I thought I’d try to freshen the blog this year by writing in response to writing prompts I happened across. I’ve done this sometimes in the past but usually can’t come up with any good ideas and give up quickly. This year, in the interest of improving self-discipline and building character, I determined not to give up on any writing prompt once it had been chosen. A day or two ago, I came across an interesting one: “What would you carry for a friend?”
My first thought was that, after a back surgery and severe shoulder injury some years ago, I likely wouldn’t be carrying anything for any friends in the foreseeable future. I was stumped, but determined. So, I thought about what it meant to carry something for someone.
I thought back to my grade school days and how it was thought a romantic gesture to offer to carry a girl’s books home from school. Back then we didn’t carry a great many books, so the effort wasn’t great, and it would convey what a chivalrous, strong and decent fellow you were. The object of your affections might even discover that you were really a likable guy after all. Of course, often the gesture was met with gales of laughter, which kind of took the romance out of the thing. And these days, kids are burdened with 50 lb. bags filled with books, computers, wireless routers, who knows what. Making such an offer is a much greater undertaking, something to be considered carefully. I notice, also, that kids don’t seem to walk home from school much nowadays. So even if a young fellow like me might offer to carry such a burden for a poor girl who happened to be left on foot, the probable outcome would be freeing her hands to pull out her cell phone and text her friends about the silly schmuck she found to carry her stuff for her. That wouldn’t do.
Then, I thought I could help my neighbor, an octogenarian, shovel his 50 ft. driveway after a cold, wet spring snow. However, he has the world’s greatest snow blower and can clear that lane in about 5 minutes, blowing all his snow clear across the cul-de-sac into the bowl that is my short driveway, leaving me to spend an hour or two shoving myself out of the octogenarian generated avalanche. He does it all the time. He’s on his own.
I was still stumped. Finally, I thought perhaps I might find some little old lady at the grocery store that needed help carrying her bags to the car. But I realized she would probably take me for a mugger or worse, some sort of sexual predator, and drill me with her concealed-carry 9 mm, complete with armor piercing bullets. After my death, and learning of my pure intentions, she would feel neither Catholic guilt nor repentance, only smug self-satisfaction that there was one less pervert in the world. Godless [deleted by censor]!!
I was right to begin with. Whatever it is my friends have to carry, they can manage it themselves.