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So Much For Inclusivity

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 8, 2022

I’m in the park and I overhear a heated conversation between two people about people being transgender.

Woman #1: “There’s no official test for it! It doesn’t exist!”

Woman #2: “There were no official tests for oxygen until 1774. By your logic, that would mean there was no such thing as oxygen prior to then!”

Woman #1: “That’s not what I meant!”

Woman #2: “Fine! The test for determining someone’s sexuality is, ‘Who do you find sexually attractive? Men, women, everyone, nobody?’ Right?”

Woman #1: “Well, yes.”

Woman #2: “And that’s perfectly valid, right?”

Woman #1: “Yes.”

Woman #2: “So then the test for being transgender — ‘Are you more comfortable presenting as the gender you were assigned at birth or a different gender to the one you were assigned as?’ — is valid as a test.”

Woman #1: “No!”

Woman #2: “Then it’s not fine for the other one to be decided by one’s own opinion, either!”

Woman #1: “That’s not—”

Woman #2: “You are part of the LGBTQ+ community; you should respect all letters that are included.”

Going To Have To Mount A Strong Defence

, , , , | Friendly | March 24, 2022

It’s a sunny afternoon and I decide to take my dog Jodi to the local dog park. There are two sides, a big dog side, and a small dog. My dog is about 30 lbs so I go to the big dog side this particular day. Many owners tend to chat instead of focusing on their dog, however, I try to keep my eyes on Jodi at all times.

It doesn’t take very long for some random Shepherd mix to befriend Jodi and become a little overly friendly. He begins to try and mount my dog and although my dog is spayed, I do like to separate dogs when they do this. As I reach for the other dog’s collar to pull him off, a lady starts screeching and running up to me.

Lady: “Do not touch my precious boy! I will have you arrested.”

She has raised her voice enough that she’s gotten the attention of most people in the park by now. I let the dog go and instead scoop my dog up, a perk of her only weighing 30 pounds.

Me: “There’s no need for all of that ma’am. I just was trying to separate them so no harm is done—”

Lady: “Why would you separate them? I brought my boy here so he could have puppies! My grandson wants a puppy for his birthday, so I need to get this done today.”

I’ve started to walk away but I stop in my tracks and look at the dog again. Sure enough, he’s not neutered. It’s sometimes frowned upon to bring intact dogs to the park, especially for incidents like this. Luckily, her shouting has attracted quite the crowd and I have a couple of people run up to me.

Man: “Lady, what the h*** are you talkin’ bout? You can’t just bring your dog here to mount our pets and hope they have babies. That’s sick!”

All the while, the Shepherd is trying to jump up to reach my dog who is still in my arms. I raise my knee to gently move the big dog away as he’s scratching me with his claws. Wrong move, apparently, as the lady starts swearing and bringing out her phone to call the police.

Lady: “I told you not to touch my boy Roman! I’m calling the cops right now to arrest you for animal cruelty.”

She typed into her phone and started speaking to someone, gesturing in my direction with a loathsome expression on her face. I just shrugged and walked out of the park. If she was calling the police, then that was her hill to die on. We haven’t been back to that park much since then, but I did buy my girl a big bone as a reward for not putting up with dog park politics.

Rule Breaker Becomes Fool Maker

, , , , | Right | March 8, 2022

We frequent a local activity park. To keep it free for everyone, they have a donation box and ask that you only eat or drink items bought from the park.

Of course, people don’t care and would rather save a few pence than supporting a local family-run amenity. Refreshingly, being small and family-run, they take no nonsense. I witness the staff talking to a guest.

Staff: *Loudly* “As you can clearly see by the large sign next to you, we are a non-smoking space. And I would like to ask why you have decided to bring in not only a coffee but an entire picnic?”

Guest: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed.”

Staff: “You didn’t see the eight-foot sign at the entrance, the second large sign as you walk in, or the smaller-but-no-less-visible sign next to you?

Guest: *Still not yet putting out her cigarette* “What’s it to you anyway?”

Staff: “Everything. My father worked on this site his whole life; his father founded it and build it from the bare ground. We have offered free family entertainment for three generations and all we ask is for people to follow the rules.”

Guest: “Ugh, so what?”

Staff: “Okay, so one of the signs you probably missed, too, was the right to refuse entrance and service, so you can leave. Now.”

Guest: “You can’t do that! I just got here!”

Staff: “Yes, I can, and I am doing it. You and your car, off the property, five minutes.”

She finished her smoke and then eventually drags her family to the car. They were all confused about why they had to leave, not having seen the commotion earlier. We bought extra homemade sausage rolls from the family shop, and they were amazing!

When You’re So Cheap You Steal Exercise

, , , , | Right | February 10, 2022

I run a small outside exercise lesson twice a week. It started with me and a few friends and got bigger until I started accepting anyone. I ask a single pound per lesson; it covers my fuel and the time I spend making up new lesson plans and emailing/networking

One woman has been coming for a few months and is constantly a problem with payments; she is the reason I have to keep notes on who has paid. She is the only one that seems to “forget” or pretends that she paid up front. I’m sick of her.

Woman: “I have some friends who I told about your lessons. Is it okay if I bring them?”

Me: “Sure, the more the merrier.”

Woman: “Do they have to pay, too, or does my pound cover them?”

Me: “It’s one pound per person per lesson.”

Woman: “But why? It doesn’t cost you any more.”

Me: “The more people, the more time I spend, either on Facebook or emails. If a pound a week is too much, there are plenty of free online videos.”

Woman: “No, no, they can pay. I just thought because I introduced them…”

Me: “It’s a pound. Per person. Per week.”

The next week comes round, and a few new faces appear in the group. I start everyone warming up and approach them.

Me: “Hi! My name is [My Name] and I’m really excited for you to join us. Feel free to follow along and take plenty of breaks. It’s a pound per person, but we can settle up at the end when we catch up.”

The session goes well. Then, I have to chase the new starters down to stop them leaving.

Me: “How did it go?”

New Guy: “Good, thanks. I really enjoyed it.”

Me: “Great, glad to hear.”

I give them details in dates and times and my online group.

Me: “Do you have the money for the first session?”

New Guy: “Oh, well, we thought you could just let us in for free for a bit. See if we like it.”

Me: “No, sorry, if you don’t pay, you don’t join in.”

New Guy: *Laughs* “I don’t see how you can stop us. You’re on public land.”

The first thing I did was kick [Woman] out of the group. Then, we explained everything to the rest of the guys. They supported me 100%. The next week, we started thirty minutes early. The woman and her friends turned up and miss half of the session. The following week, we started thirty minutes late. They arrived early and didn’t want to wait. The following week, we went back to normal; the woman and her friends clearly got the message and didn’t show up at all.

You Can Lead Mom To The Dog Park…

, , , , | Related | January 15, 2022

My parents and I both have dogs, raised from puppy age. My dog Sandy isn’t perfect, but I consider her well-behaved. My parents’ dog Buster is… not. We’re at the dog park together, and Buster doesn’t come when my mom calls him. She lets out an exasperated sigh.

Mom: “I don’t understand why Buster can’t behave well. I mean, you work full-time, and your dog lets you walk her on a leash and doesn’t take food off the table.”

Me: “Well, how often do you take him for walks? I don’t have a fenced-in yard, so I take Sandy out on a leashed walk at least once a day.”

Mom: “Oh, well, we’ve got the fence, so we don’t need to do that.”

Me: “So, you never walk him on a leash, but you’re surprised that he doesn’t do well with it on?”

Mom: “Well, he stays by the table every day and still steals food!”

Me: “Do you give him food from the table?”

Mom: “Only scraps and meat.”

Me: “And you take them off your plate in front of him?”

Mom: “Yes…”

Me: “And you’re surprised that he’ll take food off your plates when he’s hungry?”

Mom: “I just don’t understand why he doesn’t listen to me and doesn’t walk well on a leash.”