Your Sister Sounds Like A Doll

, , , , , | Related | September 26, 2020

My sister and I are on vacation in Haiti, and we go down to sit on the beach. I spot it first.

Me: “Hey, there’s the beach. I’m going to it.”

I figure that she’ll be right behind me, but when I turn around, there’s no one! I figure that she went to the bathroom or got some drinks, and I spread out my towel. Many minutes go by, and I’m wondering where exactly is she. We don’t have our cellphones in this country, so I can’t text or call her.

Finally, she emerges, looking frazzled.

Sister: “There you are! You disappeared!”

Me: “I told you I was going to the beach. Where were you?”

Sister: “Looking for you, and then I got jumped on by a group trying to sell me a doll for voodoo!”

Me: “What?! Seriously?”

Sister: “They dragged me into this shop full of potions and creepy demonic masks. It was horrible.”

Later, I asked her to show me this shop, and she did. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it did have statues of fornicating animals. I couldn’t help laughing, and the women were very offended and shooed me out! We won’t be going back.

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Soberly Pursuing His Goal

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 26, 2020

I’m sitting in my room with the windows open to enjoy the fresh air. Two painters are working right outside my window, so I can hear their conversation perfectly. I’m trying not to eavesdrop, but this gets my attention:

Worker #1: “I’ve been trying really hard to get sober lately. I’ve been sober thirty days, but my son won’t give me a hug. He says, ‘When you give me a year of sobriety, I’ll give you a hug.’ I’m making d*** sure I get that hug, man. D*** sure.”

Worker #2: “Right on, man. That’s amazing.”

I started to tear up hearing that. I really hope he finds the strength to remain sober and get that hug.

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Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along, Part 2

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 25, 2020

This takes place right at the start of the current health crisis, after everyone is mostly aware of it, but right before the CDC officially declares it as such. My gym has a set of five arc trainers — think elliptical machines, but not — and I pop in for a quick workout on my lunch break. There are two women at each end of the row, so I settle on the machine between them, leaving an empty machine between us on either side. Even without social distancing, taking the machine right next to someone when others are free is just weird.

An important note: I suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome, and one of my — currently unfortunate — tics is a sharp exhalation which could be taken as a cough, if you squint, and pretty constant sniffling. These tics get a bit more aggressive when I’m under stress, such as during intense cardio.

So, there I am, about ten minutes into my sweat, just blissfully watching Netflix on my tablet and getting my workout in, when I notice from the corner of my eye that the woman on my right is looking at me, her lips are moving, and she’s giving me the evil eye. I take my right earpiece out.

Me: “Sorry, what? Were you talking to me? I had my headphones in.”

Woman #1: “You need to leave.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Woman #1: “You need to leave if you’re sick. You’re coughing and sniffling and I’m not comfortable with you being here.”

Me: “Oh! Sorry, no, I’m not sick. I have Tourette’s. That’s not a cough; it’s just a really sharp breathing out and sniffling. Those are my tics.”

Woman #1: “No, you’re sick, and you’re touching your face and the equipment, and you need to go.”

Me: “Um… No. I told you, it’s not symptoms; it’s just my Tourette’s. It’s fine. I’m going back to my show now.”

With that, I put my earpiece back in and resume my workout. I can tell the woman is still talking, but I ignore her and keep at it. A few minutes later, she gets off her machine and walks over to the woman on my left. They talk for a couple of minutes, and [Woman #1] walks off to the other side of the cardio area. I figure that is the end of it.

But then, I realize that [Woman #2] is doing the same thing: glaring at me and talking. Already knowing I am going to regret it, I take my left earpiece out.

Me: “Sorry? Couldn’t hear you. Headset.”

Woman #2: “I know you say you have Tourette’s, but how do I know that?”

Me: “Um… why would I lie about that?”

Woman #2: “You could be a vector for the disease! I’m not comfortable with you being here, and you need to leave.”

Me: “Okay, but again, I’m not. I have Tourette’s. I’m just trying to get a workout in. I’m sorry you’re not comfortable, but honestly, that sounds like a you problem.”

Woman #2: “Well, I just think you need to leave if you’re going to be sweating and touching your face and touching the equipment!”

Me: “Okay, noted, but I’m not leaving. I’m going to finish my workout now. Please leave me alone.”

Woman #2: “Well, then, I’m going to leave, and I’m going to talk to the manager so they know why I’m leaving!”

Me: “You do that.”

I proceeded to put my earpiece back in. [Woman #2] stopped her workout and went across the room to join [Woman #1] — it’s worth noting that neither woman bothered to wipe down the equipment they were using, either — where they continued to shoot me dirty looks and talk among themselves.

I finished my workout, showered, and went to leave. Both women were still there, and I could see [Woman #2] continuing to glare when she realized I was still there. Fed up, I stopped at the front desk and asked for the manager. Fortunately, the manager there knew me well enough by sight and presence to know about my Tourette’s. Unfortunately, they weren’t available at the moment to talk, but I explained the situation to the desk worker and mentioned that the women would probably complain about me later. He promised to pass it along to the manager and told me I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

I admit, in a moment of childish pique, I did look over at [Woman #2] and give a cheerful finger-wave before I left.

Seriously, I get that our current health situation is serious, but you don’t know someone’s health condition better than they do. At least these two didn’t claim to be nurses, unlike the first time it happened.

Tic-ing Along Nicely Until You Came Along

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We’d Gladly Watch A Movie About These Two!

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2020

I’ve worked with several rescue dogs over the years and have had a lot of negative experiences with other dog owners, especially working with reactive dogs. When I started a business working with dogs, I braced for these experiences to become commonplace.

They have not. I have a few complaints about some of the owners I have worked with, but this little story isn’t about those.

I am out with my favourite dog, an incredibly friendly, energetic, and happy cocker spaniel who I’ll call Miss Fluff. I’ve taken Miss Fluff to a park and she’s desperate for me to get the ball out and play with her. She’s glued to my feet as I do so — it’s a ball on a rope — and neither of us see the newcomer come around the corner until he’s joined her: a lovely, big chocolate lab, curious about the ball. Miss Fluff doesn’t care about him, only the ball.

The owners turn the corner, see us, and IMMEDIATELY call him off. He listens, but I call over that she’s friendly and they give him permission to come back over.

Me: “Will he chase the ball if I throw it for her?”

Miss Fluff is positively vibrating with excitement.

Owner: “Oh, yes. We’ll get out of your hair; don’t worry.”

Me: “Well, I was wondering if we should let them have a little race?”

Owner: “Oh, he’ll win. He’s much bigger than her and he loves to play fetch!”

So, to find out, I threw the ball. It went soaring across the field and Miss Fluff was after it like a shot, the lab hard on her tail. It was close, but she snatched the ball up ahead of him! The lab was having none of it, and he grabbed the end of the rope, and they happily ran back carrying it together.

The other owner and I laughed and agreed to call it a draw, before he went on and the lab obediently followed when called. Sadly, I’ve never seen them again in that area, but the memory still makes me smile, and moments like that have made up for the more inconsiderate and inattentive owners!

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Karen Cannot Abide Law Breaking… Wait…

, , , , , | Friendly | September 21, 2020

My wife and I only own one car and she has a longer commute. There is a bus that goes past my house and my work so she takes the car while I take the bus.

Everything is fine until we need to get something from [Retailer] for my work. The only one who can be spared to go is me but not having a car is mildly problematic. The simple solution is for my friend and coworker to loan me his car for the quick schlep.

My friend is disabled and, as such, has disabled plates on his car.

Since I am not disabled, I do not park in the handicapped spaces. In fact, as it’s near Christmas and it’s a very full lot, I park at the very end of one of the last rows. There’s the main road, a secondary road that has some fast food eateries, and then the parking lot for Walmart. I am literally parked so far away that if I were to move to the next furthest space, I would be parked in a fast food place.

As I’m getting out of the car, I attract the attention of a nosy Karen who takes offence to the fact that I’m in a car with disabled plates but don’t seem to need them.

She confronts me and I try to explain that I’m not abusing the plates since I’m not using them to park in the handicapped spaces. She won’t listen, so I blow her off and go to pick up our order.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m walking out and I see in the distance that she’s still there. A police cruiser pulls onto the secondary road and Karen starts jumping up and down waving her arms as if to flag them down.

She does. The officer steps out of his car and they begin to chat. Karen sees me and points to me and my clearly not-disabled stride towards the car. The officer looks at me and looks at the car, and with a look of exasperation, speaks to me.

Officer: “I can guess what you’re about to say but I need to ask. Can you explain the plates?”

Me: “I needed a car; my friend loaned me his. He’s disabled and I am not, so I parked here away from the handicapped spots.”

Officer: *Nodding* “Close. I was expecting you to say, ‘Wife’s car,’ but that’s good enough for me. You can go about your business.”

Karen started screeching at the officer and I drove off.

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