Blog: January 2013

Most of these posts were originally posted somewhere else and link to the originals. While this blog is not set up for comments, the original locations generally are, and I welcome comments there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Probably over-thinking it

This morning I dropped Orlando off at the vet for a test. While I was waiting for paperwork, I noticed the only other client there, an elderly woman who was dropping off a dog. I watched her pay a $300+ deposit in cash (all in tens), and then heard her ask if there was a nearby coffee shop where she could wait -- one within walking distance, as she can't drive any more and had taken the bus there. The person who was helping her indicated a plaza about half a mile down the road, and the woman asked if there was a bus stop there. (There is one in front of the vet's office.)

I told her I was going that way and would be happy to drop her off if she wanted. (She'd have to find her own way back later.) She accepted. This was no imposition on me; I was driving right past there. But she made a big fuss, and as she got out of the car she pushed a $10 bill on the dash and refused my rather insistent pleas to keep it. I was somewhat horrified. Appearances can be deceiving, but I judged that she needed it way more than I do. And anyway, $10 for a half-mile ride and a little conversation? I considered it likely that she didn't have a $1 or $5 bill and so reached for what she had.

This led to a dilemma and an interesting discussion in the Mi Yodeya chat room. I was certainly not going to keep the money. The default answer is to give it to charity, but I wondered if there were some way I could return it to her without causing problems. I considered asking the vet to "discover" an "error" in her bill for me, but it was pointed out that I'd essentially be stealing her mitzvah (she presumably thought she was doing one), a position I hadn't considered. I also wondered whether she would put two and two (or ten and ten) together, figure out what had happened, and be offended (causing offense would be bad). I would make the connection, I'm pretty sure, but apparently I am not normal. :-) (I don't think I'd be offended, though.)

I considered asking the vet to find a larger "error" in her bill so I could help her anonymously. But in the end I decided that this kind of sneakiness isn't appropriate. So when I picked Orlando up after work, I dropped the $10 bill into the donation jar for an animal-welfare organization. It seemed fitting.

Going in circles

Yesterday morning on my way to work, someone pulled up behind me with his left blinker on. As I proceeded straight or right through intersection after intersection I wondered when he would either make a turn or turn off his blinker. He followed me for two miles that way. As we reached Second Avenue (the only four-lane road of the trip) he passed me on the right and then moved back into my lane in front of me, blinker unchanged. It was still on half a mile or so later when I turned (left :-) ) and lost sight of him.

I didn't find that worth posting yesterday and if that were the end of it I wouldn't be posting it today.

This morning I pulled up behind the same car. The blinker was on.

Dude, I get that you're very picky about your left turns, but I sure hope you find one that's worthy of action before you burn out the bulb!