny counts in trying to get by. As I am walking into work one day, a man calls across the street to me.)

Man: “Hey! Hey, miss! Do you have a second?”

Me: *looking around, confused* “Um, sure. What do you need?”

Man: “I’m going to be honest with you here. I just got out of jail, and I can’t find work. I have no money, and I just need a little something for gas if you can spare it.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but I don’t even have cash for the tolls to get home right now. I can’t really help you out.”

(The man stares at me for a moment, and I am getting worried because I think he’ll be upset. Then, he smiles the most knowing smile I’ve ever seen and reaches into his jacket to pull out a couple singles.)

Man: “Here. You take this for the tolls to get home. Merry Christmas, and I hope things work out for you.”

(The entire way home that day I cry my eyes out, both overwhelmed by his kindness and upset at myself for not getting the chance to thank him. A few months later, I am doing much better, and I happen to see that same man walking down the street.)

Me: “Sir! Sir, do you have a second?”

Man: “Sure, young lady. What can I help you with?”

Me: “A while ago, you helped me out when I had absolutely nothing. I haven’t forgotten what you did for me, and I’ve kept some money in my purse in case I ever saw you again. Here. I want you to have this.”

Man: “I’m glad that I could help you when you needed it, but I can’t take that from you. I’ve managed to find a job, and I’m able to pay for my bills and my gas. I wouldn’t dream of taking what I don’t need. You go ahead and keep that in your purse for the next person you see who doesn’t have money for the tolls to get home.”

(Once again, he gave me the warmest smile I have ever seen, and he walked off. I still think about that man and the lessons he taught me. Even writing this now makes me tear up and be reminded that truly good people do exist in the world.)

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It Would Be Nude To Not Ask

, , , , , | Friendly | April 13, 2018

(I’m at the park, sketching random people as they walk by. One guy comes up to me and sees what I’m doing.)

Guy: “Hey, that’s pretty good.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Guy: “So, do you artists also draw, like…. naked people?”

Me: “Uh… Occasionally. For study and stuff.”

Guy: “Cool. Can you draw me?”

(Before I could answer, he began stripping right in front of me, in full view of everyone. I grabbed my things and ran off. It’s been years, and I’ve yet to go back to that area in fear I’ll run into him again.)

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What A Croc!

, , , , , | Related | April 8, 2018

(My family is visiting Florida and we decide to go kayaking with a group. My brother and I pair up, with my brother at the back and me at the front. My brother is infamously lazy and is just sitting enjoying the scenery while I’m doing all the paddling.)

Me: “Are you doing any paddling back there? We’re barely moving!”

Brother: *lying* “Yep.”

Me: “No, you’re not! Quit lazing around and paddle!”

Guide: “Ooh, a crocodile!” *points*

(We all look over, except my brother, who’s still daydreaming. A huge crocodile just entered the water, and we’re closest to it! I panic since I watch a lot of nature programs and know how powerful they are, and start paddling away like a madwoman.)

Me: “Oh, my God! It’ll eat me!”

Brother: “Hey!”

(I looked over and saw that while I was paddling my end away, the boat turned a 180 so that my brother’s end was right next to the croc! At least my brother finally woke up and started paddling, and we were able to get away from the overgrown lizard. Then he accused me of trying to feed him to it!)

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Stupidity Must Grow On Trees

, , , , | Right | January 29, 2018

(I work for a company that cuts down trees. Often, people are sad to see old trees go and become sentimental, asking us not to cut them down. We offer an option that involves cabling the dead tree to other trees, which offers a short-term solution, but often damages the trees the dead tree is cabled to. Every once in a while, someone will call in complaining about the damages, but it can be resolved by showing the contract they signed, accepting the terms and conditions of cabling. One day, we are servicing a client who doesn’t want her tree cut down, and this conversation ensues:)

Client: “I don’t want this tree cut down.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but because the tree is structurally unsound, we have to take one of two steps to prevent damage to your property. We have the permanent solution of just cutting the tree, or we can cable the tree to nearby trees, which only serves as a short-term solution, and can damage the other trees.”

Client: “WHAT?! How can those be the only options? This tree has been here since before I was born; I don’t think I could bear to see it go. Surely…”

(At this point, the customer gives me smug smile and proclaims the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.)

Client: “Of course! Like you said, the tree doesn’t have to go yet, right?”

Me: “Yes, but like I also said, it’s structurally unsound. This tree could fall on your house, and cabling it, which does mean not cutting it down, will only keep it up for a short time.”

Client: “There you go! I just won’t cut it down, and I won’t cable it! That way, it will still be there, and it won’t damage the other trees! Like you said, it could fall on my house. That’s not a guarantee; it may not fall!”

Me: “Ma’am, maybe you didn’t understand me. When I say it may fall on your house, I’m not saying it won’t fall; I’m saying it might fall on your house.”

Client: “No, I’ve made up my mind. You won’t cut it down, simple as that.”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Client: “What are you, stupid, or something? You said it might not fall, and it won’t. You can leave now.”

(At this point, I make the customer sign a contract saying that any damages to property are because of the choice she made, and she is therefore liable. She signs, and I go back to headquarters to copy the contract and send her a copy. A few days later, after a heavy rainstorm, I get called to the house of the same client, who is now furious.)

Client: “LOOK AT MY HOUSE! I THOUGHT YOU SAID THE TREE WOULDN’T FALL, AND IT DID! LOOK AT MY HOUSE, YOU F****** T***!”

(I look at the house. The dead tree from before has fallen on the house and crushed half of it.)

Client: “LOOK AT MY F****** HOUSE! YOU’RE GOING TO PAY FOR THIS; I’M GOING TO SUE YOUR A**ES OFF, YOU GODD*** T***!”

Me: “Ma’am, you signed a contract. You are liable for all damages caused by your decision to not cut down your tree.”

Client: “YOU F****** LIED TO ME, YOU F****** C***! YOU SAID THE TREE WAS STRUCTURALLY UNSOUND!”

Me: “Ma’am, do you know what that means?”

Client: “IT MEANS… um… strong?”

Me: “No, ma’am. It means weak, about to fall over, etc. You never bothered to ask about a word you didn’t know, and you signed a contract saying you were liable for any damages. I can assure you that if you take this to court, you will lose.”

(Suddenly, with another smug smile, she holds up the contract, rips it up, and throws it into a nearby puddle. Still with that smug smile, she says:)

Client: “Oh, oops! Was that the contract you were talking about?”

(She looks at me, arms crossed with a triumphant look on her face, which goes away quickly as I start laughing hysterically.)

Client: “And what the hell’s so funny?”

Me: “Ma’am, you may not realize this, but we make copies of contracts for our clients, and that was one of them!”

Client: *screams profanities and swears that she’ll sue the pants off our company*

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