As I was walking into town today, I heard a loud “Whomp!” and looked down to see a man splayed out on the sidewalk as if he were about to do cement angels.
The weird thing was that there was no puddle, no ice, no banana peel in sight. What the hell had he slipped on? As I walked toward him, I noticed that he wasn’t making any effort to get up. He had a stunned look on his face as if he too were wondering what the hell he had tripped over to get him to that point. Either that or he was just really, really drunk. I looked around pretending that I didn’t see him, hoping that I wouldn’t trip over him in the process. I am a bad, bad person.
I then came upon one of those Salvation Army Santa Clauses, holding the bright red tin can and jingling his bells. He looked at me; I looked at him. I reached into my pocket, jingled some change, and WALKED MERRILY ON MY WAY. At this point I am pretty sure both Kris Kringle and Hanukkah Harry have a special (hit) list just for me.
Next, a harried-looking woman approached me on the street. “Excuse me…"
I shook my head and continued on my very important quest to find oatmeal raisin cookie ingredients. The situation was bleak. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the evil-o-meter, I was definitely pushing an 8. I had to redeem myself quickly lest I am finally forced to admit that I am no longer an angelic Jersey Girl but a bonafide Boston Bitch.
While I was checking out of the supermarket, I saw my chance. The girl in front of me was about to walk out of the store without putting her cart away.
“Um, excuse me miss!” I yelled after her. She turned around. “Is this cart yours?”
She looked at me blankly. “Um, I don’t know!”
“Well that’s interesting.” Apparently this girl had some sort of supermarket amnesia.
Even though I was not responsible for that cart, I took that sucker and wheeled it back where it belonged. Despite what you may be thinking, there was no trumpets or fanfare, no partying in the streets, no nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. But that didn’t matter to me, because I had acted selflessly, jumping in to save some poor, over-worked and under-paid grocery store worker from having to put the cart away themself. I no longer felt like a bad, bad person. Of course, some may argue that because I did this to make myself feel better, I was not truly acting selflessly, but I can live with that.
On my way back home, I came upon the Salvation Army guy again. We locked eyes. I reached into my pocket and pulled out everything I got…three pennies and a nickel. I threw it all into the bucket, pennies and all. He nodded at me and I continued on my way. Mother Theresa has nothing on me.