Monday, January 15, 2007

An apology is in order.

I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you, or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.
-Archie Leach (played by John Cleese) in A Fish Called Wanda.

On one of the coldest days of the year, I was in a hurry to get home from work. However, I needed to make a stop at the nearest gas station as I was running on fumes. I turned into the lot of the local BP, right behind a Mercedes SUV. As we both drove toward two empty pumps the Mercedes stopped at the first pump. Since there was an available pump just a few feet ahead, I was incredibly annoyed that the vehicle didn’t pull ahead. I was so annoyed that I believe I said something to the effect of “Pull ahead you buffoon!”

Unfortunately, the driver of the SUV did not honor my request. In fact, said "buffoon" turned out to be a slender, 5’10” brunette. It was at this realization that my frustration turned to guilt. I backed my car up and turned it around so I could gas up from the other side of the pump where the SUV was parked. As I sheepishly got out of my vehicle, the sultry-voiced owner of the Mercedes apologized and said “I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. It’s just that the pump ahead of me was out of 92 Octane gas.” I remarked, “Well…if it’s any consolation, I didn’t call you a jerk.”

Yes, even at 37 years old I’m still reminded of the lessons I learned as a kid: Don’t jump to conclusions and don’t naturally assume the worst about everybody.

And yes I would have kept that in mind even if it was some crusty old man who drew my initial ire.

1 comment:

Dan S. said...


Perhaps you'll find this funny - I learned a bit of the same lesson just reading this post.

I saw, "...turned out to be a slender, 5'10" brunette. It was at this realization that my frustration turned to guilt," and "sultry-voiced owner of the Mercedes," and instinctively thought, 'Hmmm... I wonder if he would have been so forgiving if he were dealing with a fat, bald, middle-aged man' (i. e., me).

Then, I read the last paragraph, and realized that I, too, needed to not, "jump to conclusions and don't naturally assume the worst about everybody."

Thanks for the injection of humility!