The other day I was in the car on the route from my mother’s house to my father’s, as you do every so often. It was a very hot day and there were people walking around in their summer outfits everywhere you looked. Of course, as there always is when it’s warm here, there was a massive traffic jam. Roadworks-related, I’m sure, but I was at a standstill all the same.
It was a pretty normal scene, until I noticed a rather sorry looking elderly man leaning against the lamppost on the passenger’s side of the road. His hair was a mess, he was in a green woollen jumper, his back was hunched over and at first I thought he was asleep, so I leant over to have a look at this strange man and it turned out he was awake, just moving more slowly than a turtle. He blinked, giving me the devil’s stare. I turned back to my seat just as the traffic began to move.
See, I wouldn’t have given any more thought to the tramp leaning against the lamppost if the man in the vehicle behind me stopped. I was halfway towards the junction, but as I wasn’t blocking anyone’s way, I decided to stop, turn in my seat and watch.
The man in the car unrolled his window, presumably to ask what he was doing there. The tramp turned and began to speak, following which the man got out of his car, held the tramp by the hand and walked him across the road.
I turned back and continued on my way, but I couldn’t help thinking that I knew no-one that would even stop to ask. I definitely wouldn’t have. If it isn’t in my own interest to be nice, I am decidedly not so.
Somehow, I don’t think being nice would suit me.