Friday, August 20, 2010

Death, Taxes and . . .

I just spent the last twenty minutes or so scraping the dried blue bubble gum from the sole of my adorable black boot with a screwdriver. The gum has been stuck there for the past five or six days. It had to be several sticks or balls or whatever shape and form gum comes in now, needless to say, it was more than one simple stick of Trident or some other “grown up” brand of gum. My hunch is that is was a Triple Blueberry Bubblelicious something or other. When it happened I was lucky enough to have a brand new pair of shoes, purchased only an hour or so earlier, still in box and bag in the back of my car. I carefully switched shoes, threw the gummy boots in the Macy’s bag to be dealt with at a later time. I couldn’t deal with it when it happened. So when I got home I tossed the boots in the empty laundry basket on top of the washer and that is where they have been ever since. My laundry piling up around it. I couldn't bear to look at them again.

Until today. The gum now seemed hard enough to begin the surgical procedure and I decided it was now or never. So donning my surgical mask (sunglasses) and sitting outside with screwdriver in hand, I began the tedious process of removing the gum.  With each stab I cursed the little chewers name (since I didn't know who it was, I simply called him "chewer"). Stepping in gum is such a sickening feeling, the minute you feel the bond between your shoe and the pavement, you sort of deflate and a few thoughts run through your mind at the same time. The first being, Oh shit & *%$#, I can’t believe I didn’t see that, secondly, I’d like to kill the person who spit out this wad of his stinkin saliva ridden chew with my bare hands, and lastly, oh man, these are one of my favorite pair, I love love love them!

I think it is inevitable that at one time or another we will all be the recipient of someone’s well chewed chewing gum. Some get luckier than others, they might step in the little primary colored gum ball machine size pieces and others get the Hungry Man entire pack sized portion. I might like to take a survey on this, but I am pretty sure it has happened to everyone. It has been years since it has happened to me and frankly, I thought I had outgrown it. Kind of like getting bee stings on the bottom of your bare feet as you run through the yard obliviously trying to catch a butterfly. You go years and years without ever having to endure these mishaps and you start getting kinda cocky, like you’re home free. Whoops. There you go, messing with the whole hive.  So when they say that the only thing certain in life is death and taxes, not true, I really think they need to add stepping in chewing gum.

I am sure that when I was younger I spit my gum out. Actually, I know I did. I am sure that I didn’t care on whose shoe it would be going home or how I might have made someone’s life miserable for a short period of time. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this might be for me one of the positives of getting older. And trust me, it's not that easy coming up with a whole lot of positives that have any real substance and that I believe in wholeheartedly. The fact is that I now care about trying to make life a bit easier for everyone. It's tough enough. I think about the person merging on the freeway and I move over so he/she doesn’t have to stress out about it, I let the woman with a couple of items in hand go before me in the grocery store, I hang up my clothes in the department store dressing room, and in general, pick up after myself.  In other words I try to think of the consequences of my actions for myself and others. 

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect or better than the rest, and I'm sure there are times when my actions do cause someone else some discomfort or frustration. But to me, at this very moment, as I'm digging between each groove in my sole, anyone who properly disposes of his/her chewing gum is deserving of sainthood. 

Saint Me

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No country for old men (or women)