Isolated From Friends, 81-Year-Old Becomes “Grandpa” of Staff at Local Dunkin’

Grandpa Dunkin
(Facebook/DunkinUS)

Restaurants were among some of the hardest-hit businesses by the pandemic. Navigating crushing losses, confusing and always changing restrictions, and additional sanitary guidelines have resulted in significant losses in the industry. Some have closed their doors, and won’t return. Food icons, like Guy Fieri, have tried to help where the government fell short and raised millions for food service workers. But when it comes to morale, sometimes your store just needs a grandpa.

A Dunkin franchise in California, feeling the crunch like most places, got just that boost from an 81-year-old regular customer who has been “adopted” as the store grandpa after he left a huge tip for the staff.

Retired school teacher Gil Walker has been going to the same coffee shop every day with his friends. When COVID hit, he became separated from them and all of his extended family and saw his daily routine fall apart (like everyone). So, he adapted. He found a local Dunkin where he could get his morning coffee fix from the safety of a drive-thru window.

From that point, he got to know the staff and when he learned they were struggling, he gave the franchise owner an envelope with $280 ($20 for each employee) to help out a bit. From that point on, he was no longer Gil, he was ‘Grandpa’ and his money was no longer accepted.

“We love seeing him,” the owner told People. “So many of us are running on emotional empty right now, especially in the restaurant industry, so to have someone who’s 81-years-old pull up to the drive-thru and get everyone excited like little kids, he’s that emotional filler up.”

Walker told CNN that seeing the kids working at the restaurant reminds him of his former students, and of his own kids and grandkids (and great-grandkids!) which he hasn’t been able to see due to COVID.

“Every day, I’m greeted with warmness and love and affection, and it’s just amazing,” Walker said. “I saw a way to give back a little and I couldn’t think of a nicer group of kids than what I was experiencing at Dunkin’.”

There’s not only a sign in the store that says “anyone who accepts grandpa’s money will be terminated,” but they also did a special celebration for his anniversary and for his birthday. Plus, they have plans to have a cookout at Walker’s house once the pandemic has ended.

“This guy has given us so much,” the store owner said. “He’s just an amazing guy. He’s funny, he’s caring… He thinks he’s getting more out of it, but really we get more out of it.”

Stray Dog Can’t Resist Unicorn Doll, So Animal Control Buys It For Him

Dog with Unicorn Toy
(Facebook/Duplincountyanimalcontrol)

Many of us have special possessions we can’t live without. Comfort items that have special meaning to us, that help us cope and survive, that, if we lost them, would leave us bereft and heartbroken. My son has a lovey, my old college roommate had a blankie, I have my iPhone, and this good boy here has a unicorn plushy.

(Facebook.com/duplincountyanimalservices)

Sisu was a stray dog in North Carolina who had an attachment to a purple unicorn doll. So much so that he would keep heading to the Dollar General in Kenansville, NC just to get his adorable little paws on the purple doll. He tried to snatch the doll from the store five times before the owners called animal control.

When the Duplin County Animal Control officer arrived at the store, Sisu was taken into custody – along with the unicorn doll.

(Facebook.com/duplincountyanimalservices)

“This is what happens when you break into the dollar general consistently to steal the purple unicorn that you laid claim to but then get animal control called to lock you up for your B & E and larceny but the officer purchases your item for you and brings it in with you,” they posted on their Facebook page, along with photos of Sisu and his prized possession, and adoption information, in case anyone was interested.

Dog with toy
(Facebook.com/duplincountyanimalservices)

Which, of course, they were. How could you not want to adopt this sweetheart and his unicorn? It helps that the Facebook post got a lot of attention for Sisu, with 22,000 people sharing the heartwarming story.

“I’m so glad he got his toy he so desperately wanted!,” one reader commented. “Props to the responding officer for making that fur baby happy and making animal lovers every where smile when reading of her kind act! I hope he finds a loving family!”

The good news is that Sisu has since found his forever home. And so has his stuffed unicorn – right by his side.

11 Survival Skills That’ll Help You MacGyver Your Way Out Of Any Situation

survival skills
FluxFactory/Getty

First, it’s important to note that when we set out looking for the most important survival skills, a ton of other outlets suggested these were skills “every man should know.” That’s some dangerous noise. Do we not want women or girls to survive, too? Women go hiking, jogging, or just traveling on their own all the time. During any of those outings, they could find themselves stranded and in need of survival skills. Point is, sex has nothing to do with knowing how to dress a wound, find clean water, or set a dislocated shoulder. A rudimentary knowledge of survival skills is important whether you live in the city or out in the country. And while there are tons of useful books full of even more information on how to survive on your own, we put together a list of the absolute most basic tips for survival to get you through emergencies, camping trips, or a zombie apocalypse.

Before your mind wanders to the plotline for 127 Hours, sawing off limbs did not make the list. Whatever your reasons for needing these tips, it’s always a good idea to practice them a few times before you have to put them to use.

survival skills
Twentieth Century Fox

Catching and Purifying Water

Water is fantastically important, especially in hotter climates. If you want to survive, you have to stay hydrated. First and foremost, if at all possible, look for moving water. Water that is sitting on the ground is more likely to contain contaminants and bacteria that will make you sick. Also, attempt to boil your water. If, for instance, you’re traveling with a pot, metal water bottle, or canteen, catch the water in your canteen or pot. Then heat it over a fire until it boils. This isn’t failproof but boiling your water before you drink it will help kill off a lot of bacteria that could be living in it, even if it’s from a moving source.

Dress a Wound

A lot of times you end up stranded because you’d fallen or hurt yourself with no good way to keep moving or turn around. Learning how to take care of a wound or injury will help keep you alive (and possibly make you mobile, again). With open wounds, there are two important steps to keep in mind:

1. Stop the bleeding

You can do this by applying pressure, keeping the wound elevated, or in the case of major bleeding, creating a tourniquet. (See video, below.)

2. Clean the wound

Obviously, if there is significant bleeding, cleaning your wound isn’t your priority. As weird as it sounds, gushing blood will do a good job of cleaning out your wound on its own. What you’ll want to make sure of, though, is that you don’t allow the wound to get dirty. In other words, if you tie off your wound with fabric, make sure you’re using the cleanest part of your shirt to place over the wound. For smaller wounds, it’s really best to rinse them off with clean water before bandaging.

Break Something?

Creating a splint is easier than you think. Check out this video.

Learn A Couple Knots

What? You’re not a Boy Scout? Knots are an essential skill to learn for not just survival but everyday life. Tying a good knot can make or break a tree swing. A secure knot can even save lives when you’re securing that giant lawn chair in the back of your open trunk. Knots also help with tourniquets, rock climbing, and tent building.

Starting A Fire

They always make this look so hard in the movies, but with the right tools, it’s not that bad. The easiest advice we can give is just to carry a waterproof match on your keychain or in your hiking kit. Barring that, this video walks you through starting a fire with no help.

Building Shelter

If you know you’re stuck in nature for the long haul, building shelter is essential. You’ll want to make sure you’re not too close to any moving water. You also want to look for signs of movement: The last thing you want is set up camp on a bear’s main throughway. Next, while it may not seem vital, don’t underestimate the importance of being off the ground. Building a floor for yourself will keep you away from the damp ground, which will keep you warm when temperatures drop. It’ll also keep you a little further away from small, ground-based critters. Finally, even the most primitively roofed shelter will help keep you from the elements. A midnight storm? Not nearly as stressful if you’ve got a nice thatched roof over your head.

Staying Warm Without a Sleeping Bag

No sleeping bag? No problem. (Okay. It’s a bit of a problem.) Take a cue from animals and nestle into nature. Keeping your shelter small and as wind-proof as possible is one way to keep warm overnight. Another option is to pack dry leaves around you. Literally use leaves everywhere. Under the floor of your shelter. On top of your shelter’s floor. Stuff leaves between your shirt and your jacket. You might even want to use leaves to cover yourself up once you’re in your shelter.

Navigating Unfamiliar Terrains

Let’s be real: A compass is really only as useful as its owner. And the concept of following the North Star? Only helpful if you know heading north isn’t going to just lead you further into the unknown. One of the best ways to figure out where you are and where you need to go is to get as high as possible. Drag yourself up that hill. Climb that tree. Get as high as you can and look for signs of life… even if it’s just a slightly brighter sky in the distance. Another option? Find water and walk along with it. As we previously mentioned: Water is essential to life. That means you’re almost guaranteed to find more humans if you just continue to follow the water. However, never camp on the water’s edges, as you could be swept away during a flash flood. When it’s time to set up camp, head inland by at least several yards. Higher ground is also preferred.

Finding Food

So, you forgot to pack your “edible plants and berries” book? Honestly, we’ve all seen Into The Wild and know that eating forest roughage isn’t always a safe bet. Even if you’ve been a strict vegan for decades, stick to the meat (just start small). Build a rudimentary slingshot, trap, or bow and arrow and try to nab some small critters. Or, if you have the patience and the water: Try to fish. Fish is high in protein and, let’s face it, requires the least amount of energy. That’s why old guys love fishing.

Cooking Food

That campfire you built? It’s for more than just keeping you warm and boiling water. You’re going to need to cook on it, too. If you didn’t come with a pan, this will most likely look like shaving down a branch, skewering your meat, and holding it over the fire. (If you soak the wood first, it’ll do better over the flames.) Or use a thin, flat rock like a skillet. A word of warning: No matter how much you love sushi, now isn’t the time to cut corners. Burn your meat.

Signal For Help

At night, a fire will help. During the day, work on creating a giant “X” in a clearing. Start with something as long and as wide as your body, so you have at least something to start with. As you wait, continue building onto your X to make it even bigger. Choose material that contrasts against the ground, so it really sticks out.

Matthew McConaughey Leads New Poll in Race for Texas Governor

McConaughey Governor Poll
(Getty/Noam Galai)

Matthew McConaughey is on a journey. He’s built name recognition from an acting career, recently released a bestselling memoir, and recently became a YouTuber. And that journey’s conclusion may just be the governor’s office. The actor, who has discussed possibly running for governor several times over the past year, would actually be a viable candidate, according to a recent poll.

And more than just a viable candidate, he was led the poll by a wide margin, actually crushing the current sitting governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.

McConaughey has gotten more serious about politics in the last year, as he’s frequently spoken out about the culture surrounding politics and about his desire to help people. While some may scoff at his notions, the guy does seem genuine about wanting to help, as he helped raise a lot of money for Texans dealing with storm aftermath.

And a future of politics focused on people and not your party of choice *does* sound promising, even if it may be farfetched. It’s unclear what party McConaughey would even run with, as he’s been critical of both. But, Texans do like him, a Dallas Morning News and University of Texas poll crunched some numbers. McConaughey was leading the field with 45 percent of registered voters indicating they would vote for him, with the current governor coming in second with 33 percent. That…is an incredibly wide margin.

“Matthew McConaughey gets a huge boost from tremendous name recognition and recognition for what he does to help Texans and add to the celebration of the state’s success,” political scientist Mark Owens told The Dallas Morning News.

There have been politicians who have jumped from movies (Reagan, Schwarzenegger) to the governor’s mansion before. And, I do recall a president from sometime in the last few decades (who can remember anymore?) who was made famous by a reality TV show, so who’s to say McConaughey couldn’t win?

If he’s interested, it does seem like he would have some support among Texans and the Lone Star State they call home.

Watch the Trailer for Season 2 of Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso Season 2 Trailer
(YouTube/AppleTV)

Everybody needs a little sunshine in their lives. Luckily, the pandemic is (hopefully) winding down (knock on wood) and summer is coming. Even better, Ted Lasso is coming with it!

The second season of the most delightful half-hour on television, featuring Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach who moves to London to coach a soccer team and slowly but surely wins over everyone on the team, in the front office, in the stands, and all of us watching on Apple TV+ is set to return with its second season in July.

Fresh off of winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV comedy. Sudeikis and his crew have released a teaser trailer announcing the second season, and showcasing the humor and heart that have made the show a guaranteed mood-lifter every time you watch it.

Check out the trailer, and get ready for Ted Lasso season 2, due July 23rd:

Rescuer Adopts ‘Miracle Dog’ Who Spent Four Days Trapped on the Detroit River

Miracle dog adopted by rescuer
(Facebook/Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter)

The peaceful quiet of a world covered in freshly-fallen snow, the lack of mosquitos – yep, that’s about all there is on the list of reasons winter isn’t terrible. People seemingly forget how to drive, ice-scraping becomes a second job, and frozen bodies of water become enormously dangerous for people and animals alike. While most adults know to stay away from iced-over ponds, animals often don’t – and for one Michigan dog, a frozen river almost claimed his life.

A dog initially called Alfonso found himself in a terrifying situation in February, in the midst of a freezing midwest winter. Locals spotted the terrified dog stranded on a small patch of land surrounded by ice in the middle of the Detroit River but were unsure of how to safely rescue him. Over the next four days, Alfonso dodged hungry predators, survived bone-chilling temperatures, and even climbed back onto the ice after falling in the water.

Surviving days on a frozen river is no easy feat, but the heavily-matted dog clearly had one heck of a will to live. Locals tried repeatedly to rescue the exhausted pup but came up empty-handed. On day four, Jude Mead decided enough was enough. Mead, director of operations at an Ontario construction company, risked his own life to give Alfonso one last shot.

By some stroke of luck, both man and dog made it back to shore safely. The unlikely rescue earned Jude full-on hero status, and four days surviving the elements earned Alfonso a new name: Miracle. Miracle was rushed to Woodhaven Animal Hospital by Patricia Trevino, director of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, where he made a full recovery.

Adoption applications poured in for Miracle, but in a touching update shared by Friends of the River Rouge Animal Shelter, one application stood out above the rest.

“Today the story came full circle,” the shelter wrote on Facebook. “Today the little Miracle dog was placed into the hands of the hero who saved his life. That’s right….this dog who defied ALL THE ODDS will now live happily ever after w the man who saved his life. Miracle could not ASK for a better or more ideal family to love him!”

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Leaked Set Photos Reveal Sega Dreamcast Easter Egg

Sonic 2 Easter Egg
(Twitter/Cybrid101)

It has been just over a year since the first Sonic film released, but production is already well underway for Paramount’s anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog sequel.  We still don’t know any major plot details or if Jason Momoa will actually be voicing Knuckles, but eagle-eyed fans have spotted a cool little Sega Dreamcast Easter Egg from some leaked set photos.

While most people will just see a photo of a helicopter in one of the images, if you look closely, it’s marked with “SA-2”.  This means it’s actually the same helicopter that’s featured in the opening level of Sonic Adventure 2.  You know, the helicopter Sonic complains about being low budget for not having any food or movies?  I never really thought about that, but does that mean Sonic has been a passenger on an actual plane before?  Would it not have been faster to just run to where he wanted to go?  Would he not have been super impatient while waiting for his flight?  Sometimes we need to ask these tough questions, no matter how insane they might seem.

For those that haven’t played Sonic Adventure 2, it originally released on the Sega Dreamcast back in 2001.  The opening level ‘City Escape’ features Sonic jumping out of this helicopter and is considered to be one of the most iconic levels in Sonic game history.  It definitely makes sense that fans are pretty excited to potentially see it make its way into the next film.

I think if they’re going to include the helicopter, they may as well go all out and just recreate the whole level in live-action.  Throw in that absolute headbanger of a song and make sure that there are perfectly placed ramps in the middle of the street so Sonic can do some sick jumps and flips off them.

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film was a box-office hit and well-received by both critics and moviegoers.  It even won Jim Carrey a Critic’s Choice Award for his role as the evil Dr. Robotnik.  Personally, I think it was great because it embraced the history of the franchise so well.  There are loads of Easter Eggs to find in the first movie, and it looks like the sequel could potentially have just as many.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 releases in theaters on April 8th, 2022

Giddy-up! Croc Spurs Are the Dadass Accessory You Didn’t Know You Needed

Croc Spur
(MilleaMastercraft/Etsy)

Every once in a while, there’s a product that lights up social media, and it becomes a must-have. Think “Bernie Sanders mittens” the inauguration. Regardless of your political affiliation, everyone can appreciate the fine craftsmanship. This product feels like it could be the best in the social media craze; spurs for your crocs.

There are definitely way crazier things you can find on Etsy than the perfect Western complement to the most comfortable shoe ever. For starters, Crocs are an underrated shoe. In the pantheon of dad shoes, New Balance and Air Monarchs get the love, but Crocs are also a must-wear.

And nothing makes you stand out more than throwing some old West on your croc game and rocking the sprocs. They easily clip onto your existing Crocs, they clank when you walk, how badass is that? You can feel like a gunslinger on your trek from the pantry to the couch. This is the American dream.

Croc Example
(Etsy/MilleaMastercraft)

Even the model is rocking them with socks because you aren’t beholden to fashion norms when you rock crocs. You can go socks, no socks, or even spurs. You make the rules now. The reviews are strong, not that it matters. For $12, it’s worth a shot to elevate your croc game past the competition and to be able to walk around saying things like “this neighborhood ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

LeVar Burton Is FINALLY Getting His Chance To Guest Host Jeopardy!

LeVar Hosts Jeopardy
(Getty/Ian Tuttle)

It is finally happening. Jeopardy producers have heard the groundswell of support for former ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Reading Rainbow’ star LeVar Burton and have caved to the internet’s demands. The show named it’s final group of guest hosts for the season and emphasized Burton would be one of them. He is finally getting his chance to guest host Jeopardy.

It started with a petition, one that Dick Van Dyke even endorsed. Hundreds of thousands of fans added their voices to it. And then Burton even started campaigning for the spot, saying he’s been a fan since BEFORE the Trebek era and watches the show every night. And now, he will fulfill his dream and get his tryout as a host.

Will it be strong enough to remove the interim tag? Will the show go back to widely expected heir Ken Jennings? Time will tell on that front. But what is important is the producers, who seemed oblivious to the overwhelming chorus pulling for Burton, finally gave the people what they wanted.

Burton seemed ecstatic on social media.

“THANK YOU…to all y’all for your passionate support! I am overjoyed, excited and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy! and will do my utmost best to live up to your faith in me. YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! Go ahead and take my word for it, this time.’

Joining Burton in the final group of guest hosts is Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Joe Buck, and David Faber. All pale in comparison to the legendary Burton.

Jeopardy producer Mike Richards (who made himself a guest host at one point as well) said “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”

The dates for the final guest hosts are still TBD, but it’s expected they will air over the summer as season 37 concludes in August.

30 Years After Graduating, LSU Frat Brothers Pay Off Beloved Cook’s Mortgage

Frat brothers pay off cook's mortgage 30 years later
(YouTube/The Advocate)

It’s never too late to say thank you. Whether it’s a week, a month, or several decades later, feeling appreciated is always touching. It reminds you that your hard work is valued, and in the case of one fraternity house cook, gratitude can change your entire life.

30 years ago, Jessie Hamilton worked as a cook for the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, better known as Fiji. College is a time where kids get their first real taste of freedom – no parents are there to set strict boundaries, teachers expect you to come to them if you need help, and your behavior is guided entirely by your own values.

Frat houses in movies are depicted as places of complete and total chaos, with parties ending only when the next one starts. But in reality, the frat brothers of the Fiji house made it a place where Hamilton was happy to work for 14 years. The frat brothers saw Hamilton as a mother figure – one who didn’t hesitate to go beyond the call of duty, driving them to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments and always being there when the boys needed her.

30 years later, over a dozen Louisiana State University graduates felt the irresistible urge to pay Hamilton back for everything she did for them. The now grown men learned that their beloved cook was working multiple jobs to pay off her mortgage, and to the eternally grateful brothers, that was unacceptable.

On her 74th birthday, the brothers packed up their families and made the journey to Hamilton’s house to present her with the ultimate surprise.

“We’re here to thank you for 14 years of service,” one of the brothers begins. “Working in that kitchen, putting up with us at the Fiji house. You’re the only one I know in this world that could walk into that hot kitchen, working for minimum wage with a smile on your face every single day for 14 years. We’re here to thank you for that, because we love you, we respect you, and we know what you’ve been through to get this house, put food on your table, to pay the rent.”

The brothers then invite Hamilton to play a winners-only game of Lets Make a Deal, with each of her three kids uncovering various gifts behind three separate doors (aka poster boards with numbers written on them). They then presented an emotional Hamilton with an assortment of birthday presents including custom t-shirts, a catered lunch, and $45,000 to pay off the rest of her mortgage.

“They were my kids. They still are,” Hamilton told the Washington Post. “They used to tell me they loved me, and now, they’ve proved it.”