A Vicious Bicycle Of Reasoning

, , , , | Friendly | December 4, 2019

(I ride my bike to school and home every day. One day, I’ve just left school and I’m riding on the road past the crowds of other students walking on the sidewalk. My high school is located on top of a hill, so I’m going at a pretty good clip when another student turns and, without looking, steps directly in front of me. I have no time to brake or swerve, and I plow right into him. We both get up, fortunately uninjured, and get onto the sidewalk.)

Me: “What the h***, man?! Why didn’t you look before you tried to cross the street?!”

Student: “Oh, sorry. I didn’t hear any cars coming so I thought it was safe to cross.”

Me: “Oh, sure, that makes sense.”

Student: “Really?”

Me: “Of course not! You just got creamed by a bicycle! Look both ways next time!”

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Looking After The Welfare Of Others Shouldn’t Have To Be Explained  

, , , , | Friendly | December 2, 2019

(I’m on WIC — the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — and I’m checking out in front of an older man and a couple of teen boys. I tell the cashier I’m using one of the checks, and the older man groans.)

Older Man: “Ugh, why can’t you sluts just keep your legs closed? I don’t want my tax money paying for some welfare babies!”

Me: “Sir, I just want to get food and go home.”

Older Man: “To your sugar daddy’s house? Does he have some mansion up in the mountains or something?”

Me: “No, I’m in [Trailer Park] right now. That’s all we can afford.”

Older Man: “F****** trailer trash, I should have known!”

(The teenage boy behind him finally gets tired and taps him on the shoulder.)

Teen: “Look, sir, that poor girl already told you that she doesn’t want to hear this, and I’m pretty tired of it, too. Plus, she’s probably stressed out enough, being pregnant and having to rely on government assistance. So, how about you leave her alone for a bit?”

Older Man: “Well, all these kids today, being rude!” *storms off*

(The teen ended up buying me a couple of candy bars and told me that I shouldn’t worry about people like the older man.)

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The Bane Of The Cane

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 1, 2019

(I was recently diagnosed with MS. I’m not so bad off as others are — yet — but I do need a cane for walking most days. The first cane I own is a dark red wooden one that twists at the bottom. I’m going to lunch on a workday and I park in a handicap space in front of a restaurant in a strip mall and put up my bright blue placard on the rear-view. I’m perfectly capable of getting out of the car and standing up without my cane, so I do so, and I reach in to get my cane after.)

Stranger: “Hey, [homophobic slur!]!”

(I straighten back up, with my cane, and turn to face a man roughly half-again my size with an unkempt gray beard lurching toward me from the sidewalk. The sane reaction would be to get back in my car through the open door, shut it, and lock it behind me, but I freeze in place, my entire body tensed up. This man jabs a finger into my collarbone hard enough to hurt, and I remember what’s on the shirt I’m wearing; a rainbow-colored alteration of a well-known logo.)

Stranger: “Is being a [slur] a disability now?! Who the h*** do you think you are?!”

(I slowly raise my shaking hand and point at my cane.)

Stranger: “I just saw you get out of your car by yourself! You don’t need that!”

(He tries to grab it, but I pull my hand back. He settles for smacking me upside the forehead. It takes me a second to even realize what just happened. I’ve never been outright assaulted by a stranger before, but somehow this is where I finally find my voice, even if it quivers and breaks as I speak.)

Me: “If you touch me again, I will act in self-defense.”

(He gave an “Oh, really?” smirk and smacked me in the ear before I could react. I panicked and wildly slammed my cane against the side of his face with every bit of strength I could muster, and then threw the cane into the car and dove in after it, finally shutting the door and locking it. The man started pounding on my window while holding a hand against the bloody side of his face and shouting nothing I could understand. I got my keys from my pocket, started the car, and got out of there as fast as I could. Thankfully, the man didn’t try to leap on my windshield or anything. As I drove, I looked over at my cane and saw that it was nearly broken through near the handle, and the splinters were smeared with blood. Several blocks away, I stopped to dial 911. To summarize the rest, someone in the restaurant had already called 911 when the guy first accosted me, I now have a restraining order, and he’s awaiting trial, even though according to him, he didn’t do anything to me that he wouldn’t do to his own kid if they were being stupid. And I still haven’t replaced my cane. Even knowing it could have been much worse, I have nightmares, and I’m too afraid to use my handicap placard any more. Thanks, random stranger.)

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Call Of The Search

, , , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2019

(When I am a kid, our synagogue is looking for a new rabbi. One of the members of the Rabbi Search Committee decides to call my dad to get his thoughts, so he looks him up in the phone book. However, there are two people with Dad’s name in the phone book, and she calls the wrong one.)

Committee Member: “Hello, is this [Dad]?”

Other [Dad]: “Yes, who’s this?”

Committee Member: “This is [Committee Member] with the Rabbi Search Committee. I’m calling to get your thoughts on your search. Do you have any?”

Other [Dad]: “Yes, I do have some thoughts!”

(Despite not being a member of our synagogue, the other [Dad] and the committee member talk for about twenty minutes on his thoughts on the rabbi search process. Eventually, they finish up.)

Committee Member: “Send my best to [Mom] and the kids.”

Other [Dad]: Who is [Mom]?

Committee Member: “Your wife.”

Other [Dad]: No, my wife’s name is [Wife].

Committee Member: “But this is [Dad], right?”

Other [Dad]: “Yes, there are two of us; I think you want the other one.”

Committee Member: “But wait, I said I was from the rabbi search committee. We talked for twenty minutes. What’s going on?”

Other [Dad]: “Oh, my church is looking for a new minister. I thought you were joking.”

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The Holiday Season That Never Ends

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2019

(It is about a week after Thanksgiving, and my husband and I are shopping for dinner supplies when we run into a friend and strike up a conversation. After a bit, we all point out our mutual dinner errand and end the conversation to go on our merry way.)

Husband: “See ya later!”

Friend: “See ya!”

Random Old Lady: *in a nasty tone* “What? No ‘Merry Christmas’? What kind of friends are you?”

Husband: *shocked for a moment, then incredulous* “I’m… sure we’ll see each other again before then, and he’s coming to my house anyway…”

Random Old Lady: *harumphs and walks off*

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