Tramming Their Faith Down Your Throat

| | Friendly | January 21, 2017

(My boyfriend and I are running errands on a particularly rainy and cold day. At some point we are on a tram stop and are waiting for our train, minding our own business, when a peculiar-looking old lady starts talking to me.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, can you read?”

(I assume that she needs help with the tram plan, because I have often been asked for help with it in the past, so I just say yes.)

Old Lady: “You see, I need to… I need to make you a present… For Christmas… For you to be happy… It is important… About this book, you know, you do have it in your home, don’t you? The Bible?”

(Having guessed what she wants, I try to back out quickly, but politely, being far too nice.)

Me: “I have read it, I don’t have it, and I’m an atheist. You might not want to waste your time with me.”

Old Lady: “But this isn’t good, not at all! You’re so young! You need to let yourself be saved!”

Me: “Everyone’s entitled to their beliefs or lack thereof, so could we please leave it at that? Thanks.”

(I walk two steps away to my boyfriend, who has been playing with his phone, in order to ask him something unrelated to the old lady. She, however, doesn’t give up and decides to try and convert him. Note that he’s agnostic, but doesn’t like religious zealots who try to convert people on the street or walking from door to door.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, can you read?”

Boyfriend: *not having heard my interaction with her, he just stares at her blankly*

Me: “He’s with me, and an atheist, too. Could you leave us alone, please?”

Old Lady: “Why? You want to lead people away from God! Why?! You are evil!”

Me: “Not sure about evil, and about leading people away from God. I’m not speaking to strangers on the tram stop, trying to convert people, now, am I?”

(She looks at me meanly, but our tram comes and we get in.)

Boyfriend: “Boy, she was weird… You are aware that I’m agnostic, though, are you not?”

Me: “I am, but it’s none of her business. I know that if you have questions, you’d look for a theologian or a priest, the way normal people do.”

(Seriously, I respect people’s beliefs, no matter what they call themselves, but not when they start hurting others’ freedom, and zealots who try to “save me” are extremely annoying.)

Seated But Not Defeated

| MN, USA | Friendly | November 25, 2016

(I’m hobbling around on crutches after surgery, and my foot is in a plaster cast nearly to my knee. Naturally I tend to plop myself down on the first available seat on the bus — the seats reserved for the handicapped that face outward instead of forward — and tuck my crutches to my side. A woman gets on the bus at the next stop, spots me, and sighs.)

Woman: *very loudly* “WELL, D***, NOW SOMEONE’S GOT MY SEAT.”

Me: *startled, slightly confused, I offer a small smile and go back to my book*

Woman: *even louder* “HEY. YOU. GET UP. THAT’S MY SEAT!”

(I realize she’s talking to me and glance up again. She stomps on my good foot, knocks into my crutches, and kicks my cast. I yelp in pain.)

Person Next To Me: “Lady, knock it off! She has every right to sit here.”

Me: “What the hell is wrong with you?! You kicked my bad leg because you want to sit here?!”

Woman: “THAT’S. MY. SEAT.”

Me: “Seats are not assigned on a PUBLIC BUS. Go sit somewhere else. There are plenty of seats open.”

Driver: “What’s going on?”


Person Next To Me: “This crazy b**** kicked this young lady and started yelling!”

Driver: “Lady, if you don’t leave her alone I’ll kick you off. Either sit down somewhere else and shut up, or I call the cops and have them haul you off. Your choice.”


(She tried to grab me, but I grabbed one of my crutches and whacked her arm before she could, which made her start shrieking again. In the end the cops were called, and I had to get off the bus to file a report. To top it off, the bus was practically empty and she could have sat in the other seats across from me. I started taking the train after that.)

Getting It Into Their Head(phones)

| Portland, OR, USA | Friendly | August 24, 2016

(I am on the light rail train to work when Passenger #1 gets on playing very loud music on his phone speaker. Obviously, this makes a lot of people very irritated, but none of us speak up until about three stops later when Passenger #2, who is sitting a few seats away from me, approaches the passenger playing his music.)

Passenger #2: “Hi there! I just want to commend you.”

Passenger #1: “What?”

Passenger #2: “I just want to commend you. You’re obviously much more important than the rest of us, but you still use public transportation. That’s very good of you.”

Passenger #1: “What are you talking about?”

Passenger #2: “Oh, maybe I made a mistake. See, I assumed you’re better than the rest of us. That’s why you’re being an a**-hole, right? Instead of using headphones like a decent human being?”

(Passenger #1 told him to f*** off, of course, but a ticket inspector who got on at the next stop made him turn off his music. Passenger #2 was shaking with adrenaline when he returned to his seat and I overheard him telling his friend that he’d always wanted to tell somebody like that off.)

Will Need A Map To Navigate This Conversation

| Portland, OR, USA | Friendly | August 20, 2016

(I recently moved to this city and I get lost frequently. I’ve noticed that many of the public transportation stops have maps. I am going to look at one of those maps and there’s a woman waiting on the bench next to it. Note: I’m male.)

Me: *intending to be polite but not really start a conversation* “Good morning.”

Her: “I don’t know you and I don’t plan on f****** you anytime soon.”

(I don’t know what made her so jaded, but I hope her life got better.)

Arrested For J-Writing

, | CA, USA | Right | August 18, 2016

Me: “All right, sir. If I could have your first and last name for the receipt?”

Customer: “Fred [Last Name].”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know how to spell that. Could you please spell it out for me?”

Customer: “J, E—”

Me: *writes JE*

Customer: “No, ‘J.'”

Me: *looks at receipt*

Customer: “No! It’s a ‘J!'”

Me: “Umm… This is a ‘J,’ sir.”

Customer: “No, you stupid girl. ‘J’ as in green!”

Me: *sighs* “Oh, you meant a ‘G.'” *finishes writing the receipt*

Customer: “You shouldn’t work here if you don’t know the alphabet.”

Me: “Have a nice day.”

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