Flagged Down The Right Guy

, , , , , | Friendly | May 16, 2018

(I am volunteering at a major international sporting event as a venue host, so I answer customer’s questions, show them to their seats, etc. All the flags of the participating nations in this particular event are hanging from the ceiling of the venue. I am also a huge geography nerd.)

Customer: “Excuse me; do you which country has that white and maroon flag?”

Me: “That is Latvia.”

Customer: “Oh. What about that red, green, and white one?”

Me: “That’s Belarus.”

Customer: “Did you guys have to memorize all this stuff?”

Me: “No, sir, you just happened to ask the right person about this stuff.”

Kindness Is Something You Just Run With

, , , , | Hopeless | May 10, 2018

(My school’s PE classes are a joke. To get us moving, my mom signs us up for the county track and field team. Anyone under 18 can participate, with events divided up by age. One day, my older sister and I are off training for our field events, but most of the team is training for long-distance running. My mom is watching the runners from the stands, keeping an eye on the youngest of our siblings. The teens finish first, of course. Then the pre-teens. Then the rugrats — eight and under — start trailing in. One of the teenage boys looks over and notices my little brother still has nearly a full lap to go, and is crying his tiny eyes out. He is three-quarters of a lap behind the next kid, and absolutely devastated to be so far behind.)

Teen #1: “[Brother] is in trouble!”

(All the teenage boys get up from their cool-down stretches, and dash over to my brother, pacing him for the rest of his lap.)

Teen #2: “Come on, [Brother]! You can do this.”

Teen #3: “1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4! You-can-do-this!”

(They all took up the chant, running in perfect time with his tiny, four-year-old legs. He stopped crying, and started to speed up a little, finally crossing the finish line. The moment he stepped across it, they swept him off his feet, carried him on their shoulders, and ran a victory lap, cheering and shouting his name. My mom sobbed, unashamedly. Not only did they know this little kid’s name, but then they did all that to encourage him, and keep him from quitting. My little brother has since become a fantastic runner. When he was 12, he started running more than ten miles to church for youth group, just for fun. We’re all very glad he never gave up.)

The Number One Anthem

, , , , , , | Related | March 14, 2018

(My mom takes my younger brothers and me to a baseball game with some friends of ours. Before the game starts, my youngest brother announces he has to use the bathroom, so off he and my mom go. I sit in our seats with our friends for a while before the national anthem is sung, and it isn’t until the game starts that my mom and brother finally return. My mom is almost crying, she is laughing so hard. Apparently, my mom waited outside the bathroom for quite a while. When my brother finally came out, she asked him:)

Mom: “What took so long? Is everything okay?”

Brother: “The anthem was being sung, and I couldn’t sit down!”

Bigotry Debases Baseball

, , , | Friendly | December 20, 2017

(I’m attending a minor-league baseball game. The centerfielder for the local team is a young man with a distinctively Middle Eastern-sounding name. Think something like “Muhammed Shah.”)

Girl Sitting Behind Me: *in tones of strong disapproval* “Muhammed Shah? Where’s he from?”

Boy Sitting Behind Me: *reading from program* “Cincinnati.”

(Mr. Shah, a former all-conference standout, was four for five and despite a sub-par performance by the team’s third base coach, demonstrated some very heads-up base running.)

I’m Totally At A Loss

, , , | Learning | November 17, 2017

(We’re warming up for a wrestling tournament when we hear another team’s chant.)

Their Coach: *looking like he’s done with life* “Are we gonna get bopped today?!”

Their Team: *mumbles*

Their Coach: “COME ON! I said, ‘ARE THEY GONNA BOP US?!’”

Their Team: “YEAH!”

Their Coach: “ARE WE GONNA LET THEM BOP US?!”

Their Team: “NO!”

(We won more than 80% of the matches. Most enthusiastic loss I’ve ever witnessed.)

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