Remember a while ago when I did a good deed and it felt great? You can read about it here. It feels pretty good doing good deeds. It's kind of addictive because of the dopamine release you get in your head when you see positive results. It's kind of like when you see that your Facebook post got 100 likes. Or maybe President Obama responds to your Tweet. And so on.
A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a position to do another good deed. But it started out from a horrible thing I did.
Not last Saturday, but the Saturday before I went to Skippy's for a burger. They've got a great burger, even though it's only a charburger. Anyway, I could have sworn they were open until ten on the weekends. I arrived at the drive thru and made my order. Only then did I see the sign that says they close at nine on every night except Sunday (8 pm). I looked at the clock. It was 8:59 pm.
Oh fuck. I just became *that* guy. You should never EVER show up to a restaurant at literally the last minute and order something that takes more than a minute to prepare. It takes them five minutes to make a burger. Oh goddam, I felt like such a heel. If I'd seen that sign before making the order I would have gone somewhere else. I could only imagine the cook cursing my name--if they knew my name, that is.
I paid at the window, and I felt like an utter asshole. Then I awkwardly sat in my car, waiting, feeling like shit.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a skunk starting to pick around a car parked behind the building. Something scared it, and it backed away with its tail in the air. I thought for a moment it was going to spray, and I was in the direct line. I did not like the idea of my car smelling like skunk. I can control skunks, but I can only use simple commands. They might not listen to me if I said more than STOP. And GO AWAY. I wrote a Goodnight, Fuckers about it near the beginning of the run, but I can't find it, and I'm too lazy to dig that deep. If you have a better discipline, check it out. It's there somewhere.
The skunk came back to the car and poked around more. It pawed the wheels. It sniffed around the back. And then I saw it go under the car. Whoever owned this car obviously worked at the restaurant, due to the parking place. I was horrified at the idea that the owner would come out after their shift, not knowing there was a skunk under their car. I kept seeing them getting squirted and spending the next few days trying to get away from the stench.
The guy at the drive thru gave me my burger. I asked him, "Do you know who owns that car?"
"Uh, yeah, I know who owns it." He said it nervously, like maybe he thought someone had damaged it. Or maybe someone was going to sue the owner. I felt I had to immediately allay his fears.
"I just saw a skunk go under the car. I'd appreciate it if you'd warn whoever owns it so they don't get sprayed tonight." Imagine working at your shitty day job, and when you're finally ready to go home to some relaxation you get sprayed by a skunk. It's ugly, man. UGLY.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a key fob. He pressed a button, and the car turned on. It took me a moment to realize that he was the owner. I said, "Oh! Uh, in that case, be careful, man."
"Hopefully the sound of the car drove it off. Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Can I get you a drink? We have Pepsi products."
I already had my drink, but I thanked him anyway.
"You really saved me, man. Thanks for warning me."
No problem. I drove off kind of giddy from doing the right thing. It felt amazing. It felt so good that I was halfway home before I realized that this thing had started with an asshole move on my part.
I vaguely believe that the universe balances out. I don't think there's a force behind that, or a god, or whatever. But I do think that for every shitty thing you do, you do a good thing, even if it's an accident.
I do a lot more good deeds than I mention, but that one felt the best. I felt like I made up for driving the cook a little crazy with my last minute burger. (The cook was, after all, the guy I saved from a spraying. He wasn't just the guy at the drive thru window.)
Do good deeds. It feels really fucking good. You'll see.