Wow! Here comes that expression again:  We’re walking on eggshells.

Our radio station performs what we call Random Acts of Kindness from time to time. Maybe we’ll go to the supermarket (with permission) and watch someone’s jaw drop as we whip out a wad of cash and pay for their groceries or we may go to the diner and pick up a lunch tab. While we’re there, we’ll most likely inquire as to what that funky odor is that permeates the air. Rumor has it that it’s some sort of cleanser, but we absolutely do know that it’s capable of making eyebrows curl and in some cases, eyeballs popping out and bouncing off the floor.

The one constant in our Random Acts is the recipient’s reaction. “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT WITH ME?” I bring this up because I realized that the eggshells we are walking on daily are becoming so fragile that we trust no one and question everyone’s motives. Relax, people! I’m just buying your gravy-soaked sausage and brisket combo. Save your money: You’ll need it for your cardiologist visit.

I thought I would be a nice guy so I brought my neighbor’s garbage cans back from the street the other day and he was practically shaking with fear when he asked, “What’s going on here?” Isn’t that something you might ask after, oh, I don’t know, someone holds you up at gunpoint or, maybe after you get a letter filled with exclamation points in red ink from your utility company? My God, all I did was bring his empty garbage cans back. I can only imagine the severity of his convulsions if I had shoveled unexpectedly.

Another random act of kindness gone horribly awry took place in a local hair salon. A radio station intern, armed with enough cash to perhaps purchase a nice Supreme Court justice, went into the salon, again, with their permission, but, unbeknownst to the recipient. It’s important to note here, kids, that sometimes surprises don’t always work out the way they were scripted. As the intern flashed some money in front of the newly coifed woman, she thought he was propositioning her and immediately called 911. Seconds later, her big, burly husband came in to pick her up and, after noticing the commotion, punched the poor intern in the nose and rearranged his ears as well. If memory serves correctly, this was the intern’s last day with the radio station. He decided to enter an internship in the much less dangerous field of coal mining.

I remember a time when we would do nice things for people and they would, in turn, buy us a six-pack of Natty Light and we would chat on the front porch for hours, laughing and, with every passing beer, try to one-up the other with our feats of accomplishment. “Hey, Bob, did I ever tell you about the time I saved a Boy Scout from drowning?” “Actually, Jim, yeah, I think I’ve heard that one a few times and if you tell it again, I’ll whack you over the head with this piece of rebar.” Yeah, big Bob, I’ll never forget that day. This little guy was just walking on the pier when he slipped and fell in. Instinctively, I just dove in the wat…” (interrupting) WHACK ! Sorry, Jim, I tried to warn you.

I’ll say it again: We need to relax, people. If someone taps you on the shoulder while you’re in line at Shop Rite, there’s no need to reach in your bag and spray his face with mace. There doesn’t always have to be a catch to everything. Do you think that in return for my buying your industrial strength, reusable, paper towels, and your eight-hundred-pound bag of Kibbles n’ Bits, you’re agreeing to sit through a three-hour seminar on timeshares in Mozambique? Come on, all we’re doing is being nice. If we paid your tank of gas, would you chase us down and fire shots through our windshield on the highway?

Relax. Stop being so suspicious, and, most important, start behaving yourself,  because, if you don’t, we’re going to have to get nasty and let you buy your own stuff.


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