You Probably Shouldn’t Tackle Civilians, Either

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 13, 2020

I take a ferry to get to work most days and the ferry dock has a lot of interesting people hanging around. I utilize the time on the ferry and the walk up to work listening to audiobooks on my earbuds or planning my meetings.

One day, I am suddenly tapped on the shoulder by a tall man who does the most interesting Inspector Clouseau impression saying, “You slowed down suddenly and my face hit your bag.” 

This is almost physically impossible but I just say, “Okay, look where you are going.”

Next thing I know, he is in my face saying, “I did not hear you. Are you going to say sorry or say something smart?”

I just say, “I am not going to say anything to you,” and start walking away along the walkway along the river.

I go maybe ten steps before instincts from years as a front line public safety officer get me to step sideways; I move just in time for the idiot from before to barrel past me for what must have been a charge meant for me. He runs unchecked into a support column for the shade structure and splashes into ankle-deep stinking muck from the preceding day’s stormwater discharge.

I would have the guy arrested but he just had karma served right in front of my eyes. Also, his female companion has spotted my badge and is hauling the stinking idiot towards the tap, muttering, “Of all the people, you pick on one with a badge.”

For the record, I am not a street cop.

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Nothing Comes Between Dad And His Wine

, , , , | Friendly | March 12, 2020

(My family has sailed on Lake Superior since I was a baby, and every year my dad and some friends make a long trip to Isle Royale, one of the most remote National Parks in the country. But they’ve had a rough crossing.)

Friend: “Let’s have some of that wine I brought!”

(My dad agrees and digs through the storage in the RV-sized boat, looking increasingly sad.)

Dad: “Sorry, [Friend], no corkscrew.”

(They all groan, but they go watch the sun set. Dad sees a campground with two lone people sitting by their fire on shore. Dad’s face lights up with a sudden idea; he tears off toward the camp and comes crashing through the woods to a very startled couple.)

Dad: “DO YOU GUYS HAVE A CORKSCREW?”

Man: “The f***, man? You scared us! Anyway, why would we carry an expensive bottle of wine on a backpacking trip? We don’t have a d*** corkscrew!”

Dad: “Sorry! I just had an idea. You must have a Swiss Army knife, right?”

Woman: *skeptical, pulls hers out* “Yeah, but… Oh.” *finds the corkscrew attachment* “I guess we do have one. But it’s you that’s got the screw loose, dude. Crashing through the woods like a yeti…”

Dad: *sheepish* “Well, I came by boat with some friends and we can’t open our wine. Sorry. Can I borrow that?”

Man: *laughing now* “You really had us there! Yes, fine. And don’t apologize! Just invite us, too; we haven’t seen other humans for almost two weeks!”

(My dad’s group and their new friends stayed up so late swapping stories that a ranger came down to the dock and threatened to fine them if they didn’t quiet down!)

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When A Fabulous Dress Can Cause Distress

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 11, 2020

I work on delivering packages for a major online store. They have recently started scheduling delivering as early as 8:00 am, so this means I’m up around 2:30 am to be ready for the early-morning delivery blocks. I am on the way when I realize I should put more gas in the car and grab some liquid caffeine at the same time, so I pull into a local gas station to tank up.

When I get there, I notice a rather thin man walking around in a thin coat — which is understandable, as it can get quite cold at night here, even in the desert. What I do not expect is that he is wearing sandals… and a red, ankle-length dress. I am a little unnerved, but he doesn’t make any violent moves toward me as I get out of my car and doesn’t even seem to notice me. I think, “Live and let live,” and head in to get a drink and some fuel.

As I’m paying, I mention the guy to the cashier, because he should probably know the guy’s around for safety reasons. When I describe him, he says, “Yeah… he used to be a cashier at one of our other stores.”

Already thinking this night might be a little too surreal, I ask, “Used to be?”

The cashier responds, “Yeah. He got fired when he spilled a soft-serve cone on the floor and then began licking it up. He hangs around a few of the stores sometimes.”

When I step outside, the man is gone, leaving no trace behind. I pump my gas, looking around me multiple times, but he does not reappear.

I still think about him. Shine on, you crazy, dress-wearing, ice-cream-off-the-floor-licking diamond.

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Some People Deserve To Be Sued

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 10, 2020

(I am a 16-year-old that suffers from a bone tumor in my pelvic bone. This has prevented me from walking long distances. When this story takes place, I am just about to have my first surgery out of three. We are in a famous retail store and I am in a scooter as I am under strict doctor orders to not walk. I am looking at some dresses when a lady in her fifties marches up and the following happens:)

Lady: “I didn’t know that being lazy was a handicap. Get up. I need to use that.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not lazy. I am three days away from undergoing a–”

Lady: “SHUT UP! YOU ARE JUST A LAZY B**** THAT DOESN’T KNOW WHEN TO SHUT UP! EITHER GET OUT YOURSELF OR I WILL GET YOU OUT MYSELF!”

Me: “I wish you luck with that. If you touch me, I will press charges. My family is close with [Sheriff]. My mom grew up with him and my dad is a deputy. So, either leave me alone or I will press charges for harassment.”

Lady: “You liar! I’ll sue you when I hurt myself!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am a 16-year-old going to high school to become a lawyer; you can’t sue me. Even if you could, my uncle is a lawyer and will be very happy to hear how you are trying to force me out of my chair as well as harassing me. He will have a field day when he hears about this.”

(The lady sputters and walks away. I drive back to my parents and tell them what happened. They are happy to hear that I stood up for myself as I normally am the person that lets people walk all over me. When we go to pay, the lady storms up to us with the manager. The manager is friends with my family and goes to church with us, so he knows us well.)

Lady: “THERE SHE IS! SHE SHOVED ME OFF THE SCOOTER AND CUSSED AT ME WHEN I ASKED FOR IT BACK! I DEMAND SHE BE ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT!”

Manager: “[My Name], what happened?”

Me: “I was looking at dresses when she demanded that I get out of my scooter. When I told her no, she threatened to throw me off herself.”

Lady: “LIAR! LIAR! SHE’S JUST A STUPID CHILD THAT HASN’T GOTTEN A GOOD BEATING!”

Manager: “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to leave; you have threatened this minor and you won’t stop screaming. Either leave or I will call the police!”

Lady: “I WON’T LEAVE! I’LL GIVE HER THE BEATING THAT SHE DESERVES BUT NEVER GOT!”

(The lady jumped at me and started to slap me. My dad quickly restrained her while the manager called the police. She was thrown in jail for a couple of years. The funny thing was, she tried to press charges on my dad for assault, but when her lawyers saw the video, they laughed her out of the building. I am doing fine now, although I am battling round two of my tumor.)

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Another Reason To Hate Stairs

, , , , , , , | Romantic | March 7, 2020

My local subway station is elevated, meaning that you walk up about two flights of stairs to get to the platform. I leave for work rather early and head away from downtown so my side is typically not very crowded. A few years ago, there was a certain man who would wait for the train just a couple of steps from the top of the stairs. You’d have to pass him to get anywhere on the platform.

While waiting, he would try to hit on almost every woman who passed by him if she wasn’t alone. He’d say things like, “Hey, baby, you’re so beautiful, you’re so beautiful! Do you have a boyfriend?” Even though he didn’t follow anyone, it was pretty obvious that he was making them uncomfortable. I wanted to do something but he was a lot bigger than me. Plus, past experiences confronting people on the subway have not gone well for me.

However, I noticed that he didn’t do this on days when it was crowded. This gave me an idea. On days when I saw him, I started waiting for the train as close as I could to where he was standing without it being weird. I kept my phone out to be less obvious but whenever I saw him about to turn toward someone, I moved my body or made noise in some way to remind him that I was there — nothing confrontational, just stretching and coughing. Surprisingly, this worked extremely well. Whether out of embarrassment or perhaps because I’d put myself between him and the stop of the stairs, he stopped.

Then, one day, I reached the platform to find him in a heated conversation with a woman on the other side of the tracks. She’d noticed what he was doing and he was trying to defend himself by saying things like, “It’s just a compliment,” “I’m just being friendly,” and, “I ain’t hurting nobody.” She was having none of it and basically told him that he needed to stop, permanently, or she’d get station personnel to remove him the next time she saw it.

After that, he keeps to himself.

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