Thursday, October 1, 2015

Silentium Est Aureum [Silence is golden] ... sometimes.

I was waiting in line at the registrar's desk at my doctor's office today, when a a short woman perhaps in her fifties was exiting the office. She came up to me, smiled, said hello as though we knew each other. "I see by your fatigue shirt you were in the military." she said.

"Well, yes....a long, long time ago...Vietnam." I replied - realizing I had thrown on a camouflage shirt with my army unit patches and insignia on it as an over shirt for the first chilly day of the season.
She took my hand squeezed it looked into my eyes and said "Well, I want to thank you so much for what you did for us ... may God bless you and keep you." And as quickly as she appeared she exited.

It was so sudden, and I was so off guard, that I couldn't even respond with anything more than a weak "thanks." ... which is probably a good thing.

Because if my once razor sharp reflexes, now dulled by sixty-seven years of longevity, .had the time to kick in I may have told her I did nothing for her, or this country; that no thanks were due me; that  if I had the maturity, intellect and and common sense back then that I have now  I'd not have volunteered for the draft and would be a Canadian citizen enjoying a fully paid for annual physical as well as free dental;  ... not to mention the fact there is no fuckin' God, and if there was I'd hold the damnable thing responsible for the 58,220 dead American boys and girls who died there for nothing.

Just as well it happened too fast. She wouldn't have deserved that.


Jane said...

You did good Hump. -Sheila

Michael Brennan said...

You did what was expected of you back then, you did your very best and you meant well in doing so and so did she now.

Dromedary Hump said...

Jane, Michael:

MissBizzyLizzy said...

It's a good thing age has slowed you down a bit. :-)

MissBizzyLizzy said...

It's a good thing age has slowed you down a bit. :-)

Dromedary Hump said...


Indeed, the one time where it worked for the best. ;)

Paula said...

Here is my quick story.
Last week I accidentally shoplifted some instant chocolate pudding. The pudding had been hiding under my purse and I didn't see it until I put my groceries into my trunk and lifted my purse from the cart.
Once I realized I was in possession of stolen pudding I headed back to the store to pay for it. Don't get me wrong,I do plenty of bad things: speed on the freeway, sneak treats to the dogs, lie to the husband unit about the new cute shoes in our closet, etc. But stealing is not one of my vices.
When I arrived back at the checkout line I confessed my thieft to the cashier. She said the store had been on high alert hopping to catch the pudding thief. Anyway, as I took out my 97 cents a woman in line piped up."Well, stealing is a sin in the eyes of God. As a good Christian woman, I wouldn't be able to live itch myself knowing I had stolen something. By the way, what church do you attend?"

Mr. Hump, unlike you, I excercised no self control. I replied, "Mam, I am an atheist. I don't believe in God, nor do I attend church. I returned to pay for this not out of guilt, or fear of sinning. I did it because it is the right thing to. "
The lady gasped. I turned heel and left, purchased pudding in hand, small smirk on my face.
Mr. Hump, thank you for your post.
Paula, ex-pudding thief.

Dromedary Hump said...

If I had been in that situation, I'd like to believe I'd have given her the same dose of reality that you did. Unlike my encounter, this woman's annoying holier than thou "good Christian" foolishness deserved nothing less.
Kudos to you! :)