Well, Thanksgiving is over. I don't know about you, but I spent a very relaxing few days eating too much and drinking too much and then eating too much while drinking too much.
So, all in all, a productive, normal American holiday.
But it got me thinking. Sure it is easy to spend the entire time on this blog bitching and moaning and complaining about things, (it is also fun), but while I think that a lot of people like to hear that, there comes a time when I must be a little more friendly.
So I am going to start a regular section highlighting a few reasons why I don't, necessarily, hate EVERYBODY.
This story was told to me by a good friend and it is too amazing of a story to not pass along. I, personally, have never been to Amsterdam but I have been told that it is an amazing place full of art, culture and music.
I don't necessarily trust any of those accounts of the city, however, because every time someone starts into a story of how great Amsterdam is, that story invariably starts with "so I was tripping balls on mushrooms in Amsterdam when _________".
Those stories are entertaining, but whenever they get to the part when six thousand Dunkin' Doughnuts come alive and wage a tiny war with a platter full of pot brownies while Styx music blasts from the clouds themselves… well then I usually find myself doubting the credibility of their tale.
This particular story, however, is 100% true.
In Amsterdam, there are, apparently, drugs.
I will wait a moment for that fact to settle in… I know it is hard to believe.
Which means, there are drug DEALERS. People who are a little shady and a little smelly, who get your attention by muttering to you, if you respond, then they assume you want to buy some drugs. These are the type of people you want to avoid while walking down the streets at night.
That is, unless you WANT your experience to look like this:
So, my friend was walking alone down the streets of Amsterdam at about 1 AM en route back to his hostel. Rounding a corner he saw that there was a man walking towards him. Since my friend was not, currently, on 'shrooms he probably was a little wary of this man but not worried enough about meeting him in a back alley at night to turn around. When the two men got closer, however, the stranger muttered something under his breath.
And my dumb-ass friend STOPPED to see what had been said... You don't speak the language for Christ's sake! When in another country, and someone mutters something to you (in DUTCH) while shuffling past you at 1 AM... KEEP FUCKIN' WALKIN'... come one...
"I'm sorry," my friend smiled, naive politeness oozing out of his ears. "I don't speak Dutch." and he turned to leave. Suddenly the stranger grabbed him and threw him up against the wall, pulling a knife out of some hidden pocket.
Naturally, my friend was, at this point, shitting daisies, because this knife wielding Dutchman was shouting at him in some dark alley. As the story goes, there was a lot of screaming and yelling and maybe a little crying, but my friend eventually figured out that this guy wanted his wallet, watch, and anything else worth any amount of money. Since the point of his trip was to go to Amsterdam and then return home alive, my friend immediately began pulling out his possessions.
When, out of nowhere, there was a little tinkle of bells. The man with the knife froze, and then started looking around wildly like a coked out bunny rabbit.
Again, bells softly rent the air like the sound of angels peeing, and a bicycle appeared around the corner, piloted slowly by an old Rastafarian man. The man was small with long black dreadlocks and ratty old clothing and he rang his little bike bell one more time as he braked to a halt about 20 feet from the mugger and his prey.
None of the three men spoke a word. My friend and his attacker were staring at the man on the bike, but the Rastafarian had eyes for only the mugger. He stared at him for a good ten seconds before slowly and silently shaking his head back and forth, a silent and definitive "no".
...and BAM!!! As though he had been struck by lightning the mugger dropped the knife, turned on his heel and fled down the street, his echoing footsteps fading quickly amongst the cobblestones. When he was fully out of sight the Rastafarian turned and gazed quietly at my friend, expressionless, and then, with one more ding of his bell, rode off into the night.
That. Story. Is. 100%. Real.
The moral of this story: don't talk to strangers.
The lesson of this story: when not fighting crime, smoking weed and giving out presents, Spider-Man, the ghost of Bob Marley and Santa Claus combine their powers, Voltron-esque, and become one super-being who roams the streets of Amsterdam protecting the innocent from drugged out muggers.
Sweet Georgia BROWN, how FUCKING COOL is that!? Who doesn't want to be saved by a mysterious old man on a bicycle, who speaks nary a word as he scares off bad guys with naught but the shake of his dreads.
Heros do exist, dear readers, you just need to go to some far off places to find them.
And that is one reason why I don't hate everybody.