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June 28, 2014

People - A Story of Bemusement [WeirdDave]

So, last night I went out to have a beer at the pub, and then the crazies happened. I was talking to an older lady, and she went out to have a smoke. I went with her, sucking on my vaporizer. Well, shortly after we went out, this young hillbilly girl stumbles up. "Can you help me?" she asks. She said she was 21, and her story went like this: She needed help fixing a flat on the van she was in (she wasn't driving). They had pulled in at the bar down the street with a flat, and needed to get it fixed. A few things were apparent. #1) She was likely drunk and #2) She obviously wasn't the sharpest hammer in the shed. My companion started questioning her. Why wasn't the driver here? Why had the people at Maria's not helped them? and so on. Her story came out in spits and spurts, but it stayed generally consistent. At one point she said that they had removed the flat tire from the van, and they had no spare. My companion pounced; "Why would you do that?" (This one actually seemed obvious to me - they took it off to take it to get fixed.) and continued, "Young lady, you need to grow up now..." Through it all the young lady kept wailing "Why are people being so ignorant to me, I just need a little help!"

I finally stepped in. She really did look like she needed help. "I'd be happy to help. What is the make, model, year and license number of your van?" "I don't know". "Well, go find that out and come back. I belong to an association that has a great roadside assistance program, I don't even have to be with the car. Bring that info back to me and I'll call them for you. They'll come fix the tire." "OK", and with a few more "Why are people being so ignorant?" laments she wandered back to her car (down the middle of the street, luckily, not much traffic).

I took a seat by the window and watched. The lady I had been talking with went down to check out the situation, came back and told me "There's a black guy with a bicycle talking to them now". A few minutes later, said black guy bicycled past, a tire balanced on his handlebars. A really, really drunk, heavily tattooed hillbilly dude staggered down the street and came into the bar and tried to buy a beer. He was refused service and wandered back out, muttering darkly under his breath. I don't know that he was part of the human drama I was witnessing, but, well, coincidence, y'know? The bicyclist came back, sans tire, and came into the bar asking for change for the air pump. He was given change by a bemused bartender who said to me "I didn't know we have an air pump". The black guy peddled off. The girl never came back with her info, if she had I would have called roadside assistance for her. Nothing else happened. I must have missed the bicyclist coming back because after I paid my tap, as I left the pub, I saw a 20 year old Chevy van thump, thump, thumping past, doing about 5 MPH on a flat tire. If they haven't been arrested, they're probably still looking for "just a little help."

So here's the thing. I've been an insurance agent for almost 20 years now. I meet with 12-15 clients a week, usually in their homes, and they come from every strata of society. I've been in mansions that cost more than I'll likely make in my lifetime, in single wide trailers next to a field of sad corn that will never yield an ear and in west Baltimore row homes where I've had to tug my bag out of the clutch of a colony of cockroaches. Know what I've found, what makes my job so damn INTERESTING? They're all people. Just people, like me, with the same wants, dreams, desires and impulses, every single one of them. I'm damn good at my job, and that's why. All I see is people, and I can learn from every single one of them and enjoy doing so. I don't judge ( actually, that's a damn lie, I judge plenty, all the time. What I don't do is assume that there's something about me that separates me from them. There isn't. I know that under different circumstances I could be anything from a two dollar crack whore to a concentration camp guard. After all, they too are just.....people).

But still, last night seemed to be such a cavalcade of incompetence that I just have to shake my head. These were all adults and I have to say is, it was just a flat tire, life's not that hard to navigate.

Is it?

WeirdDave's post fits in so well with my current mood that I could not resist inserting this video that perfectly sums up the state of mankind. -- Y-not

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posted by Open Blogger at 10:25 AM

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