Along the lines of yesterday’s post about crime, I used to have a house I was renovating in Southeast near RFK. One day, my brother and I and a couple friends were out front on the side walk eating lunch, and we had various items sitting out on a gang box in the front yard: cell phone, wallet, Pringles. Here’s the scene: four of us, filthy, covered with concrete dust and mud, swigging water and wolfing down munchos and such, with various large and heavy tools leaning haphazardly about, and this guy walking down the street says “someone left a wallet and a cell phone sitting there. You better be careful.” My brother, the 6 foot 3 inch, bearded, concrete-carrying, 20 oz. hammer swinging broad shouldered carpenter, says back to him “why, you going to steal them?”
The man wasn’t sure what to so say to this, as the four of us stood there staring at him. “No, no, but this neighborhood ain’t so good.” He walked on.
Why do people make comments like this? To make others feel uncomfortable? Maybe they think they really are being helpful, but I think it’s because it crossed this guys mind to steal the wallet and cell phone. And he would have, except for the four guys with easy access to picks and shovels and sawzalls standing close by.
It’s the same as the people who are always suspicious of other people’s motives. We all know these kinds of people (at work mostly, because who would choose to be friends with them?) The person who resents someone who just got a raise and assumes she got it for sleeping with the boss, or the person who locks his modular-cubicle-fake-office door when he goes home each night, just in case. These people assume the worst about everyone, I suspect because they assume the worst about themselves as well. Given the chance, they’d sleep with the boss to get ahead, or root through other people’s offices after hours. Either that, or they’ve had too many random people make foreboding comments to them.
I’m long over-due in my thanks to Arjewtino for plugging my fledgling blog (say that sentence a few times and see if it still makes sense. No alcohol required (NAR)...). Also, thanks to DCBlogs, who picked up my piece about the DC street cleaning holiday and made me feel famous for a while.