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When A Crappy Solution Isn’t

, , , , , , , | Friendly | October 19, 2021

One of the reasons we bought our home was the uninterrupted views of the lake it sat on. In spring, we watched the ducklings grow and flowers spring up; in winter, it was a beautiful white backdrop that we would walk in the snow.

Unfortunately, this was largely disrupted by someone parking their rusty old van on the grass, directly blocking our view. We tried asking — there were plenty of other actual spaces. We also tried getting help from the council, but they didn’t care. Nothing worked.

Then, I came up with a plan. I left one last note on the van, asking them to be neighbourly; if they moved just a few meters along, they wouldn’t block anyone. But I found the note on the ground screwed up, so that was that.

Every day, I would go to the van and scatter birdseed, and in the tree nearby I hung bird feeders. I had different types of food for all the local birds, and I applied it liberally.

For weeks, I did this and the van sat there. Eventually, it was covered in bird poo. The driver stopped parking there afterward.

Since When Is It Appropriate To Ask Strangers Medical Questions, Anyway?

, , , , | Friendly | October 17, 2021

I am female, and it’s hotter than Hades where I’m from. I don’t like my natural hair, so I shaved it one summer. I got lots of mixed reactions from different people, most of them positive, with the occasional rude person who thought I looked like a boy even though I wear makeup and am well-endowed. This takes the cake, though.

I was sitting in a coffee shop waiting for my boyfriend and his sister, and I had already ordered and been complimented by the barista. One woman got her drink, spotted me, and clutched her hand to her chest with a soft, “Oh!”

Woman: “You are such an inspiration, dear! Was it hard, battling the cancer?” 

Me: “Um, I don’t have cancer. I just have my hair like this because I like it this way.” 

Woman: *Chuckles* “Oh, sweetie, there’s no need to pretend! Was it very difficult? What kind was it?” 

Me: “I’m serious; I’ve never had cancer. Some girls just like their heads shaved, and I’m one of them.” 

The woman huffed and stormed away. I later overheard her talking on the phone about “that poor girl with the shaved head”. I told my boyfriend and his sister about it, and they both agreed she was either nuts or trying to be a good person and thought I was being stubborn.

Don’t Be A Pawn In Her Game

, , , , , | Legal | October 12, 2021

My husband likes to go to pawn shops to buy tools and guns. I usually come along just to browse, and I usually don’t find anything of interest. I have recently gotten into sewing and I happen to spot a higher-end sewing machine in really good shape with all the accessories and manuals on one of our visits. I decide that it is worth the chance for $200, and the pawnshop offers a thirty-day warranty, so I buy it.

When I get home, I ask about it on one of my sewing groups on Facebook. It turns out that the machine retails for $500 new. Most people congratulate me on the purchase and tell me that I got a really good deal. However, one lady decides to accuse me of buying stolen merchandise simply because I bought it at a pawnshop.

Lady: “Why did you buy that machine?! If you got it from a pawnshop, it is probably stolen! Only horrible people shop at pawnshops! How would you feel if someone stole your stuff and sold it at a pawnshop?”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Lady: “Pawnshops are notorious for selling stolen goods! The police will come and arrest you if you tell people how much you paid and that you bought it at a pawn shop!”

Me: “Pawnshops are one of the most regulated types of resale shops in the United States! It is actually a felony for a pawnbroker to buy an item that they even SUSPECT is stolen! When you sell an item, you have to present a government-issued photo ID with your address and personal details AND provide a thumbprint as identification! I even had to show my driver’s license when I bought it because they had to create a buyer profile for me!”

Lady: “But people sell stolen items at pawn shops all the time! I wouldn’t trust a pawnbroker!”

Me: “Do you buy stuff on Facebook Marketplace, yard sales, or flea markets?”

Lady: “Yes, all the time. What is your point?”

Me: “Did you know that there is literally ZERO legal recordkeeping of those transactions? You could have easily bought stolen items and didn’t realize it! Pawnshops keep detailed records of who they buy from AND who they sell to!”

Lady: “BUT. PEOPLE. SELL. STOLEN. GOODS. AT. PAWN. SHOPS! You will be arrested!”

Me: “Yeah, right! If it is stolen, as you allege, the responsibility is on the pawnshop, NOT me! I bought the machine under the impression that it wasn’t stolen! Plus, my husband has been dealing with that pawnshop for close to twenty-five years, so they probably did their due diligence on the original owner.”

Lady: “I am going to report you to the police! Your name is [My Name] and you live in [City], [State]?”

Me: “Yes!”

Lady: “Now you are going to jail for buying stolen property!”

The lady DID call the sheriff’s department where I live, but they literally laughed at her after she accused me of knowingly buying stolen property from a legitimate pawnshop! My husband was born and raised here, and being a small town, all the sheriff’s deputies know my husband. The deputy who talked to her is even the deputy who checks pawnshops for stolen items, and he said that they had no report of that machine being stolen, anyway.

I don’t know how she couldn’t understand that just buying an item from a pawnshop DOES NOT mean that the item has been stolen!

Well, Her Heart Is In The Right Place

, , , , , , | Learning | October 6, 2021

In college, a friend asks me to be a part of his film project. In the project, we follow a woman (me) and her husband as he goes down the path of addiction and back through recovery. We set up in an alley and start filming my husband drinking from a bottle in a paper bag. 

Me: “I thought I’d find you here.”

Husband: “F*** off.”

Me: “Why don’t you go get help?”

A woman walking by sees us and comes over.

Woman: “Hey! Leave him alone!”

Me: “What? Oh, no, no—”

Woman: “I said leave him alone! I’ll smack the stupid right outta you!”

Husband: “Ma’am, it’s fine. We—”

Woman: “You do not have to put up with these… fake-do-good b****es.”

Our friend, who has been standing nearby filming, finally steps in.

Friend: “Ma’am, please listen, he’s not—”

Woman: “He’s clearly a man in distress and you’re filming him!”

Friend: “No, he’s fine. He—”

Woman: “He ain’t fine!” *To my homeless “husband”* “Come on, sweetie. Let’s get you something to eat.”

Husband: “Um… this is a class project.”

The woman stands there, silent, looking at all of us. 

Woman: “A class project for what?”

Friend: “For [College]. I’m a film major.”

The woman seems at a loss, but then she rallies.

Woman: “Well… You can’t just go up to homeless people and put them in your—”

Husband: “I’m acting!”

Woman: “Oh. Well… you… are doing a fine job. Just don’t be out here long. Other folks won’t be so nice about you bothering the homeless.”

Friend: “Right. Thanks.”

We finished within an hour, and while other people did stop and ask what we were doing, nobody else was quite like that woman.

Don’t Give Him A Seat At Your Table

, , , | Right | October 5, 2021

It’s a rainy day, so the mother’s group I meet with weekly has decided to visit a relaxed beachside cafe. We choose one that has plenty of space and is child-appropriate. When we arrive, there is only one other table of two seated so there are dozens of empty tables and chairs to choose from. We choose a more casual setting of two couches near the fireplace and get the kids seated with colouring-in books.

Everyone has a place to sit except me, so I grab a chair from a nearby table and sit it next to the end of the couch where my daughter is sitting. We’ve spoken with a waitress who has taken our drinks order, and all appears to be well.

Suddenly, a man — who I previously had not noticed, I’m not even sure where he came from — approaches me and proceeds to very angrily tell me off about moving the chair I’m sitting on. I first wonder if he works there but quickly realise from his wording that he doesn’t — referring to the restaurant staff as “they” instead of “we,” for example.

Man: “You moved that chair away from its table! The chairs are for paying customers!

I’m trying to be polite even though he’s in my face, but I finally lose my patience.

Me: *Firmly* “I am a paying customer, so I also deserve to sit somewhere.”

All the while, I’m incredulously looking around me at the twenty or so empty tables. He eventually leaves and a waitress approaches to see what is happening.

Me: “Is it okay that I moved this chair?”

Waitress #1: *Looking rather confused* “Of course.”

I am still buzzing from the adrenaline that came from the confrontation for most of the meal.

When we finish and pay at the register, a different waitress asks us what happened, and I explain.

Waitress #2: “That man is a regular. He always acts like he owns the place and bullies other patrons.”

I hope they managed to get control of the situation, because it really soured what was usually the highlight of my week as a struggling mum.