Sickly Sweet Smile

, , , | Friendly | June 22, 2017

(Some friends and I have driven into the city for a fun day out. The friend who drove is a safe driver, but he tends to turn the car too hard and stop too roughly for people prone to motion sickness. By the time we arrive, I’m very carsick and trying desperately not to throw up. I get out of the car and sit on a nearby curb with my head in my hands. My friends are milling around, fretting over me, and it should be clear to anyone watching that I’m not feeling well. A group of men we don’t know passes by and stops to look at us.)

Random Man: *talking to me* “Hey, you should smile. You’ll look prettier.”

Me: *gaping at him in disbelief, too nauseous to speak*

Random Man: *looking pleased with himself, like he just gave some amazing life advice*

(Unfortunately, I was too sick to respond before he walked away. I wish now that I had walked over to him and thrown up on his expensive-looking shoes.)

Telling Them Off Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

, , , , , | Friendly | June 8, 2017

(I am shopping at our local dollar store when I come across an old lady in the cleaning aisle, spraying air freshener into the air. And it isn’t little sprays — it is massive “oh, my gosh, who was just in the bathroom!” sprays.)

Me: “Ma’am? You really shouldn’t do that.”

Old Woman: “Why? You’re not my boss!”

Me: “I know, but I’m sure there are others in this store like me who are allergic to the chemicals in those bottles.”

Old Woman: “What the h*** does that have to do with it?”

Me: “Well, let me put it this way: when I have an asthma attack and have to go to the hospital because I can’t breath, are you going to pay for my ambulance ride?”

(The old lady’s face pales. She drops the air fresheners on the ground and scampers away to the other side of the store. I go on with my shopping, holding my breath as I walk through the cloud, and grab the one thing I need from that aisle. A clerk stops me as I leave the aisle. I thought for sure the old lady reported me for something but am surprised when she smiles at me.)

Clerk: “Thank you. We’ve been trying to get her to stop for the last ten minutes but she just kept telling us to f*** off.”

Man, What A Woman!

, , | Friendly | June 7, 2017

(I am riding home in the car with my friend, who is driving. We’re both 18-year-old guys, and despite my friend being ugly as sin, he has long hair, moisturizes his skin, and has a few other “girly” traits we used to keep making fun of. At a bus stop popular with hitchhikers, we notice a guy trying to catch a lift to our home town, so we stop the car.)

Hitchhiker: “Are you going to [Town]?”

Friend: “Sure, hop in!”

(Just as we’re about to leave, there’s a knock on my window. It’s a woman who asks whether we can also take her to the town just before ours. We agree and she gets in the back near the first hitchhiker. The woman starts talking to my driver friend. In our language, you pronounce verbs differently when you speak to men or women, and she kept using female verbs while talking to him.)

Friend: *turns around* “I’m a guy, by the way.”

Woman: “Oh, my god, I’m so sorry! I just thought you were a girl who neglects her eyebrows!” *in her defence, he has HUGE eyebrows*

Me: “Don’t worry, you’re not the first nor the last to make that mistake.”

(We have a good laugh, and drop her off at the entrance to the town she was headed to. As we continue to drive, I look in the rear view mirror, and notice the first hitchhiker shifting VERY uncomfortably in his seat.)

Me: “Is anything wrong?”

Hitchhiker: “You know that was a man, right?”

Pokémon Go Away

, , , , | Friendly | June 5, 2017

(I’m flying home after a trip to Asia. I’m on the last leg of my route, which is a three-hour flight from Vancouver to my hometown. The entertainment screens on the plane are out of order for the flight, so I pull out my Nintendo DS to play some Pokémon. After a few minutes of playing, I realize the child sitting next to me, who is probably around eight years old, has his eyes glued to the screen.)

Me: “Do you like Pokémon?”

Child: “I LOVE Pokémon! I even have a Charizard card at home!”

(Because Nintendo updated their system a few years ago, I’ve actually got two Nintendo DS systems since the games aren’t compatible with each other; one super old Nintendo DS Lite and one of the newer Nintendo New 3DS XL. I pull the older system out of my bag and offer it to the child.)

Me: “Do you want to play too?”

(The child gets a huge smile on his face and turns to ask his mum if it’s all right. She nods. I set the DS up, and hand it to the child. After a few minutes she looks over to see what the child is doing.)

Mum: “Um, no. He wanted that one.” *she points to the system I’m using* “He wants the new one. The one you gave him is too old.”

Me: “The old one works just fine, actually. And there’s a bigger variety of games. Besides, I just got this system and I’m not comfortable lending it out yet. Sorry.”

Mum: “No, it’s too old. Give him the new one. You’re probably not really even using it. You’re too old for Pokémon. Let him use it.” *reaches for my system*

Me: “Whoa, ma’am, no. This is mine. I’m using it. The one I lent your son works just fine. Look, he’s happy playing on that one. I’m not giving you this one.”

(She scowls at me, reaches up and pushes the “call flight attendant” button. As soon as the flight attendant arrives, she starts rambling on about how I won’t give her son back -his- DS. Meanwhile, the son is completely oblivious to what is going on and is engulfed in the Pokémon game.)

Mum: “He offered to share, and now she won’t give back the game! I demand you make her give my son back his game!”

Me: “What? No! I can assure you these are both my systems. Look, both the chargers are in my bag, along with multiple games and cases. And, if you look on the systems they both have my personal information in them. I can show you. They both even have stickers on the bottom with my full name and phone number in case I lose them.”

Mum: “NO! She’s lying! She did that while we went to the bathroom! She’s trying to steal my son’s games! GIVE IT BACK!”

(She lunges for my DS again. The poor flight attendant looks extremely confused, and meekly suggests we just put the games away. Then the passenger in front of us turns around.)

Passenger: “Geez, lady, will you shut the hell up. I’ve heard everything. This nice young lady so graciously offered to let your son play Pokémon on a system she wasn’t using. Now you’ve gone and messed it up because he didn’t get the system you thought he should have. Just look at him. He’s completely happy with that one. Now you’ve ruined it.”

(This seems like enough for the flight attendant who then asks to take a look at both systems. She sees the stickers I placed on the bottom and confirms that they are indeed mine. Then she asks if I wouldn’t mind putting them away. I oblige and put them back in my backpack. The child looks absolutely devastated, and the mother is fuming. She’s insisting I stole the systems from her, and that she’s going to call the police once we land. The flight attendant confirms that yes, police will be there, but only to escort her from the plane. The lady goes pale, and says absolutely nothing for the remainder of the flight. Just before we land, I apologize to the child.)

Me: “Look, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

Child: “It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. She ruins everything.”

(I tried to find the child in the airport after we landed to secretly slip him the old DS and Pokémon game since I don’t really use it much, but I couldn’t find him.)

Respect Is A Two Way Phone-Call

, , , | Friendly | May 31, 2017

(I’ve just gotten a drastic hairstyle change — gone back to my natural brown from pink and blue and had over 12 inches cut off — and am texting a friend about it, while at a coffee shop. I  promise to send her a picture. Just as I raise my phone to take the pic, the woman behind me pipes up.)

Woman: “Ugh, young people and their phones.”

(I ignore her, snap the picture, and text it to my friend.)

Woman: *louder* “You young people really have nothing better to do than sit around on your phones, don’t you? At least use your phone to actually communicate rather than taking picture after picture.”

Me: “Are you talking about me?”

Woman: “At least my son will grow up actually talking to people rather than being glued to his phone his entire life. And—”

Me: *already knowing where this is going* “Let me guess. He’ll show respect for his elders, even when they’re being rude and disrespecting him?”

Woman: *primly* “Was I being rude? No, I don’t think so!”

Me: “Lady, I was minding my own business when you started loudly commenting on me being on my phone and generalizing me based on a minute of you spying on me. That’s rude, so I have no inclination to be ‘respectful’ to you. And not that I owe you any explanation, but I am communicating. My friend is deaf. Talking on the phone isn’t exactly an option.”

Woman: *turning red* “Well, you could at least wait until you see her. No need to be on your phone all the time, and there’s certainly no need to be rude to me.”

Me: “She lives a few hundred miles away, and even if she didn’t, who cares if I’m on my phone? As for being rude, I’m not the one bothering anyone, and I’m certainly not making loud, rude, and untrue assumptions and interrupting a conversation. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go back to chatting with my friend — and if you do mind, I don’t care.”

(She sputtered angrily and loudly bashed me to her friend who sat down a few minutes later. She wound up being asked by several people to be quiet because she was so loud, and left in a huff. But, hey, at least she wasn’t on her phone.)

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