Really Gives Me The Heels

, , , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2017

(My friend and I are heading to his car, which is parked in downtown Seattle. We’re approached by a short black man appearing to be in his late 40s with a thick Southern accent.)

Man: “Y’all got any money you could lend me? I’m here visitin’ from N’awleans, see, and my car got impounded. I’m trying to raise money to get it out of impound.”

(My friend and I have only a moment to start the normal “Sorry, can’t help you” spiel we give panhandlers, but the guy quickly continues.)

Man: “See, I’m visitin’ from N’awleans. Y’all got a gorgeous city here, though. It is absolutely gorgeous.”

Friend: “Yeah, it’s pretty when the weather is good.”

Man: “Yeah, they ain’t been no rain while I been here; it’s been gorgeous. You know what else is gorgeous? Y’all’s women! Man, they fine! Y’all got some good lookin’ women in Seattle, but I’m a short man and they so tall! What they puttin’ in your water makin’ these women so tall?”

Me: *laughing* “Not sure, man.”

Man: “You know what else, though, ’bout this city, is these heels is killin’ me!”

(My friend and I both look at his shoes — normal sneakers — expecting to see pumps or platforms or something.)

Man: *feigning offense* “Now, why you people always be looking at my feet when I talk about y’all’s heels? Huh? I said, ‘heels!’ Not, ‘heels!’”

(We’re both getting confused.)

Man: “Man, how you white people say it?” *he stiffens up, straightens his shoulders, and does a faux Napoleon pose with his hands, then speaks in a deep, mockingly formal-sounding voice* “HILLS!” *he relaxes* “Y’all’s heels! See? They killin’ me!”

(The animated way he conducted himself was so entertaining to us we couldn’t help but give him some money. Hope he got his “car” out of “impound.”)

Unfiltered Story #101107

, , | Unfiltered | December 3, 2017

Cashier: “Your total comes to $5 [and change].”

Me: *only having a $5 bill in my wallet, I turn to my wife who’s distracted with our baby* “Honey, do you have another dollar?”

Wife: “Huh? Another dollar? I thought it cost $4.95–oh duh, tax! I forgot! Just a second.”

Cashier: *condescendingly* “Yeah, tax. You know, how we pay for our *schools* and our *roads*” *rolls her eyes*

Wife & Me: “. . .”

(The worst part is that the drinks weren’t even that good).

Can’t March To The Beat Of That Drum

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2017

(I go by myself to a rock show at a well-known venue, and I am having what seems to be a friendly conversation with strangers before it starts.)

Stranger #1: “Do you play anything?”

Me: “Guitar and piano, a bit.”

Stranger #1: “Always wanted to learn those ones. I just did saxophone in high school.”

Stranger #2: *butting in, but it’s cool* “I did drums in high school then came back to it in my 20s. Been in love with it for years, now.”

Stranger #1: “That’s awesome! What made you pick it back up again?”

Stranger #2: “My love for John Bonham! John Bonham was the best drummer that ever lived; I can’t get enough of listening to him and he inspires me so much!”

Me: “Bonham, eh? I’ve heard so many people rave about him; since you’re clearly a big fan, and a drummer, can I ask a question about him that I’ve had burning for years?”

Stranger #2: “Okay.”

Me: *being so careful to be polite and respectful* “Can you explain to me what it was about Bonham’s drumming that grabs you? Can you specify the things he did that stand out? I only ask because I’ve listened to Zeppelin a lot and, while he’s good, of course, my untrained ear can’t really figure out what it is about his playing that sets him apart. I’m no slouch musically, but I’m also not a drummer.”

Stranger #2: *angry silence, glowering at me*

Me: “I’m asking completely seriously, because I want to understand! I know I’m missing something when I listen to him, and I’m just asking you, since you seem to be someone who gets it.”

Stranger #2: *still silence, clearly offended*

Me: “Please, I’m really not trying to argue or anything; I’m asking completely seriously.”

Stranger #2: *argumentatively* “He’d start playing for hours before their concerts, and then afterwards the other guys would go party, and he’d keep playing for hours!”

Me: “Well… That’s dedication to his craft, which is good. But I mean more like technique, etc.”

Stranger #2: *angrier still, storms off with her couple friends*

Stranger #1: *awkwardly moves away from me and doesn’t interact with me the rest of the night*

(I’ve since found other drummers and online sources that do a good job of explaining rock drums prior to Bonham and how his style changed rock drums for pretty much everyone afterwards. No one else I talked to was offended that I asked.)

Unfiltered Story #101063

, , | Unfiltered | November 28, 2017

(My aunt and uncle live nearby, once in a while they treat me to dinner because I’m a broke college student. My aunt happens to sell a rather expensive piece of her art, we go out to celebrate at 5 star restaurant in town where dishes start at $40. Everything seemed fine up until after we ordered, we were sat quickly and given drinks quickly but it all went downhill from there. Nearly 40 minutes passed without seeing our waiter or food, my uncle goes to the host stand. She flagged down our waiter back to our table.)

Waiter: “I’m so sorry, I forgot to put your order in!”
My uncle: “Oh…well-”
Waiter: “I’ll go put it in right now!”
(We all figure it’ll go up from here and decide to stick it out, but after 45 minutes we flag our waiter down again.)
Waiter: “Oh did you want to look at the dessert menu or would you like me to bring you the check?”
My aunt: “Uh we never even go our food!”
My uncle: “We’re done, we’re leaving.”
Waiter: “No don’t leave I’ll put your order in now!”

The Father Of All Fan-Baiting

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 27, 2017

(In college, my dad worked with the football team but didn’t play. However, he and his coworkers were able to get official jerseys, so long as they didn’t use numbers any of the players had. Shortly after Dad graduated, the number Dad happened to pick was used by a player who was very good and went on to play in the NFL. About thirty years after that, my teenage brother is attending a game at the same college and wears Dad’s jersey to show support for the team. It’s important to note that the famous player is black and my family is white.)

Older Fan: *to my brother* “Hey, kid, do you even know whose number that is on your jersey?”

Brother: *knowing full well who the famous player is, but not wanting to be baited into arguing about who’s the better fan* “Yeah, it’s my dad’s.”

Older Fan: *taken aback* “[Famous Black Player] is your dad?!”

(My brother just kept walking, leaving the confused fan behind.)

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