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Posts Tagged ‘chaotic neutral’

Today I was reminded of another winter day almost ten years ago, when I was out walking my dog in the early evening. It was cold and slushy, so I was looking for the clearest route home, which turned out to be the parking lot behind an apartment complex that had been plowed. As we walked through the lot, I saw a cell phone lying on the ground next to an empty parking space. Generally speaking, I believe in good deeds. If I’d lost my phone, I would appreciate someone picking it up and getting it back to me, instead of leaving it to be run over.

photo by Arthaey Angosii

I was surprised to find that it didn’t have a passcode, but that made it simpler. I called the number that seemed in heaviest rotation on the phone, figuring that person could help me. A girl answered, and when I explained what had happened, she passed me to her boyfriend, the owner of the pho

Far from being grateful or pleasant, the boyfriend, who hadn’t even noticed his phone was gone, swore at me and accused me of stealing his phone. I asked him why he thought a thief would call him on his phone and repeated that I’d found it in the parking lot.

“What do you want me to do with it?” I said, completely over my good deed at that point. Foolishly, I imagined that he would tell me his apartment number and I would put the phone in his mail box.

“I’m on my way to Kansas City. I’m gonna be at the Applebee’s on Metcalf,” he said.

Okaaaaay. What I really thought was Who the hell drives all the way to Kansas City to eat at Applebee’s? Who drives anywhere to eat at Applebee’s?

“So you need to come over there and turn over my phone or I’ll call the police.”

He really said that! Turn over his phone! I couldn’t help but think of the the saying No good deed goes unpunished. For the first time I thought of why that is, and I had to conclude that unfortunately a lot of people are not prepared for kindness and don’t know how to do gratitude. Why? I’m not sure. My theory about this guy is that he was a terrible person, so he expected everyone else to be terrible too. What a sad way to go through life.

As for me, I opted out of having my good deed punished. I certainly wasn’t driving anywhere to deliver a phone to some jackass. As I stood out in the cold with my dog, there was a temptation to power down the phone and throw it into one of the apartment complex’s trash dumpsters. I’m not inherently an evil person, though. More Chaotic Neutral, really. So I said, “There are three empty lots at the corner of 19th & Tennessee. I’m going to throw your phone in one of them. It probably has enough battery power left that you’ll be able to call and find it, if you get here in the next 2 hours.”

I hung up without waiting to hear what he would say. I didn’t answer when it rang. My dog and I walked on to the corner of 19th and Tennessee, and just as I said I would, I threw the phone as far as I could into one of the empty lots. Then we walked home.

Later, at bedtime, I took the dog on the same route, out of a sick curiosity. At the corner, I could see two people walking around in one of the empty lots, using a cell phone as a flash light. Reader, it was the wrong empty lot.

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