Don’t be a dick. At least not all of the time.

When’s the last time you were nice to someone you didn’t know for no good reason?

Seriously. As in, you had absolutely nothing to gain from being nice, you were just feeling it at the moment?

Before you get a nose bleed from thinking about it too hard, let me just say that you shouldn’t misconstrue my question. I am not a touchy feely type of person. I don’t talk about my feelings willingly. I don’t give out hugs. My name is not Moonbeam and I most certainly do not believe in ‘paying it forward’.

But I do believe in being nice. Just not all the time. Who’d want to be nice all the time? I don’t have the energy for that type of commitment. Do you?

Let’s face it: being a dick is just necessary sometimes.

Your child or children not listening to you? You need to be a dick. Neighbor’s kids came in your yard and took one of your kid’s balls? You need to be a dick. Significant other constantly leaving gobs of hair in the bath tub drain? Time to be a dick.

As you can see being a dick is justified depending on the circumstances.

A million years ago, I’m trying to get two of my kids out of the house when I get a knock at the door. It was two little old ladies who wanted to talk religion with me.

I’m a sucker for little old ladies. You don’t usually have to do anything for them except listen to what they have to say. They really appreciate it.

So that’s what I did. I listened to them while I had my youngest daughter pinned underneath one arm, her hair soaked from getting sprayed down with a spray bottle full of water. I listened to them while my daughter tried to wriggle free like the Burmese python that she is capable of being sometimes. I continued to listen to them while my son was trying to talk over them, competing for my attention. The little old ladies continued to talk and they read certain bible passages, asking me questions (of which, I answered honestly and diplomatically). Given the circumstances, I think I did a pretty good job.

As they finished their spiel, they handed me their book that they passed out to the people who listened (my wife confirmed for me later that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses) and went on to the next house, leaving me to finish getting the kids dressed and out the door.

While I’m getting the kids in the car, I notice that I have to put air in one of the car tires. This was an ongoing problem with the car that I was driving at the time. I had been going to a Shell station a block away from my house but this time I decided to go to the Marathon station at the end of my street. I had a habit of avoiding this station because it was always hopping with activity and their air pump was a pain in the ass to get to because they had it right in between two of their mechanic bays.

I pull in the lot, taking great care to get as close to the air pump as possible. I take off all of the caps from the tires and as I’m taking off the last one, I see this thing dangling close to my eye. Scared the hell out of me. I follow the dangling thing up to the mechanic at the other end of it.

“Need air?” he said.

“Yes, please!”

I filled up the tires and the kids and I went on about our day.

Being nice to strangers pays off every so often.

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