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This Lady’s “Help” Is No Walk In The Park

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 25, 2023

I’m walking my dog in the park in the early evening, and I almost literally trip over a guy who has collapsed on the path in front of us. He briefly wakes and then passes out again. That’s when I call an ambulance on my mobile phone.

I’m with the man for forty minutes during which time several other people arrive. (My dog goes off to round up the ducks by the pond; she’ll be fine, as will the ducks.)

Some people go to the three entrances to the park to flag the ambulance when it appears. Several turn around and walk away. Two separate people actually step over the guy in order to get past, without commenting at all.

When the paramedic arrives, I start explaining what happened.

Me: “I found him here about forty minutes ago. He’s mostly been—”

At that point, a woman appears out of nowhere.

Woman: “What’s happening? What’s going on?”

Paramedic: “Are you related to the patient?”

Woman: “No, I saw the lights from my house over there. What’s happening?”

Paramedic: “Can you wait for a moment? I need to talk to this man right now.” *Gestures to me*

Me: “For the past forty minutes, he’s mostly been unconscious, but he’s woken a couple of—”

Woman: “Can I do anything to help?”

Paramedic: “I need to speak to this man first, ma’am.”

Me: “When he wakes up, he’s belligerent and angry for a few—”

Woman: “I can help! Shall I go and get a blanket?”

Paramedic: “No. Be quiet while I talk to this gentleman.”

Woman: “I’m only trying to help! Why won’t you let me help?”

Me: “He’s belligerent and angry briefly, and then confused for a bit longer than that. After that—”

Woman: “You must let me help! This is important! I have to help!”

Paramedic: “You’re doing the opposite. Be quiet!”

Woman: “That’s it! I’m going to complain about you! Give me your name, now.”

Paramedic: “Go away. Sir, please continue.”

Me: “After that, he’s ‘normal’ for about a minute, and then he goes vague and—”


Me: *Finally snapping* “Shut the h*** up, you stupid b****. This isn’t about you. You’re getting in the way of this man being helped. Shut the f*** up now.”

Woman: “I’LL BE TAKING YOUR NAME, TOO! I’ll complain to the council about you!”

Paramedic: *In a deadly serious voice* “Shut. Up.”

Me: *Still angry* “Why don’t you just f*** off? Go on, f*** off!”

Woman: “I demand that—”

Me: “F*** off.”

Woman: “How dare—”

Me: “F*** off. Now.”

Woman: “I’ll call the police and—”

Paramedic: Enough! Do as the nice gentleman says and f*** the h*** off immediately!”

Woman: “This is why nobody respects you scum with your—”

A passerby who went to one of the entrances appears out of nowhere, grabs her arm, and drags her away. She’s still shouting about how she was helping and how he’s assaulting her when she’s very important to what’s going on.

Paramedic: “Third time this month. What is it with people ‘helping’ us? Anyway, you were saying?”

I finished giving my observations to him, collected my dog from the pond edge, and went home. I’ve not seen the woman in the week since this happened, which is lucky, because I reckon she’d be the one needing an ambulance if I did.

Isn’t Meeting Your Doppelgänger Bad Luck Or Something?

, , , , , , | Related | November 24, 2023

Back when my sister and her husband were newly married, they went shopping with my mother. [Brother-In-Law] is color-blind, so he gets to pick out the shirts he likes, and Sis picks out the colors. (Left to his own devices, [Brother-In-Law] has come up with some appalling color combinations.) Mom was just along for the trip.

At one point, Sis picked out a shirt she thought [Brother-In-Law] would like and turned to a guy who looked like [Brother-In-Law] from the back and was wearing a similar shirt to what [Brother-In-Law] had been wearing. She tapped the guy on the shoulder.

Sis: “What do you think of this, honey?”

The guy turned to look at Sis.

Sis: “Oh! I’m so sorry! From the back, you look just like my husband!”

Not two minutes later, Mom tapped the same guy on the shoulder and held up a shirt.

Mom: “What do you think of this one, [Brother-In-Law]?”

She was totally mortified to find out that the guy wasn’t [Brother-In-Law].

Then, [Brother-In-Law] joined them.

Guy: “You must be [Brother-In-Law]!”

It turned out that [Brother-In-Law] and the guy actually looked quite a bit alike, with similar build and coloring. They all had a good laugh about it.

Sometimes Things Come Back To Haunt You In A GOOD Way

, , , , , , , , | Learning | November 21, 2023

It is Halloween of my freshman year of college, and an organization on campus has set up a haunted house in the basement of one of the dorms. Long, thick fabric hanging from the ceiling creates pitch-dark, claustrophobic “halls” that lead suddenly to larger, semi-lit “rooms” where the scares take place. There are three people in each group that goes through the haunted house, single-file.

I am a short, small, quiet, unimposing white woman with no interest in sports. Behind me in line is a VERY tall, VERY buff Black man with his girlfriend, who is also Black and about my height and build. In front of me are three average-build white guys.

As we wait in the vestibule to be let in, Tall Guy approaches me diffidently, with his girlfriend giggling behind him.

Tall Guy: “Hey, I’m really sorry, but I get really scared in these things, but I lost a bet with my girlfriend there, and she said I had to come. Would you mind holding my hand while we go through?”

I manage to keep a smile off my face and agree. We go through, dropping hands each time we get to a “scare room”.

When we are about halfway through, one of the “scare rooms” goes dark, and the creepy, cackling “scarer” tells us to go off to the left. I have trouble hearing her, though, because as soon as the lights go out, Tall Guy starts screaming.

Tall Guy: “Where’s that white chick?! White chick! Where’d you go?! White chick! Please don’t leave me here alone!”

Girlfriend: “Hey, you shut up or I’ll drop your hand!”

Meanwhile, I find his hand, and for the rest of the haunted house, he doesn’t release it even in the “scare rooms”. When we reach the end, he thanks me as his girlfriend teases him.

A few months later, the spring semester begins. I go to a large, upper-level Middle Eastern history class and try to sit in the front row to compensate for my need for new glasses, only to be told that is reserved for football players, ROTC, and their friends. As I try to find a seat in the second or third row, I hear a half-remembered voice.

Tall Guy: “Hey! White chick! Remember me from Halloween?”

Me: “Oh! Hey! Tall Guy! You survived the scare season! Did your girlfriend make you go to any more haunted houses?”

Tall Guy: *Grinning* “Did you call me ‘Tall Guy’? That’s great. My brother’s taller than me. I’ll have to rub that in his face. My name’s [Tall Guy]. Yeah, my girlfriend [Girlfriend] tried to get me to go to one of those haunted corn mazes, but I just wouldn’t. I’ll have to tell her I saw that white chick again, though. I swear, you saved me from a heart attack.”

At this point, most of the other students have arrived, and all but the front row is totally full, with the front row only half-full.

Professor: *Irritatedly* “I guess if you know [Tall Guy], you can sit here.”

Confused, I do so, and Tall Guy and I continue to chat. He tells me he’s a junior on the football team, and I explain that I am a history major and had AP credit for the lower-level history classes. The ROTC students arrive in uniform en masse and fill up the rest of the first row.

Tall Guy asks if I want to join him and his girlfriend for lunch in the main dining hall, and I agree.

Once we get there, I follow him to a small, secluded room with two large tables. I realize from the physiques of the guys sitting there that this is likely the football team.

Tall Guy: “Hey, y’all remember White Chick from Halloween that [Girlfriend] keeps teasing me about? Yeah, this is her, [My Name]. We have Mid East together.

Football Player #1: “Ohhh, dude, with [Professor]? He’s tough. I had him last year. I can memorize dates and stuff easy, but he always wants you to go into like the deep backgrounds and motivations and stuff. Give me facts any day!”

Me: “I’m actually a history major and studied most of what’s on the syllabus in high school, so that’s a relief for me!”

Girlfriend: “I have him in the afternoon, and I’m crap at that kind of thing.”

Football Player #2: “Same with us.”

He gestures to either side of himself at [Football Player #3] and [Football Player #2]’s girlfriend.

Me: “Well, if any of y’all need help, I used to tutor in high school, so I’m pretty good at explaining that kind of stuff. It’s what all my teachers there wanted.”

A nervous talker, I take out the syllabus and proceed to give a mini-lecture about the topic we are due to cover the second day of class.

Tall Guy: “Dude. You know your stuff! You’ll tutor us? Let me call and clear it with Coach! There will have to be like background checks and references and stuff, but you’ll get to come with us on the long away games.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

It turned out that the football teams had dedicated tutors for various subjects, and the history tutor had quit suddenly due to family circumstances.

After a few days and many meetings and calls with my advisor, the head football coach, and my high school teachers, I took a final for the Middle Eastern History class, with that professor glaring at me the whole time. I passed with a 97%.

I was told that I could now tutor the football team for the spring and summer semesters since my references were stellar and I had now passed all the classes the football players were taking that semester. I got a fairly generous salary, travel weekends, and a whole pack of new friends! My dorm room fees for the summer were also waived, as I hadn’t planned to attend that optional semester. I was also moved to an Elizabethan History class that happened during the same time slot — one that was “full” and that I’d wanted to take anyway!

It just goes to show what a friendly demeanor and a lot of serendipity can get you! I still keep up with Tall Guy and his girlfriend, who are married, and Tall Guy went pro football for a few years before deciding to work in a job that would injure him less.

Don’t Get So Heated; You’ll Melt Your Ice!

, , , | Friendly | CREDIT: DemonFrage | November 21, 2023

I was chilling in a fast-casual restaurant chain yesterday, and I decided to go fill up my drink. As I was standing in line to fill up my drink, this lady and her maybe six-year-old kid were right ahead of me. The kid was about to go get his drink when his mom stopped him.

Lady: “Put ice in your drink first. Everyone gets ice in their drink.”

The kid moved out of the way, and I went ahead to get my drink instead.

I was halfway through filling up my drink when this lady put her hand in front of my face and gestured to direct my eyes. She was pointing at the ice machine.

Lady: “Everyone puts ice in their drink.”

Apparently, I was tired as h*** because I looked her dead in the eye, and without cracking any smile or emotion whatsoever, I told her:

Me: “Oh, my bad. I’m allergic to ice.”

She had this shocked and confused expression. Then, she and her kid just went on their merry way. I filled up my drink and sat back down, and after looking at my phone for a few minutes, I looked up to see the woman arguing very angrily with a random worker, pointing at me.

Honestly, I decided it wasn’t worth it, and seeing as I was finished eating, I just threw my stuff away and bounced.

I woke up this morning thinking, “What the h*** even was that?”

Not Everything Is A Personal Attack, Ma’am

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 20, 2023

This story might have been more “entertaining” had I engaged, but I seriously did not want to deal with the cray-cray. I also realized that nothing good would come of me saying a word. This is just a tale of when NOT to react.

I was sitting on the bus to get to work this morning and sat in a row just in front of a woman and her baby. The baby was being a little noisy, but I didn’t care.

As I was reading Not Always Right, the baby, who’d been quiet for a little bit, let out a loud cry, which startled me, so my body instinctively jumped. I may have looked at the lady through the corner of my eye, but I honestly don’t think she saw that. I then went back to reading.

I heard her start talking passive-aggressively about me.

Woman: “How could a person jump just because a baby cried? Haven’t they had babies or grandbabies? They must have been scared to have jumped like that…”

She just wouldn’t shut up, so I moved a few seats away. Then, she called me a racist.

Eventually, I moved to the front of the bus, and I could still hear her going on and on about me. Remember, I never, ever said a word back to her. I can only imagine the earful I would have received had I said anything.  

The point of the story is that sometimes it’s much much better to just let someone ramble on and walk away. I will also say that I now understand why, when I was younger, I did engage with the narcissists I was surrounded by. It took a LOT of self-control to not engage.