Almost As Dreadful As That Pun

, , , | Friendly | December 6, 2017

(While out shopping for clothes, I overhear part of a conversation.)

Person #1: “Well, what else do you expect from a white guy with dreadlocks?”

Person #2: “I know, right? It’s DREADful.”

Person #1: “I should probably smack you for saying that, but you’re right.”

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Bagpipes Are A Scottish Instrument But Welcome To All

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 5, 2017

(I am out and about in town when I hear someone talking loudly. I turn down the high street and there is a man stood on the steps of a monument, addressing the people. I stop to listen and slowly realise the man is making racist remarks about Muslims, saying that they should leave and other rubbish. I am dumbfounded, and can see from looking around that others are either pointedly ignoring him or throwing him nasty looks. I opt to just ignore him and move on. That’s when I hear a familiar but faintly annoying noise. I stop to look and sure enough, a young lad, probably around 15, comes into view playing the bagpipes. Other people stop and stare as this teenager walks down the street towards that man. The boy gets up next to him and continues, completely drowning out the man. The man gets annoyed and moves. The lad follows, playing away.)

Man: *yelling* “It’s my right to speak my mind!”

Boy: *stops playing and retorts* “And it’s my right to play the bagpipes in a public space!”

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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.”)

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When God Takes Out The Trash, You’ll Be First

, , , | Friendly | December 1, 2017

(I am a professional photographer. I am photographing a wedding at a large local basilica, located in the downtown area of my city, waiting on the front steps for the bride to arrive. Some of the guests are already arriving. As one goes to head in, a person walking on the street walks up to the guests.)

Stranger: “Hey, do you think you could help me?”

Guest: “Sure thing. Is everything all right?”

Stranger: “Yeah, go see if your god has a trash can.”

(The random guy shoves an empty coffee cup into the guest’s hands, then walks away.)

Guest: “Um… okay?”

(I felt so bad for the guest that I took the cup to a trash can inside for him. I am not religious myself, but I was still very peeved at the random guy. Have some respect!)

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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.)

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