Question of the day*: Does an average helping hand get promoted to a good deed if the person needing help almost gives you a heart attack?
I was waiting for the bus this morning singing along to a favourite song (in my head, of course), when a petite lady wearing a headscarf and massive bug-like eyeglasses appeared out of nowhere. She loomed in inches from my face and I’m not sure if it was her proximity to me or her resemblance to Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, but she almost startled me into cardiac arrest. I jumped back and practically knocked her over in the process.
My heart still pounding, she approached again and I had a Seinfeld flashback (remember the close-talker episode?). She was so near I could feel the heat from her breath – and see how thick the lenses on her glasses were. I realized she might have needed to stand that close to me just so her eyes could focus on my face. (Maybe that’s what all close-talkers need – stronger spectacles.)
She asked me which bus to take to get to East General Hospital and (praises to the patron saint of MapQuest) I knew the right answer. I directed her to the opposite corner where she could catch the correct bus.
Afterwards, I questioned whether or not that was really a good deed. I mean, if she’d asked anyone at that bus stop for directions, I’m sure they would have helped her.
To help me figure this out, I took into consideration the fear factor of her startling me half to death, and the fact that I had to struggle to regain my composure in order to give her the information she needed. Coupled with the uncomfortable feeling of talking to someone standing so close you can count their eyelashes, I gave myself half a checkmark on the non-existent good-deed scale of 0 to 1.
Just for good measure, for the rest of the day I made extra efforts in the holding-doors-open department, the patience-with-slow-motion-salespeople category and the be-pleasant-to-telemarketers event, bringing my total for the day up to one.
Whew, I’m exhausted. Not from doing good deeds, mind you … from doing all that math!
*This is technically Wednesday’s post. Sorry for the irregular timing but I’ll be in Vermont for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, spreading good deeds across the border. Will still be posting daily as much as possible, thanks for your patience. And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!