Earlier this week, I was on my way out to take the dog for a walk. As we came down the driveway, a guy in a van pulled over in front of the house and rolled down his window. “Excuse me,” he said, “I’m going to be trimming some trees next door today. Do you need the branches over your garage trimmed? Cuz they are picking up the brush today.”
I politely declined, as late summer is not my rolling-in-extra-bucks season. I told him if he wanted to take a look and tell me how much he would charge, I would think about it. He drove away. I did run back and haul out the pile of brush that I had been accumulating, so that it would be at the curb for the imminent pickup. My yard is an ongoing machete project. I don’t always put it out at the appropriate millisecond for Machete’d Vegetation Day. I have not committed the municipal special refuse pickup calendar to memory, as I am doing well if I have today’s date within three days, during summertime.
But here’s the crazy crap: no one ever came over next door to trim trees, and the city has yet to pick up the brush. Really? This guy was just trying to drum up business through the magic of bullshit? If I had acted more interested, would he have asked for some cash up front and then pulled away? Did you see this coming?
I didn’t, and the point is that I never will. Although I may come across as just the tiniest bit cynical on occasion, the fact is that I basically expect people to be telling the truth. There are plenty of times when this has proven to be mistaken assumption. In the case of people close to me who have proven themselves less than trustworthy, I don’t put myself in that line of fire anymore. But as far as the general public is concerned, and incidents such as Pretend Tree Trimming Dude, it always surprises me, and I never see it coming. What I notice about myself, though, is that I don’t really get that bothered by it. And that is a part of me that I would call sane. Found one!