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This is a question Random Acts of Kindness

Crackhouseceilidhband asks: Has anyone ever been nice to you, out of the blue, for no reason? Have you ever helped an old lady across the road, even if she didn't want to? Make me believe that the world is a better place than the media and experience suggest

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:03)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I ...
corrected them, Sir.
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 11:00, 1 reply)
A tale of four digits (pearoast mix)
“Sex Museum or coffee shop?”

“You what?”

The six foot seven, blond, dutch policeman sighed and pushed a piece of paper towards me.

“Sex Museum or coffee shop? When tourists get their wallets stolen, it’s usually in one of these two places.”

“Oh, I see. Sex Museum. I was so busy watching a raddled old Russian hooker getting anally fisted by a dwarf that I didn’t notice my bag was open. Plus I’m really rather stoned.”

“Yes. Happens a lot.”

So there I am, in Amsterdam, with no money, cards or train tickets and a boyfriend who is so clueless with cash that his bank have actually forbidden him from having a debit card. Through the miracle of the phone, tears and the Royal Bank of Mother, I arrange for a Western Union payment to pick up at the station the next day. And I managed to get my mum to cancel all my cards. Phew, all sorted then.

The rest of the holiday passes without incident (unless you count the boyfriend projectile vomiting in the hotel room) and I return home to find that my bank, Twat West, have delivered me a new card. It’s the Friday of a bank holiday weekend, my housemates are away, so I decide to pop to the local petrol station to buy tobacco and snack food products and spend a couple of days lounging around on the sofa.

Snacks duly selected, I ask the nice chap behind the counter for a pack of Drum and hand over my spanking new card for payment. It swipes, it beeps, it… Oh. It’s been reported as stolen and has to be cut up? Say what now? Sheepishly, the chap snips my card in two and asks if I want to use the phone to call the bank. I surely do, and when I manage to navigate the computer system to finally speak to a real person I am informed that instead of cancelling my stolen card, they had cancelled my new card instead, mistaking it for the stolen one. So not only do I have no card, but my stolen card could have been used by anyone for the last week. I’m appalled.

I realize that not only have I no money on me and more worryingly I have no access to money for three days. And I have no food in the house and more importantly, no fags or booze.

Then the unexpected happens. The guy behind the counter rings up my shopping, throws in an extra packet of baccy, hands me the bag and £20 from his wallet and says “It’s okay, I know you’re good for it, you can pay me on Tuesday…”

The morals of the story are: people can be unexpectedly nice; if you make enough noise to the bank and the banking ombudsman, they’ll apologize, give you £50 and the phone number of the branch so these things can be sorted out quicker in future and that whilst standing gaping at a film of a Chinese woman pissing on an amputee, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your wallet…
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 10:53, Reply)
Long. I apologise. But, I hope, a worthwhile read.

It would be a tough ask to have created the underlying attitude of the infamously dormant pop/goth/fairground outfit Pwürg from music alone. The influence of other aspects of our way of life all came together to inspire the band to reach a deeper esoteric sense of obscurity. Therefore, simultaneously with the formation of the band, in 1993, we founded a "company" based on the age old philosophies of Robin Hood. The only difference was that we didn't steal from anybody, and we also didn't discriminate in who we chose to reward. As I believe Roger Waters once said, "We were all equal in the end." Our mission became Gratis Surprise Incorporated (or GSI for short).

Confused? Probably. So, let's cut to the chase - and begin with a newspaper article - published by the Maidenhead Advertiser in late 1993. And I quote verbatim:



THE Advertiser has always had an interesting and varied postbag, but we never expected to receive anything from outer space. On Friday, staff received a "hamper of joy" from Gratis Surprise Incorporated. Included in the contents were a selection of Kylie Minogue records, a shirt, a fencing mask, an apple, a waistcoat and a broken joystick. The parcel was delivered by a strange-looking man with a foreign accent. He screeched a greeting at our receptionist before dumping the box and leaving.

An accompanying letter claimed the senders were not of this earth (the Advertiser's circulation has obviously rocketed). It said: "Gratis Surprise Inc. is an organisation that rewards dedicated individuals in the community for their outstanding service and bravery. "At present, we have a campaign targeting the Maidenhead area. Many parcels have been distributed to the worthy citizens of your burgage borough."

The inter-galactic travellers, signed themselves - Gladys Surprise, Jacob Branthington, Harold, Egon Pilchard-Brethh, Genitt Rentson, Ingo Von Huehnerbein, Sarah Fftaang!, Lucas Manghope (son of) and B.B. Ghali, then wished us love and doses of a rather nasty disease. The Advertiser also received two bizarre telephone calls. But as the callers, after asking if we liked our gift, could only manage a screech, we can only assume that our alien admirers were too shy to talk to any of those "dedicated individuals."

Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, we asked P-c. Bob Walker at Maidenhead police station if he knew of anyone else lucky enough to have received such a splendid present. And we were amazed to discover that, to his knowledge, we were the only people bestowed with the honour. Our next dilemma was what to do with this wondrous gift. Strangely enough, P-c Walker's suggestion was "bin it." Wonder why…?


(old mini scan here: www.crcmh.com/pcbob.jpg)

Intrigued yet? Well, this tale begins one night outside the derelict Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital in Cliveden (see www.crcmh.com) where we used to hang out. One night on a typical visit, we noticed a tatty bit of wood about one metre square at the end of someone's drive opposite the hospital. Scrawled upon it in felt-tip pen were the words "A + E Hyde. 2 Winkipop Cottages, Cliveden." I thought it was a bit sad that people had to resort to such a miserable introduction to their house, so with nothing but generosity in mind, I took the sign home with me, staying up all night in order to transform it into a psychedelic masterpiece using bright acrylic paints. When I'd finished, it looked like the kind of thing you might hang outside a Carnaby Street kaftan shop in the late sixties. It had little green bubbles all over it, which - obviously - were winkipops.

(Ladies & gentlemen, I give you ... The Sign: www.crcmh.com/winkipop.jpg)

At the very bottom of the sign, in small lettering, I wrote "Gratis Surprise Sign Redevelopments Inc." which was a meaningless afterthought - and where the company name would come from. If only all things were that easy.

Just as dawn hit (and having photographed the finished article), we drove back and placed the sign lovingly where it was originally found. This event immediately led to the recording of a song called "Winkipop Surprise" which was pretty much based around the tune from "Blankety-Blank" with chipmunk vocals about what a wonderful surprise it was and how grateful they should be to receive it. And with this song - Pwürg was born - with a mission to create further madcap music.

We noticed that the sign had been (presumably) taken inside the house almost instantly, and felt that perhaps the Hydes (if that's who they were) might like to hear the song written especially for them. We could have just mailed a tape to them, or put it through their letterbox. But that wouldn't be in the spirit of the whole thing. So we came up with a company letterhead in the name of Gratis Surprise Incorporated. The accompanying standard letter went like this:



Gleetings Earthlings,

Congratulations, You have been carefully selected by us here at Gratis Surprise Incorporated to receive this splendid gift from us to you. We forage around the galaxies looking for kind and deserving persons such as yourselves so we can leave wonderful surprises to brighten up lives. GSI was founded in 1979 by German entrepreneur Mrs Gladys Surprise. Since, the corporation's act of kindness and love has been repeated throughout this and other universes now known or yet to be discovered by man. GSI is not a charity, we go far beyond the realms of human gratitude and offer caring gifts as a token of respect to mankind. GSI has found YOU and you will be highly rewarded. Please accept on behalf of GSI, the following smashing gifts:

(Here, a list of wonderful presents would be handwritten - in this case: A bag of delightfully scrummy banana flavoured fruity bon-bons and a copy of the song "Winkipop Surprise" as performed by a famous pop group.)

We hope that you take great pleasure in receiving these wonderful prizes and that you will spread the word of our good deeds across a vast amount of avid listeners. Be nice to everyone. PRAY FOR INTERGALACTIC PEACE.

With Love and Herpes,

Gladys Surprise (chairwoman/founder)
Genitt Rentson (receptionist)
Harold (?)
Sarah Fftaang! (fashion designer)
Jacob Branthington (creative director)
Isaac Manghope Jr (son of I Manghope)
Cedric Moldavia (fitness instructor)
B.B. Ghali (activist)
Stumper O'Mulligan (check-out assistant)
Bob Mouldie (geriatric)
Dr Structure (dustman)

REF: GS94ms03-WKPj1-


This letter, along with a copy of the tape was packaged in a huge box, which was painted white. It had stars and glitter added along with white tassels along the edges and a roof was added. For a grander effect it was mounted on stilts, so that the finished gift looked like a little white house on four legs, about head height. It was finished off by inserting a flashing roadwork light so the whole thing pulsated in the dark.

So, off we went, creeping up the gravel drive of 2 Winkipop Cottages in the snow. It looked magic, this otherworldly inanimate object beaming an eerie orange light over the crisp white surrounds (it was mid-winter at the time). Without ringing the bell (because it was half-past dark by this point), we disappeared off into the shadows... and never heard anything more about it.

Nobody knows if they listened to the tape because to this day, they have never come forward. Perhaps it's still there in the drive and they're too scared to go outside and retrieve it. Maybe the sign is hanging over their mantelpiece. Who knows?

Nevertheless, by this stage, word spread and all sorts of people became interested in what Pwürg were doing in the twilight hours. We decided to "Gratis" (as it is became known) on a mass scale. The band and our helpers spent ages constructing huge cone shaped packages with glitter & pink stars and tassels all over them. In the name of publicity, the Maidenhead Advertiser's phone number was discreetly written inside the package. We made about thirty cones in all, then set about finding goodies to fill them with. People helped out with all sorts of crap - clothes they didn't want, broken appliances, records, tinned food, ANYTHING - as long as it wasn't dangerous, cruel or unhygenic. Every recipient also got the standard letter, informing them why they're being "Gratissed". When all was ready, we loaded up the van and headed off into the dead of night.

All over Maidenhead we roamed - Holyport, Bray, and as far as Twyford. We even did a few teachers' houses (those who nobody liked at school) - this time ensuring to ring the doorbells before we sped off. We were particularly pleased to have targeted Mr "Dick" Whiffen, a Desborough maths teacher who truly deserved it. We also made sure that Rolf Harris was a recipient too - heading down his very swank road on the Bray fisheries estate. We couldn't get to his front door, but somewhere on his security camera footage, you would've seen a giant gleaming white cone being lobbed onto his doorstep (Nobody recalls if we shouted out "Can you guess what it is yet, Rolf?" or not). The whole night was absolutely pointless, but good fun - especially when a much hated PE teacher was legging it down the road after us. Anyway, that taken care of, there was one last GSI mission left … the Maidenhead Advertiser.

It must be said here that this incident has probably remained a complete mystery to Advertiser staffers of the early '90s. But here is the truth about that infamous 'Hamper of Joy'.

We recruited a funny looking lanky German exchange student (and I mean seriously lanky and very tall) and got him to wear full national dress (using lederhosen lying around from my uncle's time in the Royal Artillery band based in Dortmund). We constructed an extra special big present with extra tassels hanging off it and a big bow on top. In addition to the objects mentioned in the article (we can but assume that the Advertiser was too embarrassed about this one), they received a King Kong Bundy wrestling figure (i.e. big bald guy in a leotard) with "Maidenhead Advertiser editor" scrawled across its chest.

We pulled up outside their offices in Bell Street and the German (nobody can recall his name but he was a friend of Matt's) hopped out carrying the parcel and he did a John Cleese silly walk into the foyer. After letting them know the joys of rhinoceros flavour strudel or whatever he was crapping on about in his native tongue, he screeched "Gratis Surprise" at them (a feat he'd later reproduce on the phone) then did a knee-slapping Bavarian dance for the reception staff, before bolting out the door and into our waiting getaway car.

Those involved do not know exactly what happened next, but if the article is anything to go by, it wouldn't have been surprising if they had evacuated the entire building - something I don't think they'd have given us the gratification of printing - and certainly something that would have been taken a lot more seriously these days. I think that Gratissing the media would be viewed as terrorism today. You can't get away with fun the way you used to be able to. At any rate, they clearly brought P-c Bob over for a look… and the rest, they say, is history.

Interesting Factoid:
Ironically, I now live within a stone's throw of "Winkipop Beach" in Australia. It's a small world. I have since added many homes in Melbourne's eastern suburbs to our tally of Gratisses. Will I ever stop? I can't think of one good reason why I would.
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 8:16, 13 replies)
A couple spring to mind.
Both happened just before Christmas.
After work 1 Friday I noticed a van pulled up out the front with some bloke up to his guts in the engine bay. I went out to have a look and offer a hand. Electrical troubles. We tested the battery, alternator and starter motor. Nada. Unfortunately for me I know more about car mechanics than I'd really like to 'cause many of my cars have shit themselves on me at the most inopportune times & I've been too poor to afford to get anyone else to fix them for me. Anyway I ask him if he's got RAC, yep but no phone so I lend him mine. "Up to 45 min. waiting time" he's quoted.
"Might as well have 1 of these" I say offering him a coldy. And we chat as blokes who are strangers do. 15 min. later the RAC guy turns up - he can't fix it - something to do with the electrics that govern the fuel pump. Remember when you didn't have to be a sparky or an IT engineer in order to fix a car? Another 45 min. wait for the RAC tow truck. Another beer and a good chat. 15 min. later the towie pulls up and I send the bloke off with a roady/traveller since he's headed home with the towie and doesn't have to drive anywhere.
Chrissy Eve he turns up with some chockies for the missus, a 6 pack of nice beer for me (which he helped me make a dent in) and an offer of a round of golf with him and his workmates (who apparently insisted when he told them about what I'd done).

The following Sunday. We stop at the servo to put autogas in the missus car. It's stinking hot. I pay and get into the car, key in the ignition and the dreaded "Tik, tik, tik, tik, tik, tik, tik," sound of the starter motor not getting enough juice off a dead battery. Bugger. There is an auto-parts store up the road a bit. We do have RAC but I'm guessing it's a long hot wait. It needs a new battery anyway as my missus has a job interview early the next morning.
Off we trudge. The bloke tells me they're $106 down from $130. I've only got $90 odd, I ask him if I can bring the balance in tomorrow - no dice. I get all the change we have - $98.20. I go back and ask (almost beg) again. "Go on" says his missus, "we'll take it out of the cash tin." I thank them profusely and do the long, slow hot and heavy slog back to the car. In 10 min. I've got the old one out, new one in and we're on the road. Thank you to the several people who offered tools, help etc. but like I said I am unwillingly fairly intimate with many aspects of mechanical repairs on cars due to them being major pains in the fucking arse.
The following day I went to the bank, returned to the auto-store with $7.80 and a big fuck-off box of Cadbury Favourites. I got a hug , a kiss, a handshake and many thank-yous from them just cause I did the right thing.

The human race may just survive.
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 7:42, Reply)
Had one just now!
sitting out the front terrace having a cold one waiting for the next load of washing to finish while watching the sun go down on a lovely Auckland evening...I go into the kitchen to get a refill and notice a woman cooking down our shared drive. She catches my eye and says "is this yours?" She was holding up one of our three dogs - a two month old Chihuahua who was out on the busy road - the silly bugger. Win! as I would be dead if the wee mite had been bowled.

Usually I like to help lost folk that kind of thing. Had a funny incident once after an All Blacks v England game here in Auckland. leaving the ground full of ra ra as we'd won again vs those rotters from our Antipodes, walking up the hill and a short stocky bloke all of a sudden trips right in front of me amongst the thousands of people around. He was either heading for some well grazed hands and knees (he was coming downhill) in the least our maybe a munted schnoz.
Yours truly made a blinding side step to my left and caught the bloke nicely without any strain. gave him a right good cuddle. :)
a few people clapped - which is very abnormal behavior if you're familiar with dour kiwi types. nice!
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 7:31, Reply)
I guess this counts
I went to school with a guy called Ray, he had it real tough as a teenager and was, well, generally, a pretty wierd guy. He kicked around with us but we all lost contact with him as his erratic behaviour increased and his schizophrenic paranoia took over.
A little while ago I came across him in the city, long dreaded hair, dirty, one shoe on, that sort of thing. We recognised each other and in a moment of lucidity i suppose, he told me how he'd been living on the streets for the last few years and had been feeding himself at mens homes.
I was a student at the time and had fuck all money, probably $38 in my wallet for the week. I gave him the whole lot and urged him to go and buy some food with it. He shuffled off looking like a complete vagrant.
Saw him on my way back through the city shit faced drunk covered in puke with a really nasty looking gash over his right eye. Looked like he'd been glassed or stabbed.
Guess I tried to help...
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 3:40, Reply)
I have a van with lots of cute puppies and kittens in
And I'm willing to show any children who would like to look
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 3:33, Reply)
i'm always offering sweets to young children

(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 1:22, 3 replies)
out and about, nursed an injured butterfly back to health
got back home, my house has been destroyed in unseasonably high winds
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 23:33, 5 replies)
The Park Slide
Many years ago, in Kensington Gardens there was a swirly slide. To my child's mind it was huge, the kind of slide that was probably no higher than 5ft but seemed endless at the time.

I was probably no older than 8 and the queue onto the slide was your typical playground queue, kids pushing the smaller kids out the way and other kids too frightened to approach it for fear of being pushed.

I boldly waited my turn, hoping no one would try to talk to me as I had already learned that opening my posh little mouth tended to land me into trouble. Whilst waiting, I spotted a little girl, most likely no older than 5 who had been shunted into an alcove. Knowing that to aknowledge her plight would fall on deaf ears I proceeded to wait my turn. Standing before the top of the slide I turned round and lending the girl my hand, I led her to the front of the queue.

I'm now 25 and for some reason this memory has stuck in my head. It was probably the first random act of kindess I can remember.
According to google the slide has been replaced by some bizzare pirate-ship in dedication to Princess Diana. I'm not sure how the two are connected personally.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 23:10, 3 replies)
In my day job, I run a fundraising department for a charity.
Sometimes we get anonymous donations. We can't even find a way of sending a thank you letter.
Thank you, strangers.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 23:04, Reply)
The god (God??) that be,... plus austalian dingoes and coins remind me of this one.
This is possibly a roasted P please Bob.

Living in my last student house many moons ago, I had finished uni, had a job lined up and all was good with the world. With exception of being extremely poor. I think it was a Thursday and I wasn't expecting a payment until the Friday, I had no cigarettes.

I scrabbled around, I think I needed 2.10 for some cutters choice. I found £1.58... I hunted the sofas, my change jar, pockets and coats. Nothing, no one was in - I was up shit creek. At that point I was heavy smoking. This was going to wind me up.

When suddenly that random act of kindness happened, my brain.

I went to a place I hadn't looked before. A small pouch I had imperial old coins in from various places, why I looked in there, I dont know. But I did.

I found 2 twenties and a tenner. My brain had clearly recognised that in the future I would need a reward, and of course with some latency I was indeed rewarded. I felt good.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 22:52, 3 replies)
I once gave a shivering homeless girl £10
And I only asked for a handjob in return. I could easily have gotten head or even pushed for full sex for that kind of money.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 22:16, 4 replies)
Gathering coins
In 2006, I visited Australia as the guest of a friend who was born in the UK but who now lived Down Under. I was excited: as an American it was my first international trip.

My friend lived on Mt. Glorious, on the woodsy outskirts of the city of Brisbane. As it happened, he had to travel, so I spent my last two nights in Australia alone in his house.

About 1 a.m. on my last night there, I remembered I had not yet studied southern constellations in much detail, and this was my last chance to do so. So I grabbed my newly-purchased southern star chart, walked out the front doorway, and casually closed the front door.

Instantly, I knew, and my heart froze: I was locked out of the house!

I quickly ran around the house and assessed the situation. The house was hermetically-sealed. All doors and windows were locked and secure. Entry was not possible. But I had to leave by 9 a.m. to make the noon flight! What was I going to do?

For about one-and-a-half hours, I tried to pick and pry locks, all the while jumping around in the dark so that the motion-sensitive outdoor lights would generate enough light by which to see. I found a tool tray in the garage, which provided some tools, but which was also home to a giant Australian Brown Huntsman Spider. Every time I reached into the tool tray I had to shoo the giant spider away first.

Giving up on lock-picking, I decided I had to break a window. I decided to break the guest bathroom toilet window, because it would be the easiest to repair. I figured I could wiggle my way inside, kind of like a contortionist; one arm in first, then the head, then the other arm, until I could fall in, using the inner toilet door for support. I began cutting the outer screen of the window in preparation for shattering the glass. Then I realized I was just too fat a person for this to work! I might easily hurt myself, and I had no time to arrange for repairs! There was no alternative: I had to get help!

Even though the house was in a fairly-remote rural community, there were a few neighbors nearby. But how could I credibly ask for help? No one here knew who I was. I had no identification, keys, phone, or money. And my urgent insistence that I had to enter their neighbor's home at 3 a.m. despite his absence might strike them as not credible.

Maybe I could find a locksmith. But how do I call a locksmith without a phone? I wondered whether there was a pay telephone in the village of Mt. Glorious, which was located about 2 km away through the dark forest. Funny, I thought I had seen one, but I wasn't sure.

I girded myself for a trek. I still had several hours with which to work with, and I didn't HAVE to sleep. I was thirsty, and a little uncomfortable, but the night was cool, and I could manage for a number of hours yet without drink.

So off I went, tramping along the desolate road through the forest to the village of Mt. Glorious. The moon was nearly full, but the sky was overcast, so the darkness was nearly complete. I worried about stumbling over carpet pythons in the dark. There was no reason any longer that snakes would prefer the tarmac, since the sun had long ago set and the pavement was cool, but animals sometimes do inscrutable things, so I tried to stay close to the slight glow emanating from the road's center dotted line, so that I might have at least have a last-second warning if *something* was in my immediate path.

I heard lots of rustling in the roadside forest, and sometimes the worried coos of startled birds as I walked past, but what exactly was *out there* I didn't know and couldn't tell.

After the longest walk, I found the village, with its two street lights. The place appeared utterly deserted at 3:30 a.m. Indeed, there was a phone booth there, but with no phone book or money I was limited to toll-free numbers only.

I called "000", the Australian emergency number, and the Brisbane police reluctantly gave me the toll free number of Locksmith #1. He refused my appeal for help - after all, there was little attraction to rescuing someone atop a mountain 30 km outside of the big city. He referred me to Locksmith #2.

Locksmith #2 said he couldn't respond immediately. He was far away, in Coloundra, but if I called back at 6 a.m., he would see what he could do.

I called back Locksmith #1, to see if he could respond sooner, and he said no way - it was illegal to open locks for people like me, people who had confided they weren't the actual homeowner. He said that I should be grateful that Locksmith #2 hadn't turned me down cold.

The directory assistance operators commisserated with my problem, but the trouble was these two locksmiths were the only two toll-free "express" locksmiths in Brisbane: I would need to find some coins to call other locksmiths. There were toll-free glaziers, however, if I wanted to return to my friend's house and bust some windows instead.

At a loss, I lay down on a bench outside the restaurant and tried to sleep.

For reasons I didn't quite fathom at this semi-tropical locale, dawn came early. Despite an early-morning shower, the sky began lightening up. Australian King Parrots were fussing around, as were kookaburras, and those birds that sound like super-expressive drops of water. For the first time, I got a good look at a Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo, as it prowled around some nearby forbs. All the cockatoo need was a safari hat to look like a Great White Hunter stalking his prey.

At 5:30 a.m., I called Locksmith #2 back. He sighed and asked if I had a mobile number. I said no, I had nothing at all. He said "look, there's nothing much I can do without a mobile number. I want to refer you to another locksmith (Locksmith #3) who lives on that side of Brisbane, but I can't do it without a mobile number. You need to ask someone if you can use their mobile number." I said I was reluctant to ask before, because it had been dark. He said: "Yes, and I can understand that. But this is Australia. Everyone has a mobile number. And they'll help you too. But you need to ask."

So, I reluctantly began walking through Mt. Glorious, looking for help. The village was utterly silent, except for the usual deafening roar of parrots in the treetops.

Walking past a house, I thought I heard some thumping coming from a house. Summoning the courage, I knocked on their door.

A young family and their five kids answered the door. They had moved to Mt. Glorious from Brisbane just the day before. They offered coffee and listened to my story.

The mother looked at her kids, then me, then asked "walking through the woods, weren't you afraid of dingoes?" "Dingoes!", I replied, "no, I was worried about pythons!" She said, "well, they removed dingoes from these hills a while ago and took them over to Moreton Island, but they've been filtering back, and they've been spotted again around here lately." I said "Wow, no I hadn't thought about dingoes - glad I didn't really! It was so dark that dingoes could have walked right up to me, and I would have never known!"

The family lent me their mobile phone and I made contact with Locksmith #3, who promised to come out. But what touched me most were the kids, who ran back upstairs to their bedrooms and gathered their own coins for me, in the event I needed them to place calls at the pay telephone.

After just half an hour, a couple drove up and asked "are you in need of the services of a locksmith?" "Boy, am I ever!", I replied.

By 8 a.m., the drama had concluded. I was in the house again and I succeeded in leaving for the airport on time. Just the damage to the window screen to worry about. And dingoes. And pythons.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 21:16, 3 replies)
Good boss

Last year I turned up for a twelve hour Sunday shift and I was struggling with life, the universe and everything. The duty manager would let you flounder if he didn't think you were pulling your weight, but he carried me through that shift. I would go to do things and they had already been done. Calls that would normally be transferred to me were dealt with. No fuss. No comment and it was greatly appreciated.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 20:56, Reply)
the karma hat
this is a fairly shit non-story, but meh.

A few years ago i was a wet-behind the ears apprentice-type dickhead, doing a job that involved being out and about all over the place at various times of day. One autumn i was working a split-day (12pm - 12am) and as it had been a sunny afternoon i'd neglected to bring any warm gear. That night winter fell with a bump and I was working outside in the very cold darkness in only a thin fleece. One of the more experienced lads lent me a spare jacket and woolly hat, so life became slightly more bearable.

at the end of the night, i gave him back his jacket and made some admiring comment about the hat, and being the lovely bloke he was he let me keep it. I'd learned my lesson, so as soon as i could, i put together a bag of spare clothes, coat, gloves and hats to take with me on jobs - just in case of inclement weather.

a few months later, i was out working and one of the guys i was with had come out without a hat, and was rather chilly. So i gave him the hat, and explained how i'd come about it. I also let him keep the hat at the end of the night.

a couple of years later I met that bloke again, and he remembered me, and told me how he had passed the hat on himself in similar circumstances, to a bloke who he'd later discovered had done the same too.

I like the idea of a karma hat.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 20:42, 7 replies)
Honeymoon train disaster turned good
My newly wed wife and I were booked first class to Inverness to go stay in a cottage in the Highlands for a week of malts and nookie - but Network Rail had other ideas. Our train was cancelled, and the booked seats and meals along with it, because the line to London was borked (some power failure - maybe stolen cables, who knows) around Stevenage. The advice we got was to go north as far as we could and see what we could do when we got there.
Fair enough, thinks I, power failures happen. Worst case, I can get us a hotel wherever we end up, and then haggle with the train company to cover our expenses further. Mrs LittleFaith was not taking the set back so well, but we had to make do. Off we went.

On the train, belligerently sat in our (no longer) reserved seats, all the chat was about how awful it was to be buggered about in this manner. We chatted a little with an elderly lady from the Highlands about her frequent journeys to and from London on the route. The single member of train staff on the journey was helpful and informative - but there wasn't much she could do.

As we went north, the messed up schedule caused more and more problems - the carriages got crowded more than usual, because everyone wanted to get aboard this sole train. Some people got on and demanded to sit in their reserved seats - which were also our reserved seats. Tears and upset ensued. Our helpful train staffer was helpful, but new wife and I were having a hard time staying full of the joys of wedlock.

We finally made it to Edinburgh, where the train we were on stopped (unlike the direct journey we'd booked on). Hundred of us piled off and looked for news of another train to get us to where we were meant to be going. Mrs LittleFaith was intermittently quietly crying on the luggage among our fellows, including the nice elderly lady who made the trip so very often.
My phone rang - the car hire company who we were due to pick up our rental from when we arrived. "We have you down to collect today, sir - are you on your way?"
Me - "No, I'm in Edinburgh station, the next train will get me to Inverness by about 2200. Why?"
Rental - "We close in ten minutes, sir."
Me - "But I booked the car for 2100 at Inverness station. It's only ten to six now."
Rental - "Sorry, but we're going to close. Can you collect the car tomorrow?"
Me - "I'm going to need the car to get to my cottage where we're staying. Is there no pick up from [name of hotel where Rental Co booked the original pick up]? Can the keys be left with reception of the hotel?"
Rental - "We don't do rental from that hotel sir."
Naturally, I was upset by this announcement. Their head office had booked me a car pick up from a place that didn't do pick ups, at a time that was after their closing.
Me - [calming down] "Can you deliver the car tomorrow to the cottage? We'll get a taxi there."
Rental - "Let me check..." [takes address] "I'm not sure sir. I'll have to call you back tomorrow, sir."

So I have this new piece of good new to break to the new wife. "We can get the bus or something into Inverness, at worst case - it'll give us a chance to look around."
Nice lady from the train pipes up: "Oh dear, you're not having a good start to married life, are you?"
Not really, no. Thinking she'll have better local knowledge, I ask: "Which station would be best to get to [the hamlet where our cottage is]? We've rented a cottage there. I'd hate to get all the way into Inverness just to go back to one of the stations we pass on the way - I only booked the train there to get the hire car."
Lady - "Let me ask my husband..." - and she gets on her phone.

While this nice elderly lady is on the phone, chatting away, it becomes apparent that she's not just asking her hubby which station is best, but how far our cottage is going to be out of their way. More tears - of relief - from Mrs LittleFaith, as we're offered a lift the sixty miles between Aviemore and our cottage.

So we arrive at a little past midnight, in a retired couple's car, at our honeymoon cottage in the Highlands - and they drive off into the night, never to be seen again, with only our thanks.
It doesn't stop there, though.

The cottage walls and the remote location mean that the hire car company can't call in the morning. I try phoning, but get nowhere. After a while, realising we need to get to a supermarket to get some food, or we'll be trying live on the few choccies and wine we've brought with us for the whole week - I suggest we go ask the neighbours (a little house we can see down the road about half a mile) if we can figure out how to get to Inverness and get our car.

Well, the neighbours called the car hire place for us, and - just because they couldn't get through - gave us both a lift to Inverness, about 40 miles, pointing out the good supermarkets and distilleries along the way, and wouldn't leave us alone till we'd been given our car as booked.

Even as I write this out I'm a little choked by how much it meant to us to be helped like that. I've never been able to thank the lady and her husband, and our neighbours, as much as I think they deserve. It's as if there's an inherent kindness that seems to disappear from the population as you travel back south.

TL:DR - You southerners are all mean cunts compared to the Highlanders.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 20:17, 7 replies)
i am a committed pacifist but i think this kinda qualifies
Check out the "notable examples" section.

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 19:53, 1 reply)
Every damn year at the same patio bar in Tenerife.
Inbetween our Big Holidays we go on every 4 years or so Mrs Gabber and I go on holiday to the same place each year, mostly just to relax and drink beer in the sun. This typically involves us getting a nice table overlooking the sea around 3pm and sitting there making snide observations about passers-by until the sun sets or until we can barely stand, whichever comes first.

Most bars in Tenerife have waiter service but as this is a British themed place you have to go to the bar inside, but this one doesn't bother putting any signs up to that effect. The British just seem to 'get' this concept (the big clue is lots of people walking out of the bar with their own drinks and no waiters milling around) but ze Germans can't seem to make this association. We'll watch them find their seats and sit there politely waiting for that one person to never come and take their order.

The random part of my act of kindness is I only tell the ones that I like the look of that they need to go inside to buy their drinks. Sometimes the ones I don't like the look of will sit there for a good 15 minutes before stomping off in disgust.

Strangely some of them will still stomp off in disgust even after I've revealed this wonderfully obvious concept, like self service is an affront to their dignity or something.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 19:47, 1 reply)
Not all Taxi drivers are cnuts!
1992, Winter, Brighton sea front...

I was walking back from the hospital at three in the morning after a fairly nasty traffic accident when it dawned on me that I may not make it the whole four miles home.
Half blind and resplendent in my bandages I spotted a taxi outside the pier, rootled in my pocket to pull out the princely sum of £3.50 and asked the driver to take me as close to home as the cash would get me.
I watched the meter hit £3.50 and asked him to stop and let me out. He just casually said 'Don't worry about it' and took me all the way home.

Ever since then I've always given taxi drivers a tip.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 19:17, 5 replies)
I didn't rape Maddie before I killed her.

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 19:02, 2 replies)
Dat Dere London.
When visiting the capital, before getting on the train at King's Cross to make the journey back to the frozen north, I used to give my day tube ticket away to a random stranger hanging around in the queues at the ticket machines. Not much I know, but small gestures like this can put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

These days, however, I have an oyster card so it would appear my do-gooder days are well and truly over. You cunts.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 18:53, 9 replies)
lovely chav neighbour
Last summer I had finished university and was a couple weeks into my first proper job as a web developer. Given that the spring had gone primarily to job hunting we renewed the rent on our house by another year to save us another headache during this time. It is a row of three houses, terraced, with us (my lady and I) one the one end and a friendly but a bit trashy (possibly on the Dole) lady in her twenties and her three year old son on the other end. I say trashy because despite being very nice she had a habit of getting gentleman callers turning up drunk in their cars at all hours of the morning, waking everyone up. She also wears a LOT of that blotchy fake tan stuff, and various other makeup. Still, as mentioned, lovely girl.

One morning I am walking to my car to go to my fancy new job and I realise the window is smashed. On further inspection, stereo is missing and so is the Mac book they gave me for work.
Yes yes, I know never leave that stuff in the car. I never do normally but this day I had. Also, some would say it is my fault for leaving it there, but isn't that like saying a woman is at fault for being raped if she dresses provocatively?

Anyway, rant over. As I talk to the police and insurance dicks whilst assessing the damage, chav lady pulls out of the drive with her car. On seeing her I point to the broken window and tell her she would do best to lock up her stuff as according to the police there is a crime spree going on in the area related to the local traveler community.
I've just gone inside and got off the phone to my boss telling him of the loss when the doorbell goes. Its chav lady and she's got a car stereo in her hands. She says its a spare one she doesn't need and says I can have it. Then she left.

I went inside and sat, welling up. Just when I thought the daily mail was right, I renew my faith in humanity.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 18:40, 2 replies)
I set a tramp on fire.
He looked so cold and had sad eyes.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 18:23, 3 replies)

Because I am a generous sort I am going to randomly click 'I like this' without even reading the posts.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 18:11, 2 replies)
The axeman cometh.
Sorry it's a RP but it fits this question better than it did the original...

Just some quick background...

I've been having a really bad week. Broke up with my fiancee and later discovered she'd cheated on me. I tell you this only so you can imagine my current mindset. For those who can't; I'm so down I'm positively subterranean. It feels like someone's died.

With that in mind, some further background...

I live in a big old house that's been converted to 3 flats. I'm on the ground floor, the top two flats are currently empty. The landlord of the flat above mine had his previous tenant disappear owing him rent so is in the process of changing the locks. This includes the lock on the main, communal front door. He changed the lock on Monday and promised to get me a key cut. Since then I've had to leave the front door on the latch everytime I go out.

Yesterday, my phone died while I was in work. It's a messy business breaking up with someone, there's a lot of texting and terse phonecalls involved. So I'm essentially phoneless. I arrive home with some bags of shopping to find that the door is no longer on the latch. It is locked. I have no key. And no phone.

After standing there aghast for a minute I think "Fuck it. It's that pillock of a landlord's fault I'm locked out, he'll just have to replace the lock again" and start kicking the shit out of the door.

After about 5 minutes of this, Paul arrives. I don't know Paul, he lives across the road from me. He looks a bit 'special'. And is carrying an axe.

"Alright mate?", asks Paul, "need a hand with that?".

I'm so grateful he hasn't come to behead me I say yes. I'm further grateful that he decides not to go all "Heeeere's Johnny!" on my front door but instead wedges the axe blade between the door and the frame and starts twisting it. "While I twist, you push the door, hard", he says. So I do.

After about 5 minutes of this Martin pulls up in his van. I don't know Martin either. But he looks like a builder.

"Oi mate!", shouts Paul. Who also doesn't know Martin. "You haven't got a crowbar in the back of that thing have you?"

"Yeah.", answers Martin, looking slightly wary. "Why?"

"Bring it over here!"

So that is the story of how me and two complete randoms ended up in a heap on my hallway floor having crashed through my front door and broken into my own home.

I'm inside my flat after thanking the guys. I put the shopping down and I know I'm about to cry. I'm sweating, worn out physically and emotionally and I can just feel it coming.

Then there's a tap at the window.

I pull myself together, pull back the curtain and see Paul stood outside. I go out to meet him.

"Hiya fella. I just been and told the wife what happened and she had a right good giggle about it. Wants to know if you'd like to come over for dinner?"

I could barely talk I was welling up so much. How lovely is that?

Never underestimate the kindness of strangers.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 18:06, 10 replies)

This question is now closed.

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