As a side note – my best friend’s mother passed last week. The title of this post just seems to fit what follows, but it’s also something she shouted at a guy with a large and loud pickup once. The usual comment is “sorry about your (male sex organ)” but she, being a total sweetheart blurted out “SORRY ABOUT YOUR TRUCK!” I think her version was better.
Over time I’ve discovered that when I make an affirmation about myself, positive or negative, I get tested. Just the other day I decided maybe I shouldn’t be such a ball buster. I affirmed that I wasn’t going to say anything negative to anyone, I was going to be positive. This all sprung from someone trying to pull a fast one on me after I busted their chops.
I’m sitting at the bar, catching up with the vets (I tend to get along better with people a few generations older than myself) and was busting one guys chops a bit. A little later as I’m getting ready to leave he says “hey, did you know your car has an oil leak?” I curse. I just drove 900 miles, and this was the last thing I needed to hear.
I back my car out and all I see is the water dripping from my A/C. He then points at a fresh newer splash of oil on the ground and implies it is from my car. I check the oil, it is fine. I go run some errands, then head home and slide a sheet of cardboard under the car after noticing an old oil stain in the road where I was parked…
A few hours later, I check the cardboard… Nothing. In the mean time I made an appointment with the local Honda dealer to have them take a look. I go out again later in the evening, making sure not to park in the same spot, and that’s where we pick up the story below.
I head off to the Legion after dinner to catch up on the days events and chew the fat. As the evening progressed, a kid came in and the first words out of his mouth was a snide comment about the “rice burner” in the parking lot. Didn’t take long. A handful of additional comments came out about how he only buys American, cars built in America, etc…
Editors Note: For the uninitiated, I drive a Honda Civic Type-R. It is the quickest, most ridiculous and most comfortable car I have ever driven… back to the story.
I had a little back and forth with the bloke where I clarified that my Honda was built in the UK, not Japan… Then as the barbs came in about its performance (I’m certain all he saw was a Civic with a bunch of mods) I clarified what it was, its hp, weight, and top speed… As he scoffed I simply said “go ahead and Google it.” Not sure why I even engaged.
Then came a ton of commentary about just how much he spent on his new pickup out in the lot (which I complimented btw, I love a good GMC), but comment after comment came like rain. Disparaging my car, making generalizations about the south, about my job, like one after the other coming at me and I just took it, responded positively, and moved on.
As the bartender walked away for a few minutes he looks me in the eye and says “I’ll get her some day.” There you go. This had nothing to do with me, my car, where I live, etc… This was all about impressing the pretty bartender. I get it. Better ways to approach that than picking on a total stranger who lives 900 miles away, but I digress.
See, people exist who have to drag others down in order to elevate themselves. I used to be one of them, I used to consider myself pretty good at it to be honest… Never realizing the damage I was doing to friend and stranger alike. Having Jesus in my life gave me a new perspective. Still, it takes a lot more than insulting my car to get me going.
It is no coincidence that twice in the same day folks have used my Honda as a basis to bust my chops.
So the barbs continued to fly regardless of my attempts to remain positive. I probably would have been better off just ceasing and allowing the guy to dig his own hole without my assistance. After cutting myself off from drink and the only folks left in the bar was the kid, myself, and the bartender, I decided to take my leave.
As I’m heading to the door I tell them both to ‘take care’ by name. I’m less than halfway out the door when I hear the kid from the ATM mutter “asshole!”
I stop and look back. Bartender is looking at me through the door with concern… I step back in…
“How about I tie my truck to your car and we see who pulls who.”
“It’s a chevy, your transmission will burn out.”
“It’s ok, I’ve got a warranty.”
“Me too, 120k miles, what’s your point?”
I walked out laughing. Pretty sure I heard the bartender exclaim “Oh, my God!” at how silly it was. Can’t blame her one bit.
I could have left without the commentary as it was the first and only crack in my armor towards the end of the night, which also reminded me why I do not miss living next to a bar. The vast majority of my interactions there have been positive, I’ve even had the opportunity to witness there several times, but I got another look at who I used to be.
I drank a lot, talked a lot of crap, I used to be that guy who had to one-up everyone around him… I didn’t like who I was and I’m glad I am mostly free of that. I just need to have faith that as these interactions cross my path that I follow the instruction manual, aka the Holy Bible and not even bother engaging with a scoffer…
7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,Proverbs 9:7-8
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.
8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
What can I say, I’m still a work in progress. 🙂 God bless!