I’m still sorting down through old boxes and files. I found this in an archaeological layer which dates back to around the late 80’s or early 90’s. It made me smile.
God Sighted at 7-11
Yeah, really! I pulled into 7-11 down the street and there’s this old guy making his way from the gas pumps through the parking lot puddles with a cane. Absolutely fearless. Cars pulling in, cars pulling out, and this guy is going for it. He’s going at a pretty good clip, too. I’m guessing probably five, maybe six feet an hour. So I stop for him, and he never looks up, just keeps going, and pretty soon (maybe a half hour, give or take) he’s far enough along I can pull around him, so I do.
But the place is jammed. There’s like one parking space in front of the entire store, it’s smack dab in front of the door, and of course that’s where this guy’s shortest-distance-between-two-points vector is. I say to myself, “Jeez, I can’t wait all day for this guy, I gotta find a different place to park.” So I go all the way down to the end and park in front of the dumpster/fire lane/ definitely-do-NOT-park-here area where all the tow truck drivers hang out and have coffee and wait for idiots like me to show up.
I head for the door and just as I get there I sense Mr. Natural coming up behind me and suddenly my manners get the best of me and even though he’s still three feet from the door and it’s gonna be like fifteen minutes before he gets there, I …sigh… hold the door open for him. So I’ve got some time on my hands. I reflect on the situation. This is a nice thing I’m doing. I’ll bet I’m on the verge of busting a link in my karmic chain. I know what’s gonna happen next. This guy’s gonna say Thanks! Yeah, he’s gonna appreciate this, because he couldn’t possibly ever get the dadgum door open by himself. He probably depends on the kindness of strangers to get past doors.
So I’m holding the door open for him and he edges his way on in, but just before he clears the door– I mean JUST before he clears the area where I could let the door go without it hitting him, he stops! He peers around the edge of the door at me. Takes the whole picture in an instant. Me, standing there, a nice guy, waiting for my thanks for being that way. Our eyes meet. And he looks waaaaaaaay down deep inside me, and twinkles at me, this just really amused, tickled, happy little twinkle, and he says, “Good boy.”
The next thing I know, I’m the one – me! – saying “Thanks.” Can you believe it? All of a sudden I’m standing there having a hearty, out-loud laugh at me because this guy has managed to straighten my dumb ego out with two words! He reminded me that it’s my job to serve, and be grateful for the opportunity to do just that without getting all puffed up and self-glorified about it. I get it from all sides…
Don’t trust old people. They’ll teach you stuff.
PS: It costs $167.50 to bail your wheels out of the impound lot here. Is this out of line?