Sunday 11 October 2020
Received Ideas: Things that Never Happened
Things That Never Happened are sometimes first-person, sometimes "foaflore" – they happened to a Friend Of A Friend. People copy and paste them to their Facebook pages, and get quite huffy if you cast doubt on their authenticity. They tend to start "I was sitting in a coffee-shop..." or "I was standing at the checkout..." and "I overheard..." They're often over-written and over-burdened with details none of which are the name of the participants, the supermarket, or the town. Like many urban legends, they may contain revolting details and swear words: this garners them more likes and reposts.
Jesus used to tell stories like these: the Good Samaritan, the Poor Man and the Pharisee, the Camel and the Eye of the Needle. They were probably old when he passed them on. The Samaritans, 2,000 years ago, were a neighbouring tribe mistrusted by the Israelites. In modern versions, too, the Helper is someone unlikely, such as a black man who stops when you have a flat during a rainstorm. Your first fear is that he's going to mug you - but he helps you change the wheel, and later you discover he is a famous singer/footballer.
In one very circumstantial story a ditzy Little Old Lady comes into a book/art store and, while buying chocolate and art materials, pays for a poor student's textbooks. The shop assistant asks why? She points to a drug addict begging outside and says: "That's how my son turned out. I don't want this boy to go the same way." In this case the teller of the tale (the assistant) gave her name, and claimed she'd posted it on Facebook. There's someone on FB of that name, but she looks very different (this story had a picture attached). The shop and town were not named, neither were the witnesses, nor the poor student. And what kind of shop sells chocolate, art supplies and expensive, niche textbooks?
I questioned this story and was asked "Don't you believe such things can happen?", and told "Yes, but it sends an important message!", also "Yes, but it's a good story!" Can't we send important messages without lying?
My children thought an LP was a frisbee. I showed them a dial phone – they prodded the buttons and said “It’s broken”. (Letter to The Times, paraphrase)
Today I was in a shoe store that sells only shoes, nothing else. A young girl with green hair walked over to me and asked, "What brings you in today? I looked at her and said, "I'm interested in buying a refrigerator." She didn't quite know how to respond, had that deer in the headlights look. (Copypasta from FB)
I tend to hold Withernsea in my mind when I hear spoiled 21st-century children talking about their all-expenses paid holidays abroad with mummy and daddy, as if such things were a human right. (Guardian July 2020. This belongs to the genre: "I saw a child fling himself onto the pavement and have a tantrum because his gloves didn't match".)
Janet Street-Porter claimed she got a spontaneous round of applause in the street for telling someone begging to get a job. Yeah, sure Janet. (@geezerbrown. "And I handed them back their litter and said 'I think you dropped something'.")
I know I shouldn’t have done this, but I am 83 years old and I was in the McDonald’s drive-through this morning and the young lady behind me leaned on her horn and started mouthing something because I was taking too long to place my order. So when I got to the first window I paid for her order along with my own. The cashier must have told her what I'd done, because as we moved up she leaned out her window and waved to me and mouthed "Thank you", obviously embarrassed that I had repaid her rudeness with a kindness. When I got to the second window I showed them both receipts and took her food too. Now she has to go back to the end of the queue and start all over again. Don't blow your horn at old people, they have been around a long time. (Via FB.)
This is copied and pasted from a friend's page. He really did this! I'm so proud to call him friend!
"Well my inner a**hole just came out today in public, in and among the Mundanes/Muggles today. I was being the good citizen and wearing my cloth mask in public. As I was trying to exit a national brand grocery chain, a lady, unmasked BTW, was trying to go in through the out door. She was stopped by the door checker and told this is an exit only, she had to go to the other door to enter. (They have a cue thing set up.) She WENT OFF! I guess because I was blocking the way and had a mask on she thought I would make a good target for her. She got right in my face and said that mask won't protect you. The grin formed on my face under the mask and the little devil on my left shoulder said "Do It!". The angel on my right said "WAIT, I need popcorn." I took off my mask still in her face and said: "Since you don't really give a ****, I am wearing it to protect YOU. I have been exposed to the virus and tested positive. Now you are." She screamed, covered her face and ran to her car cussing me. I turned to the door checker and said "I was BSing her. I don't have it.” She was in tears laughing. Hey, she started it." (The poster says, "Hey, I know this guy!" Again, no name of store, town, storyteller, witness. The guy you know copied and pasted and claimed it happened to him. "In tears" is a red flag.)
About 6 weeks ago I was fortunate to have an Immunologist behind me in line at the grocery store. He explained to me that not only do these masked people look like ridiculous sheep, the masks they are wearing do almost no good. He told the manager as well. (ConservatIveSoCalGal @DebraJarvis2)
We were once told at work that we couldn’t ask for black or white coffee but rather coffee with milk and without. Our response was to drink more coffee and have it either black or white. The thought police gave up after a couple of weeks. We have to fight back against these loons. (@PattyUKGB. @Otto_English replies: “No you weren’t. You’re welcome.”)
I was just in line at the gas station to get some gas minding my own business. It was this young lady in front of me taking forever. I overheard the cashier tell her that both of the cards were declined. She said, 'Is something wrong with your machine?' She turned around to walk away and I had a smile on my face. She said to me, 'Why are you f**king smiling?' I said to her 'Watch your mouth; I always smile and you should too.' I looked at the cashier and said, 'What pump number is she on?' He said, 'Pump number two, why?' I said, 'Can I put $20 on pump number two for her?' He said, 'Are you serious she was very rude to you.' It was another black guy behind me he said go ahead and fill it up. We both went half on her gas. When we walked outside to tell her about the gas this lady apologized so many times, crying her eyes out. She went inside her truck to show us her new hire paperwork. She started work on Monday so she needed gas for the week until she gets paid. Lord thank you for reminding me of all the reasons why I should keep a smile on my face. That goes to show you we never know what a person is going through and we all have a purpose on this Earth! (Bryan Brown on lovewhatmatters.com, 2015)
Older white woman asked the not-white teen cashier if he's originally from here. Kid replies "No, my parents fled our homeland looking for better opportunities." Woman asks "Where did they come from?" Kid says: "Truro."
Se non e vero, e ben trovato.
More here, and links to the rest.