Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Slam Bam

Have you ever gone out of your way to bend over backwards to help someone out and they stabbed you in the back?

It happened to me recently. Makes me real sad. I also feel like a pure idiot. I thought I was a better judge of people. I guess not.  I tend to think the best of everyone. Sometimes I forget. Evil lurks among us.

That's what you get for being nice. 

Now I get it. No good deed goes unpunished.

Oh well. Humanity ain't perfect. I'll get over it.


I am sure I have done my share of misdeeds (though I won't fess up to them except under extreme torture!) but I generally try to lead a good positive life. We've all probably helped others out that didn't even have sense enough to say "Thank you" in return.

Two words that do so much. 

Have social graces like plain old fashioned manners fallen by the wayside? Lawdy mercy, I surely hope not. But lately I am appalled at the lack of manners I sometimes encounter when I am out and about.

Other times I am hugely embarrassed when I have made a monumental goof.  It's even worse when my apologies are rebuffed.

A while back in March or April,  I bought a discounted gigantic toy box for the aluminum cargo carrier on the rear of my wheel estate. Not that I have any toys, but the dog has toys and the RV has junk it needs. Things like tools, water hoses, bungee cords, spring clamps, spare parts and so on.  The cargo box was supposed to be the near perfect size. It was a great bargain.  After thoroughly checking it over to see why the price was so attractive, I finally stuffed it in a shopping buggy on end. It was very tall and I couldn't really see over it. But I had a friend with me that day and they helped me get to the cashier without calamity.

The toy box.
I'm embarrassed my water hoses are not coiled neatly.
I wouldn't drive down the road with them like this, blocking my rear lights, but
I was in Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Florida at the time playing the
campground shuffle. Their reservations system is such a train wreck that
everyday at noon, half the campground occupants were forced to relocate.
I threw my water hoses on the bracket on the back ladder while
moving to my new spot. 

I carefully made my way through the long line to the cashier, then I was on my way out the door. I was trying to walk fast for exercise. My friend was lost in the store somewhere. I looked around for him debating whether to wait on him in the store or go out to the wheel estate. He knew I was checking out, but there was something he forgot, so he had gone back in search of it.

Well suddenly I hit something. With my buggy. I couldn't see what I hit, because the storage trunk was so tall, standing on end in the buggy. I walked around the shopping cart.

Much to my horror there stood a little old man.  In a neck brace. Wearing an arm sling. He had bandages all over both his arms.  He was carrying a cane. In one hand he held his wallet,  trying to stuff it into his back pocket. He had stopped to do this when BANG I ran into him.

I was stammering apologies left and right, asking him if he was OK.  He just stared at me up and down, then looked at my cart then stared at me, doing that head to toe to head again look. Was he admiring my summer dress or was he sizing me up for a lawsuit?

Repeating  my apologies, I told him I was a pure idiot, asked him if I could help him in any way, and was he OK?

He just gave me that very odd up and down look again, like I was a statue he was debating whether or not to bid on  at the auction.  He wordlessly shuffled away, with his neck brace, his arm in a sling,  his cane thumping the floor softly.

He never said a word.

I felt 2 inches tall.

I stayed behind looking for my friend.  I am sure my face was beet red. He was probably hiding somewhere so as not to be seen with me.  I started leaving the store at a snail's pace with my overloaded shopping cart,  fervently praying not to have anymore mishaps.

To this day, I still wonder about that little old man. What was he doing out shopping alone in that banged-up condition?  He wasn't carrying a shopping bag. Had he been in a bad wreck?  Or had he been in court?  Was he accident prone or just one of those unlucky folks that did the wrong thing at the wrong time then BAM suffered for his bad luck.

I still wonder about his eerie head to toe look at me and his refusal to speak. Was he deaf? Or mute? Or both?  Did he understand my apology?  My offer to help?

In a comical manner, I think back, that I should have stuffed him in the shopping cart, then wheeled him out to his car.


  1. Twenty-five years ago I was working on Mt. Rainier. I had just moved from Washington, DC so being on a mountain was a drastic change of pace! I remember getting a happy, peace of mind being up on that mountain. I loved everything and everyone and absolutely nothing could make me mad (at the time). When the season was over and I returned to civilization, my friends and family (who had not been on a mountain)were busy and stressed and mad at me for being so happy all the time. One of them asked me if anything could tick me off. I thought about it and realized that the answer (at the time...) was "No." Somebody could've come up and kicked me and I would have thought that it was probably soemthing they needed to do and it was good that they had the sense to do it to me since someone else would get mad and I was happy to be there for them when they needed to kick someone. (People were really frustrated with my attitude back then!) Anyway, reality and civilization balanced me out over time but I still think sometimes that when people are rude or mean that maybe I'm doing them a favor by witnessing or bearing the brunt. I get mad these days but not nearly as mad as I would be if I had stayed in DC!!
    And the poor little old man! Maybe he was having a really bad week and his look was something akin to "What next??!!" Or maybe he was thinking "I've been run over by a train, a car, a boat and now... What the heck is that, anyway?!"

  2. It makes you wonder sometimes if we are still on the same planet which we grew up on.
    I like you storage box.

  3. Good blog. Cute story about the old man. He was probably just as confused as you were. Well, he was probably speechless and embarrassed. Sometimes we all want to hide under the closest rock.

    Oh yeah, I think we all have had the slam bam in many circumstances and with many groups of people. When you work people want your position. When you play perhaps they need to boost their own ego. It's a shame but that's how it is.

  4. Sometimes it's hard to communicate when you get that old. Maybe the old guy was just confused.
    I wouldn't think twice about it. Probably best to not come to a dead stop in front of someone with a shopping cart?
    Or perhaps he WAS just a rude old bugger. In either case, let it be.

  5. Funny how things stick with you. He may not have had his hearing aid in and you may have hit the back of his leg or butt so it didn't hurt him at all.
    If you asked him for forgiveness, then you prayed for forgiveness, then you're forgiven. You still feel guilty because you haven't forgiven yourself. Do that today and put your guilt to rest! You have too many other things to think about. :-)


Life is goof!