They Don’t Smell A Rat… Until You Tell Them

, , , , | Friendly | June 23, 2017

(I keep fancy rats as pets. Occasionally I’ll take them out for walks riding on my shoulder (with leash and harness). They are very friendly and inquisitive and would never bite, but unfortunately conversations like these happen often.)

Stranger: “Awww, what’s that on your shoulder?” *pets rat, who is licking their hand*

Me: “This is [Rat]. She’s very friendly!”

Stranger: “Awwww, what a cute name! I really love hamsters! They’re so sweet!”*keep in mind they’re still petting her*

Me: “Actually, she’s a rat.”

(The reaction is immediate. They leap back in shock, staring at me and my rat like I just killed a child, and then look at their hand.)

Stranger: “Oh, my God, how could you?! That’s disgusting! It could kill you! Get rid of it!”

(Yes, even though they were just stroking her and singing the rat’s praises, as soon as they found out she was a rat they instantly hate her. Plus, during this whole conversation the rat’s tail was clearly visible. I don’t know how you could mistake her for a hamster…)

Park Rangers Saved My Honeymoon

, , , , , , | Hopeless | June 21, 2017

We’re a queer couple (I’m trans FTM) on our honeymoon, and it’s several hours’ drive from home to the national park where we have a cabin booked.

A couple miles before the park gate, my car starts to seriously struggle, and we limp up to the gate an hour before the park rangers are due to leave. They recommend a tow truck and garage and actually call for us since we have no cell signal, then try to also call the law enforcement officer to get us a ride to our cabin, only to discover the tow truck is also up there looking for his vehicle in distress.

One of the park rangers stays with us a little past closing to wait until the tow truck arrives, offering to give us a ride to our cabin in case he won’t. In the end we ride with the tow truck driver through thick fog to find the law enforcement officer’s vehicle and hitch that up as well, and the officer helps carry our luggage into the lodge for us. Later, a different park ranger gives us a ride down a no-public-access fire road all the way to where the garage is, and the mechanic’s own wife picks us up to take us to the garage itself to pick up our car.

Throughout the entire trip, everyone tells us congratulations on our wedding, treats us like a normal couple, and goes out of their way to help us get where we need to be.

Next time you’re in a national park, thank a park ranger. They are amazing people.

All You Need Is A Paper-Thin Smile

, , , , | Hopeless | June 4, 2017

During a particularly bad few days I am walking around trying to clear my head. I then go to sit on a park bench and find a piece of paper taped there.

Written in markers is “Need a smile? Take one!” with a cartoon smile drawn on.

Needless to say I did and I still have that paper. Whoever you are, thank you for that as it helped me through a really awful day.

What The Duck?!

| NE, USA | Working | June 1, 2017

(My class and I have gone to put local state park for multiple activities, the last one being paddle boating. This happens as two of my classmates are pulling out of the dock. The two students on the boat start screaming that they are running into a goose swimming by.)

Another Student: “Noooo, don’t hit the duck!”

(Just then, the ranger walks past after getting another two people into their paddle boat and says:)

Ranger: “Nah, you can hit it. I don’t care. There are too many of them anyway.”

Age Gap Mishap

| USA | Friendly | May 30, 2017

(I’m with a large social group, with 25 people attending of 300 members, so most of us haven’t met another except the two leaders. We’re discussing the best ages to date your partner and get married. Most of us are in their 20-30s; I’m 19 and they know it.)

Me: “I’m not interested in dating yet. I would only date someone over 40.”

(Most the group is horrified, some curious. I clarify.)

Me: “When I am also over 40. I want a career that takes me around the world, so it’s better for me to find love when I’m older.”

(Huge understanding sigh all around.)

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