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Your Next Destination: A Lesson In Manners

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | September 30, 2022

I’m sixteen years old and very shy. I have an ankle injury. I’m on crutches, waiting for the bus. When the bus arrives, it’s overly crowded and there’s no seat for me to sit. I stand near the driver and try to get a grip on a railing, so I can hopefully keep my balance on one foot.

The driver turns the engine off.

Passenger: “Sir, why have you turned the engine off?”

Driver: “Isn’t that obvious? I can’t drive when there’s someone standing here on one foot.”

Passenger: “But I need to get to the hospital. My wife is there, in labour.”

Driver: “Then I suggest you stand up and let this girl sit down, and I’ll drive.”

Passenger: “But I was here first. I’m not going to stand.”

The hospital is two stops away — about a twenty-minute walk.

Driver: “Girl, come here. You can have my seat.”

I sit down in the driver’s seat. A few passengers are beginning to talk among themselves, but nobody stands up.

Another bus driver passing by notices the bus is turned off and comes to investigate what’s going on. He notices me in the driver’s seat.

Driver #2: “Hello, where’s [Driver]? Oh, there you are. Nobody’s standing up, then?!”

Driver: “Nope.”

Driver #2: “You know what I did last week? I cleared the entire bus; only the person on crutches was allowed to stay. The rest had to either walk or take the next bus.”

Passenger: “You can’t do that. I NEED TO GET TO MY WIFE!”

Driver #2: “Then stand up and he’ll get you there.”

Passenger: “NO! I PAID FOR MY SEAT! I’M NOT GOING TO STAND!”

Both drivers exchange a look.

Driver: “All right, that’s it. Everybody out! NOW!”

Driver #2: *To me* “You just stay here, honey. It’ll be all right.”

Both drivers begin to clear the bus. Passengers who are unwilling to leave are simply thrown out by the two drivers. By now, a crowd has formed around the bus and I feel really anxious. When everybody is thrown out, I’m crying out of anxiety. [Driver] helps me to a seat and [Driver #2] gets back to his bus.

At the next stop, a few people get in, and one very professional-looking woman comments on the empty bus.

Driver: “Yeah, nobody was going to stand for this girl, so we threw everyone out.”

Woman: *Laughing* “Great! Good job.”

She sits next to me and tells me she’s an inspector from the bus company. She’s doing a random check to see if the driver is behaving like he’s supposed to. I begin crying again, fearing he’ll be in trouble for throwing paying passengers out.

Woman: “Oh, honey, don’t cry. He’s done brilliantly. Now, had he been driving while you were standing up, he would have been in trouble. But this will not get him in trouble. I won’t let that happen.”

I had a really nice chat with her and the driver after that.

A couple of days later, I got on the same bus at the same bus stop. Again, there was no seat available and nobody got up. At first.

Then, the driver — a different one from the two the other day — got up and loudly proclaimed, “Do I need to clear this bus?”

It’s unbelievable how many people actually stood up.

One Might Suggest That Letting Your Kid Call Strangers Is Rude, Too…

, , , , | Friendly | September 27, 2022

I received a video chat call from a phone number I didn’t know. I rejected the call, only to have it pop up again. After the third call, I texted the number.

Me: “Who is this?”

A fourth call came and I rejected it again. Two more followed, making six calls in three minutes. 

Me: “Stop calling me.”

Finally, they stopped. Then, a few minutes later, I got a text reply.

Random Number: “My kid had my phone. He was just playing around. You didn’t have to be so f****** rude. God bless, but I hope you don’t have kids.”

I was going to reply by saying I wasn’t rude, but I figured someone like that wasn’t going to change their mind.

You’re Not Even On The Fence About It

, , , , | Right | September 23, 2022

I am browsing solar-powered lights to put on my garden fence. I have picked up a box and am reading it when an elderly woman steps up next to me.

Old Lady: “I’ve bought those. They’re no good; they’re not bright at all. I had to bring them back.”

Me: “Oh, uh, thank you?”

I pick another box up to compare them.

Old Lady: “They’re useless.”

Me: “I’m just comparing them. Thanks, anyway.”

I kind of turn my back on her, and she moves away. I don’t need bright lights; I just want a dim glow to show my fenceline, and these lights look perfect for what I need. I get four boxes. On my way to the checkout, I go past the old lady and she looks at my trolley.

Old Lady: “Oh, you got those? They’re really rubbish. Honestly, you can’t see a thing with them. You’d be better with the other ones.”

Me: “These are fine.”

I walk away and behind me, I hear her say loudly:

Old Lady: “Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

I won’t.

All Men Must Drive

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | September 23, 2022

I have just arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and am on a bus from the airport to the old town with a bunch of tourists. The town is famous (among other things) for being the filming location of King’s Landing for the show “Game Of Thrones”, so a lot of tourists come here for that reason.

I overhear a phone call between a young American fellow and his mother back in the States. It seems like this is his first trip abroad and his mother is worrying.

Passenger: “Yes, I am on the shuttle bus to the airport now.”

Pause.

Passenger: “No, a bus. Just a regular bus.”

Pause.

Passenger: “No, Mom, I told you! It’s a regular bus, with wheels and— What? Yes, it’s a real road! Like a normal highway!”

Pause.

Passenger: “You know I’m not literally going to Westeros, right?”

Pause.

Passenger: “Yes, they do have Wi-Fi.”

Pause.

Passenger: “Because this is 2022, and they have electricity, and democracy, and TikTok.”

Cats Will Be Cats

, , , , , | Friendly | September 19, 2022

I’m waiting in line for one of the cash registers at a supermarket I only occasionally go to for specific items my local store doesn’t have. It seems like business as usual until the cashier turns away for a moment to grab something. As the automatic doors open to let a customer leave, a cat slips into the store and darts past the cash register and several surprised customers toward the back of the store.

The customer in front of me talks to the cashier.

Customer: “Um, miss? A cat just ran in.”

The cashier is not bothered one bit.

Cashier: “Oh, yeah, he comes in here sometimes.”

A moment later, a young woman comes into the store whom the cashiers clearly recognize.

Young Woman: “Is he…?”

Cashier: *Pointing* “Toward the back.”

The woman quickly makes her way to the back of the store, calling out:

Young Woman: “[Cat], come here, kitty, kitty, kitty!”

Most customers were chuckling by now, and even more when the woman returned shortly after with the cat in her arms. The animal had a look on its face that seemed to say, “Why do you insist on ruining my fun, human?”

The young woman went to take him home, which was apparently the student housing above the store. The cashier mentioned that his owners try to keep him away from the store, but cats are cats, and sometimes he just wanders in. He never damages anything and doesn’t bother people, so nobody sees a reason to make a fuss over it. If anything, I gathered that most people think it’s funny. It certainly made me smile.