I Look Friendly

I’ve written before about how strangers come up to me in public places and strike up a conversation. Well, it happened again.

That’s right kids, it’s story time! So make sure you’re sitting somewhere comfortable – may I suggest your freezer? Just pop a squat next to the frozen chicken wings, between the ice cream and jumbo freezes you didn’t know you had.

Quick Poll: Best Freezie flavour. Answer below.

What’s that? You’re all too big to sit in your freezer? Lalalalalala I’m not listening, lalalalalala can’t hear you!

So the other day I had to go get my license renewed. In other words, I had to go stand in a line for a really long time. That is a psychological hurdle you have to get over before you even show up.

I arrived at 11:51am and the line was out the door. After a few seconds, the line moved and the guy in front of me told me to go ahead of him.

Like a good Canadian, I asked him if he was sure. He told me his wife was the one in line and he’d wait outside for her.

A few minutes later, I found myself in between the two doors of this place. I wasn’t outside, but I wasn’t inside either. The doors were both being held open when all of a sudden a worker at one of the counters told us the air conditioning was on and it wouldn’t work if the doors were open.

He made me feel like I was two feet tall. I don’t know, just something about his tone.

I squeezed my way inside.

To my left was an elderly woman, who had a walking boot on her right foot and was leaning on a four wheel walker. To my right was a middle aged man, who was looking at the bank app on his phone.

After a few minutes, he tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, I left my bank card at the bank. Can I go get it while you hold my spot?”

Again, like a good Canadian, I said, “Yeah, sure, of course!”

It was at this time that the woman in the walking boot started talking to me.

She told me that she spent the morning at the fracture clinic and was #130 in line. She got there as they were calling #4 in. Needless to say, it had been a long morning for her.

But she was in good spirits! She said she went there with a book, water, and an apple. Her husband – the same guy who let me go ahead of him – picked her up when she called him. I was starting to think he didn’t have much patience.

So the two of us just started talking. No one else in line was talking. Just two people with a 40-year age gap.

We speculated on which bank location that guy had to go to, and if we’d still be there when he returned.

About 25 minutes later, we had moved about 10 feet forward and the guy returned!

He said they wouldn’t give him his card, but they issued him a new one on the spot. I guess it’s for security reasons.

A few minutes later, this guy spilled the beans to me.

He told me he was there because he lost his wallet – meaning he lost his health card, driver’s license, and “a little bit of money, too”. He had no idea where it could be. Then he showed me the pocket in his cargo shorts he normally keeps it in.

I didn’t have the guts to tell him the bottom side pocket of your cargo shorts isn’t the best place for a wallet. That pocket isn’t accounted for when doing the 3-Pocket Pat.

All of a sudden it made sense why he left his card at the bank. He had no wallet to put it in! Also, he loses things.

So then it hit me that this guy was also driving around without a license. I asked him if he had any kind of identification on him. Not even his brand new bank card could vouch for him – it didn’t have his name on it.

He said he had pictures of his ID on his phone. Something told me he’d probably lost his cards before and knew to have a backup plan.

I felt so bad for the guy.

Anyway, we’re getting closer to the front of the line when the lady in the walking boot tells the guy she saw a sign at the front for people who need new cards – they need to fill out a form.

So he weaved in and out of the people in line to pick up the form.

“Alright, who has a pen?”

No one did, so he got one from one of the service desks. He found a table and started filling out the forms.

At this point, the lady whispered to me, “I thought I was having a bad morning, but his is worse.”

Then we got into medical horror stories and how she didn’t want a rod sticking out of her leg. You know, stuff strangers normally talk about.

Then she turned around and saw her husband motioning to her from the door, as if to say, “We can go if it’s going to be too long.”

He is a secondary character in this story, but if this were a TV show, he’d be bumped up to main character by Season 2.

Our buddy came back to join the line and said, “I just realized this form is for people renewing their card, not replacing it.”

Face, meet palm. Palm, this is face. Get cozy.

He had a good sense of humour about it though, and was chuckling about how bad he felt for whoever would have to help him out of this mess.

By now, we were at the front of the line and my deodorant was moments away from entering the danger zone.

Picture the Cliffhanger game on The Price is Right. The yodelling guy gets higher and higher, until he falls off the cliff and plummets to a soft mat below(?), all because he didn’t bother to look down once. Not once! Don’t they tell hikers to always watch where they’re stepping?

Now take that analogy and apply it to the lifespan of deodorant. Thanks.

Hey, don’t judge me! You stand in close proximity with a bunch of other oxygen-dependent beings for a long time, in a building that is supposedly relying on A/C and not the three elementary school-esque fans set up behind the counter, and tell me you won’t come out smelling differently than when you went in.

I don’t know how this turned into a post about armpits, but we’re here now.

Out of our little trio, the lady with the walking boot left the line first. Then the man. Then me.

I finished my business first and was headed out. The man had retreated to a table to fill out forms, while the lady was about to get her picture taken. I walked by her and told her to take care.

She replied with a smile and said, “Alright, you too, hun!”

I exited the building at 12:43pm – 52 minutes after joining the line – with a temporary license and a Final 3 alliance, I think.

Later, I asked my mom why random people talk to me. She said it’s because I look friendly.

The End.

Stay tuned for the after story.

It’s funny, because I woke up that day and had this random, unlikely scenario run through my head: “What if I have to leave the line because I really have to go to the washroom? Would I make an announcement and ask if anyone has a problem with me rejoining the line? Would I just ask the people around me to hold my spot? What’s the protocol?”

And then I get there and a guy asks me to hold his place in line.

Strange premonitions like that happen to me a lot. Like that one time I woke up and something told me, “Don’t get in a stranger’s car”, and then an hour later I’m walking down a street and a car pulled over and the driver called me to their window. They were lost and needed directions, but still, I basically predicted that.

I’ve always believed that our lives intersect with others – whether it’s for 52 minutes or much longer – for some kind of reason.

Those two made standing in line much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Everyone else looked miserable. Maybe I was put in that place because those two had already had a rough morning and I was the friendly face they needed?

Now I’m just tooting my horn.

Anyway, life is weird. And sweaty. Let’s end it there.

You may all hop out of your freezers now.

This entry was posted in Humour and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to I Look Friendly

  1. Tanushka says:

    You are such a delight to read.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. markbialczak says:

    Life is much better when random people pick you to talk to, Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a great Canadian story. I’m not sure why, but I’ve never had to wait that long at the DMV for anything. I even renewed my license online last year lol score for technology! But seriously: cutest story ever! Turn it into a children’s book.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Meg says:

    I had to go to the DMV somewhat recently. Had to make three trips because they kept adding to the list of forms and resources we needed.
    Having someone to talk to always makes the insanely long line better : )

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Becky Turner says:

    I’m assuming you went to the Canadian equivalent of the American DMV. Thankfully I only went twice (once to get my permit and the second time for my driving test), and I can renew my license at AAA.

    My mom always ends up talking to random people. Not sure if it’s because she’s a mom or just likes talking to people. I’ll make small talk if other people talk to me but I normally don’t talk to strangers.

    Also, is a “washroom” a “bathroom”? That one threw me off a little.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I’m laughing too hard at the “washroom” aspect of this comment. Yeah, it’s the same thing. I think it’s a Canadian thing, but we also say bathroom here too.

      Yup, the place I went to is the Canadian equivalent to the American DMV except you can get your health card renewed here as well license plate stickers. Driving tests are done at a separate place altogether lol.

      My mom wonders why people talk to her too, and I tell her it’s because she carries on the conversation with them. She’s in denial.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Ariel Lynn says:

    Maybe you just look Canadian? LOL 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lee Dunn says:

    Good one, Paul. I can relate. And, yes, I think we do cross paths for a reason.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Only you could make such a captivating and entertaining post about standing in line for almost an hour. That takes a special kind of talent, I feel, and I’m glad you took the time to share that talent! Currently sat in a waiting room myself, and this was a delightful way to pass the time!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Rea says:

    I love it when strangers start to talk to me! It makes me feel special and it is just fun to have a conversation with someone you don’t know. I always find myself telling secrets that I’ve never told any of my friends just because I will probably never see that stranger again and I think to myself, “What harm could it do? I don’t know them. They don’t know me and I’ll probably never see them again.” Basically, if I see us having a friendship in the future, I will be a little more reserved XD

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Strangers are trustworthy. They can’t spill secrets if they don’t even know who they’re talking to. It’s kinda brilliant lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rea says:

        That’s why I am not careful what I tell them. Sometimes I forget my brother is right next to me and I’ll be telling a story I’ve never told anyone and he’ll be asking me questions about it. I then regret later that I am such a blabbermouth to strangers

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Ely says:

    LOL. This felt
    Like a short Lifetime film- if you don’t know lifetime- they’re basically like low-budget movies with really deep and sensitive/ emotional stories to them that make it to the theatre but still have such a big impact on those who watch them.
    I’m telling you- good stuff!! This was really sweet and calming for
    Me today. Sometimes I take a little while to catch up but somehow I always read the right things at the right time! You always know what to say huh?! Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      I like this comparison! My blog is a low-budget film…it’ll be so proud when I tell it! You talk to your blog too, right? Anyway, I’m glad you liked it! I seem to always read the right things at the right time too. Sometimes I read a book at night, but I only do it when something pushes me to read it. And then the stuff I read about always seems to be relevant to how I was feeling. It’s very weird but I think you get what I’m saying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ely says:

        Yes I totally get it! I like to play this game where I’ll pick up a book (the last time I did it, it was a book called the Business of Baking) and whatever page I land on, I start randomly reading and by some mystery of the universe, there’s always something that means something! In this case- the page I landed on said “if you have ever even though about quitting your day job to bake full time- chances are- that is the direction you’re headed even if unintentionally.” Something like that. And I WAS deeply considering it I just kept telling myself it was impossible at the same time lol. Anyways. Also? I hope you didn’t take the whole “low budget” thing the wrong way. Nah. You wouldn’t. I meant to only compliment you. But you know that. Right? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Ohh I took it as a great compliment! Don’t fret, we always know what the other means haha.
        And woahhhh that’s crazy. That book knows! 10 years from now when you’re a famous celebrity cake chef, you can frame that quote from the book. I’m going to start opening random books and see what they say. But if I come across something like, “The toilets were clogged and the power was out for 3 days” I’m swearing off this entire thing LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ely says:

        Lmfaooo!!!!!!!!! I SO laughed out loud at this!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dutch Lion says:

    Great stuff as usual Paulie. You do indeed look friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Myka says:

    SO, Did we get in our freezers because you were really sweaty & trying to help us not get there? HMM? Was that another premonition of sorts? (Even though you controlled it, I don’t think it was purposeful). Anyway, I have a relateable moment for you. I’ll try to share the short version, since this is only a comment, after all. (And it’s hard to type on my mobile). So, our neighbor/my boyfriend’s good friend asked me to hang out at his house (he had to work) to accept a delivery that was coming because it had to be signed for. I was working from home, so I said sure! I sat at his house for about 2 hours and the delivery man showed up in the last hour of the allotted window (no bearing on the story, just comical & expected).
    Anyway, he comes walking through our neighborhood until he finds the house & knocks. I don’t see the truck and he tells me he wasn’t sure if it would fit through our streets & asked if I knew. To which I politely said “I don’t drive a 53FT vehicle so I have no idea.” He got the truck in and began unloading the pallet (it was a big delivery). Anyway, I didn’t want to be rude and leave him alone so I stood on the sidewalk as he did his job. I asked him if he traveled Nationwide or just locally. So, maybe I brought this upon myself – but he replied telling me that he only travels locally (wait for it) because he used to do “over the road” until he came home and found his best friend who was watching over his wife and children while he was away, in bed with his wife. WELL. Something I can’t unknow. A strange confession from someone I knew 6 minutes. *shrugs* Maybe some of us just look like the right place to keep your secrets & thoughts. Cheers! .xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Hahahaha what did I just read? The whole time I’m like, “Where is this going, Myka. Where is this going. Where is this…Where is…Where…oh God…ahhh…whattt.” What a rollercoaster. For future reference, I think it would be awkward to stand by the street as they’re unloading the truck. Maybe just wait at the front door so you can open it when they get there? Then again, you got a juicy piece of gossip so carry on!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Myka says:

        LOL it was a pallet so they had to put it in the garage, so I had to wait by the garage door so I could sign paperwork and shut the door. But I think I should quit making small talk with people HAH!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Jad says:

    I think it is awfully mean of you to ask me to sit in my freezer in the middle of winter….Now I need to go snuggle up in my electric blanket to defrost!!

    Liked by 1 person

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