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From Now On, This Is What We’re Calling ‘Em…

, , , , , | Right | January 4, 2021

I overhear a tourist on the phone at a park that has lots of peacocks.

Tourist: “There’s blue disco chickens everywhere here, man…”

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Karma Is Sweet And A Little Muddy

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 28, 2020

I’m taking my dog for walks in the linear park — a former railway line — behind my house. Although I’m middle-aged, I have arthritis, so I walk with a cane.

As I’m walking, I see three teenage boys on bicycles coming towards me. And then, I can suddenly tell they’ve seen me, too. The atmosphere changes.

I call my dog over to me, stop walking, and stand to one side of the path. They speed up on their bikes and I can now hear them using ableist slurs between them. I brace for trouble.

As they pass, one of the boys sticks his leg out, aiming to catch my cane with it and send me tumbling.

There is a flaw in his plan. My walking stick is light and thin… because it’s made of reinforced carbon fibre. And I have my full weight bearing down on it.

His foot hits my cane and suddenly he and his bike are going in different directions. His bike smashes into a tree whilst he crashes to the ground, into a big muddy puddle.

Big brave boy on his bike about to knock over a “cripple” is now muddy and wet, and his bike is damaged. So he bursts into tears.

I burst into laughter, and then my dog and I walked home. I think even my dog was laughing at him.

This story is part of our Bicycle roundup!

Read the next Bicycle roundup story!

Read the Bicycle roundup!

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year To Unleash Your Dog

, , , , , | Friendly | December 23, 2020

I compete regularly in triathlons so I am quite confident in how to handle a bike. The day before Christmas Eve, I ride my bike for exercise in a city park, where dogs have to be kept on a leash, in the early morning when it is still dark. I have all my lights on, wear a reflective vest, and while I do exercise speed, I do slow down before I reach a curve, knowing that pedestrians and normal cyclists use the park.

When I reach such a curve, without warning, a black dog suddenly comes up in front of me, catching me by surprise. Instead of doing an emergency brake, I swerve around the dog, lose control of my bike, and crash directly into a tree. While shaken and definitely aching from that encounter, I still am aware enough to note that the dog owner, also on a bike, casually drives by me being followed by her dog.

Me: “Hey, stop! You do know dogs should be kept on a leash here, right? Your dog just caused an accident here and I think my bike is damaged. Please stop so I can take your contact details in case there is any payable damage here.”

The owner stops and instantly screams at me.

Dog Owner: “How dare you accuse my dog of causing an accident?! If you are too stupid to ride a bike, you should not even be out here!”

I am speechless, especially that she nonchalantly keeps cycling away. While I am hurt and my bike is damaged, it is still working and I lift myself up and follow that woman on my bike until we leave the park and arrive at a traffic light.

Me: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Your dog cannot just cause an accident with you running away as if it does not concern you. I don’t mind the bruises and everything but, in case I need compensation for bike repairs, I really need your contact details. If nothing comes out of it, no harm, no done.”

Cue continued yelling and screaming at me complete with refusal to give me her contact details. Then, when another pedestrian comes near us, this happens:

Dog Owner: “Help! Help! I am being harassed by this man! Please call the police! He doesn’t want to leave me alone!”

In the only stroke of luck that day, the pedestrian happens to be a good acquaintance of mine. After recognizing me, he says straight to the woman:

Acquaintance: “You are a liar. I have known this man for a long time and he would never harass anyone unless he had a legit cause.”

Flabbergasted, the woman then hightailed it across the road just as the pedestrian sign turned red and she just made it to the other side when the cars started crossing. Not wanting to risk my life for another chase, I went with my acquaintance to the police to report the incident and have yet to hear from them. Thanks a lot, lady, for making me spend Christmas with several grazes, a bruised elbow, and a bike in need of repairs if I want to use it for triathlons again.

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Smile And The World… Gets Defensive?

, , , , | Friendly | December 18, 2020

When I’m walking somewhere with a lot of people, like a hallway, I tend to unintentionally make eye contact, smile, and then look away, whether or not I know the person. Most of the time, the only thing that happens is once in a while someone will tell me it’s cute that I smile at everyone. This is not one of those times.

I’m at a park, getting some family photos taken. While my mother and I make our way to a new photo site, I make accidental eye contact with a woman passing us on the path, so I smile, look away, and think that’s the end of it. Instead, the woman sees me smiling, stops, and doubles back to catch up with us.

Woman: “Do I know you?”

Me: “No?”

Woman: “But you smiled at me.”

Me: “I smile at everyone.”

Woman: “But you don’t know me.”

Me: “No.”

Woman: “But you smiled.”

She walked off, still muttering about how I’d smiled at her even though I didn’t know her. I’m still not sure whether to laugh at her confusion or feel sorry about whatever circumstances led her brain to short-circuit over something as simple as a stranger’s smile.

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You Can’t Just Ask People That!

, , , , , | Friendly | November 27, 2020

Due to a complicated series of events, I ended up with sole custody of my stepchildren. They are eight-year-old fraternal twins who look very similar to each other, despite being different genders. The only ways to tell them apart are their clothing choices, the length of their hair, and the color of their glasses. If you were to look closely you might notice the shapes of their noses and that my daughter has one blind eye.

It’s been a very warm week here, and since it’s probably the last warm weather of the year, we decide to enjoy it and go get ice cream.

After we buy the ice cream, we go to a nearby park to eat it. An old woman is walking her dog in the park. She waves to us; we wave back. Then, she stops, turns around, removes her mask to rub her eyes — she isn’t wearing glasses or anything, so I don’t understand why she had to remove her mask — and then stares at us for a second.

Woman: *Bluntly* “Did this man kidnap you?”

Twin #1: “No, this is our dad!”

She looks for a few more minutes, and then walks away saying something to the effect of, “Back in my day, women were a bit more subtle when they had an affair with the mailman.”

A few minutes later she came back, stared at us, and then walked away again.

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