Tuesday, June 18, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on August 19th, 2008, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 9, Issue 23 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 9, Issue 23

Excuse me, could you spare a nickel or dime?

Krider tries out his nice-guy self


I used my second-grade math skills the other day, but somehow forgot to move a decimal point, resulting in my bank account being overdrawn. Whoops. For this act of stupidity, the bank awarded me with a charge (overdraft fee) for insufficient funds. The fee put my bank account further in the red. This process seems a bit strange to me. I don’t have any money, the bank knows I don’t have any money, yet they took more money from me. It’s a good thing not all businesses run this way.

Could you imagine going to the doctor for a blood transfusion if he ran his shop like the bank? You’re sitting in the chair and you know you don’t have enough blood, the doctor knows you don’t have enough blood, but he goes and sticks a needle in your arm anyway and has you donate some blood. If you survive, maybe on some other day you can get that transfusion you needed. And even if you do somehow manage to cough up some of your own blood, it will take 10 days for the blood bank to make sure your blood is, in fact, actual blood before it can be deposited into your body.

Obviously, with my account at less than zero, times are tough for me. Times are tough for a lot of people these days, and the banks don’t seem to care. But why should they? Can I really blame them? Realistically, my own neighbor, whatever his name is, doesn’t care about me. Why should I expect a bank president who lives in New York to care about me either? At least the banker in New York keeps his dog from crapping on my lawn.

During tough times, we need to learn who our neighbors are and help each other out. For instance, my neighbor should come over, give me some money for my bank account, and pick up his dog’s poop. The problem is, most of us in this country—me especially—are self centered, gas-consuming, credit-card-abusing, TV-addicted overeaters (God bless the U.S. of A!). No one has time to help their neighbors.

That attitude needs to change. As a society, we need to help each other. I couldn’t make my neighbor care where his dog goes to the bathroom, but I could change who I was and be a better person. Did I become less selfish? Me, me, me? Did I ride my bike to work? Nah, way too far, and I think my bike has a flat. Did I pay off some credit cards? Please. You, me, and the bank know I don’t have any cash. Did I turn off my television? Whoa, it’s the Olympics, man. Did I eat less? As I just said, it’s the Olympics. Just watching people exercise makes me hungry. So what did I do, if anything? Well, I gave some guy a little gas.

My car was running on empty (just like my bank account), so I quickly whipped into a gas station and just happened to nearly run over a guy. He was walking along with his head down while carrying a red gas can. The near miss startled both of us. He was thinking about his legs, and I was thinking about my insurance rates. I said I was sorry, even though I really didn’t mean it (in my opinion, he should’ve been looking where he was going). The guy I almost killed said, “That was a close one. That’s all I need is to get run over by a car. I’m already having a bad enough day.”

Then, trying to be the new, polite, helping version of myself, I got out of my car and asked him, “What’s making your day so bad?” Apparently, the gas can in his hand wasn’t an obvious enough clue for me.

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I ran out of gas and don’t have any money.”

“Sorry to hear that,” I said as I swiped my credit card, praying it would work.

I grabbed the nozzle and started toward my car when the guy had to ask me for help since I wasn’t paying enough attention to his hints.

He said nicely, “If you don’t mind, I could really use a little gas here.”

I looked at his gas can. It was similar to the one I had at home for filling my lawnmower. I figured, sure, I could help a fellow man out. I told him to unscrew the cap on his can, I put the nozzle in, and let her rip. The can didn’t look that big to me, and since it had a little bit of gas in it, I figured, what could be the harm in filling it up? I topped off the tank. The man thanked me and walked away. I looked up at the pump and saw the total: $14.21. Whoops. It’s not like I’m a cheapskate, but I didn’t realize when I was offering to help the guy out that I was helping him out for $14. My bank account wasn’t exactly flush at the moment. I realized that if I had been walking down the street and a person asked me to give them $14, I’d have told them to get a job.

When I got home, my wife, whom I love, was stressing out about our finances and was checking our banking account online. She wanted to know why I spent so much money at the gas station—our car’s tank wasn’t that big. I told her the whole story about what a great guy I was and how I almost ran somebody over. Her response: “The guy came out of nowhere and you almost hit him, and then he asked for gas? Then you gave him $14 worth, even though we don’t have any money in our account?”

“Yeah, that’s what I just said.”

“You’re not a good person. You’re an idiot. You just got conned.” 



Rob still thinks he’s a good person. He also thinks he’s good at math, which we all know he isn’t.

Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

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