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Kindness Is Katching


Lucia Falls County Park
Battle Ground, WA

I'm confused.

What happened to RORT? You know, rec.outdoors.rv-travel, that jumbledupnewspile of thumb-wrestling jerks and bozos? Remember them?

From Prince Rupert south, I've met with nothing but kindness and encouragement. Not one old grump yet. Well, maybe the one in the mirror.

What's up with that?

Here's the facts:

Wade let a complete stranger stay in his driveway for 4 days. Over Labor Day, at that. Meep let the same potential creep use her address for a mail drop. You can see the job Don Bradner's doing, sponsoring a website for someone he just met. Bob Hatch cheerfully volunteered to scan and clean up a bunch of photos I'd been needing to send to Don, and let me camp in front of his studio. Breakfast included.

Then BD invited me to plant myself in his yard, and greeted me upon arrival with the heavenly odor of pumpkin pies fresh out of the oven, and a couple of the prettiest tenderloin steaks you could ever hope to meet. Burp. Many others, including Ben, Mike, Frank, Ralph, Don, and Cecil, have offered kindnesses I was often simply too out of pocket to accept. That's off the top of my head. I know I'm missing some, but I'm running out of

paragraph here. :o)

But wait, it gets weirder. A complete stranger offered her property on Clallam Bay for a camping spot. Several I know only as nicknames seem to want to buy me a meal. They know the way to my heart. And now more generosity is wafting through the ether, up from California.

It's more than I can fathom. My fabled stern reserve is weakening. How can I maintain a studied indifference to company, if you people keep being so darned nice? Huh? I'm telling ya, if this goes on much longer, I'll...I'll... I'll be forced to adopt a dopey genial cheerful disposition towards mankind in general. There.

God. Where will it end? Kindness, smiles, and consideration, everywhere you look. The whole country filled with the stuff. Even Republicans.

Chaos, I say. Chaos!

I guess I'll just have to deal with it. But do you realize the karmic debt I've accumulated lately? I've been smacked with the Golden Ruler. Now I've got to go out and be nice to other people. Unh.

Where do I start? Do I just jump in? Locate the nearest lawyer, and wish him a good day? Whoa. Better begin with baby steps.

But, but, but... learning to be pleasant and helpful? At my age? When it comes to the milk of human kindness, I've always been sort of lactose intolerant.

It was so much simpler back in the old anonymous RORT, where a guy could ask the time of day and be dependably met with snarling combativeness and sarcasm. Not to mention multiple comically apocalyptic warnings that he better change his ways.

Ah yesss. Now those were debts easy to repay. There. Keep the change.

Often I skated, even so.

Kindness is harder to forget, somehow.


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