Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Pursuit of Karma

So I’m standing at a bus stop listening to ‘Glee’ songs and nodding my head softly like one of those nodding dog toys you see in car back windows. I seem to be miming the words too, against my will. Every time I realise and force myself to stop its like someone shows me a picture of my little brother tied to a gas tank with an unlit match in his mouth and whispers in my ear “start miming”, and there I am mouthing the words again!!……Mouthing the words!? hmm that sounds rather dirty. Anyway, so I’m expecting my bus at any minute when a small old lady approaches me. She seems to want to say something. Oh no, I haven't been singing out loud have I? She’s probably gonna tell me how she turned off her hearing aid and can still hear my sinfully bad singing. I give her eye contact to show her I’m aware she is there……and when I say eye contact I don't mean I poked her in the eye, I mean I looked her in the eye……oh you knew that already!? ok, well just making sure……I don't want you thinking I’m the type to poke everyone in the eye trying to establish eye contact!!……poking everyone in the eye!? hmm that sounds rather dirty. Anyway, the old lady reaches out and tugs on my arm as if she still needed to get my attention. I take out my earphones and say “hey” as if she was an old friend from college who just happened to age twice as fast as me and had developed a love for knitted cardigans. “Can you help me?” she asks in a low stumbly voice. ‘It depends what you want help with’ is what I want to say. I mean could you imagine I said ‘Of course, how may I help’ and she says ‘I need someone to scrub that bit of my back just above my butt cheeks, my arm doesn't bend that way anymore’.  “Yea” I reply hesitantly wondering if she would take offence to me scrubbing her back in one of those yellow, anti-contamination suits. “Can you help me cross the road?”. ‘Cross the road!??………awww’ I think to myself. I didn't actually think this was a real thing!! I didn't think old ladies actually ask people to help them across the road. I thought it was something young guys do to feel better about stealing their grandmothers credit cards when they were younger!!

Here is my chance to do something good for someone. So now when I say “I do good things all the time” I have at least one thing to back it up with. “Of course” I say with a smile. “I’m slightly blind you see” she says, and I hadn’t……seen, which I found rather ironic. Great, this is even better!! I’m gonna help an old lady across the road PLUS SHES BLIND!!! I’m gonna get major karma points for this!! Now, how do I go about this? Do I sling her over my back like a caveman fuelled with testosterone or lock elbows and skip down the road like the kids on ‘Little House On The Prairie’.  But with a hint of impatience she grabs my hand and walks on, dragging me with her. Well this feels slightly uncomfortable I think to myself. Her hands are insanely soft, I feel like I’m holing a ragdolls hand, that has been soaked in fabric softener and washed in a washing machine made of feathers!! I grasp it a little tighter but then ease off immediately as I catch our reflection in a car. We reach the side of the road and as I step into it to cross over the old lady pulls me back and yells “WAIT” in a rather hostile tone………“ok………sorry” I say quickly, completely baffled by the outburst. I look up and down the road, nothing. I try again and step into the road. “WAIT!!” She shouts again. “Yes ma’am”………MA’AM!? Since when do I say MA’AM!! I look up and down the road again, it’s still unbelievably clear, like the faces of people in ‘Clearasil’ adverts. “It’s clear Mrs” Mrs!? What am I back at school now!? She remains still, scrutinising the road like a speed camera who is trying to get promoted. “Shall we go?” I ask, as if I was the one who needed help across the road. She mumbles something and starts dragging me into the road. As we reach halfway I realise she is swinging her arms…no……she is swinging OUR ARMS!!

Man this looks bad!! We look like one of them old couples you see and think ‘awww how cute are they, so clearly in love after all these years’. Why would she swing our arms!! Its not like she is Jennifer Lopez walking down a catwalk, using her arms to swing extra UMPH into her walking!! She doesn't need to put her hips into anything, she doesn't have a big bottom to maneuver!! ………For reasons unknown to me I actually turn around and check this was actually the case……it was……she didn’t have a big bottom. I cringe at the thought of what I had done. We reach the other side of the road and she turns to me and says “You must always look both ways before you cross the road, ok?”. As if this was my first time crossing a road!! “Er……yes Mrs” I reply. She reaches into her pocket, hands me 50p, and does one of those ‘Don’t spend it all at once’ winks……at least I think it was a wink. She is very old, It may have just been a twitch. I feel very proud of my accomplishment. I had helped a slightly blind, old lady across the road, and even earned 50p!! I could make a living out of this!! Walking old ladies across roads, I bet there is a large market for that!! As I stand there admiring my 50p the old lady asks where she can catch the 96 bus to Bluewater from. I walk her back across the road to my bus stop.

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