I wish people would do the right thing and be nicer

Monday, 13 January 2003

I’m going to say something a lot of you may have thought but wouldn’t admit it or didn’t know what the feeling really was. I really enjoyed September 12th, 2001 through the end of that year. People were SO nice to each other. I can’t remember a time when more people held the door for me or said, “excuse me,” and, “thank you,” when it mattered. It was the only time I was full-on proud to be American since I was a kid.

Last night in the QFC I was buying a lot of things. What I was buying was none-o-yer-beeswax. There are a few places you can still read about how to turn a supermarket into a weapons factory (I feel so sorry for the poor CIA and FBI flunkies assigned to catch me crossing the actionable line — today’s not the day, boys). You won’t learn about the proper ratio of ____________ to ________ here, though. Damn Google for bringing you here!

In the market, I thought I told ya’, oh, Jenny, you silly millionaire. Anyway! Back in the market, I had a cart full of ____________. I already had ________ at home.

An average looking young man with a goatée walked up right behind me to the only open checkout in the market. He had exactly two items while I had approximately two score, if you will. His items were some irises and a bottle of wine. How could I possibly stand in the way of a poet getting laid!

I did the right thing. I waved him ahead. I don’t think my upbringing taught me to do it. I just think I learned it can pay to be nice. I had proof immediately. He smiled and said thank you.

It turns out the lady behind me was also short on items, one this time, and it was her birthday. I gave her cuts. She said thank you and we had a nice talk as you must have guessed or else how could I have known it was her birthday. I’m only psychic about your insecurities, and the future of the European Union. Not much else.

It turns out the next guy behind me was only there to buy enough beer to make it to Wednesday and talk about the band name he has been saving: “Flaming Star.”

I didn’t tell him it was a stupid name. I was nice! I gave him cuts and we talked about his Black Sabbath shirt and the lady’s birthday and the Kidney Thieves instead. It was great. We were all friends for 6 minutes and the checkout lady liked me for being nice.

It was not hard to do the right thing and give them cuts. Why does it seem to be so difficult for people to do the right thing when it’s so easy?

See, two nights ago I was late to get home and my car battery was dead. These two good looking young white men walked up to get in a Honda Accord near my car just as I got out my jumper cables to look for help. I asked them if they weren’t in a hurry to get somewhere would they please help me out. They said no to this 6 minute favor. I eventually got help but it took an hour of running around and cost money and made me even later to get home and take care of some important things.

The reason I really wish people would be nice is I wrote down those white boys’ license. I tried to stop myself so I could just let it go. Now I’m going to have to look them up and do the right thing. And this time I think it’s going to take longer than 6 minutes.

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