Nov 25, 2017

Parable of the Good Samaritan Redux

I always liked doing good things for other people. It always made me feel all warm inside, you know, like I was somehow making the world a better place to live. But sometimes being a good Samaritan isn't everything people think it to be.

Take for example the time my two neighbors got into a very loud argument over just exactly where the property line was between their yards. They were yelling, shouting, and cursing up a storm so I decided the neighborly thing to do would be to act as an impartial mediator and help them resolve their dispute. Three weeks later I got out of the hospital with $3,000 in medical bills my insurance company wouldn't pay. Not to mention time lost at work.

I decided it would be best if I left my feuding neighbors to their own devices so I decided I'd clean up the trash and old tires that lay scattered about the entire neighborhood.

Now being the trash goes to the city transfer station and the tires must go to the county tire disposal station I hooked my trailer up to my truck and went about the neighborhood loading trash into the truck and tires into the trailer. At the end of the day both were filled.

Early the next morning I set out to the transfer station to get rid of the trash but before I got there I was stopped by a cop for failing to tarp my load. The ticket cost me $275 dollars. Then, when I got to the transfer station they insisted I pay $25 to dump the trash despite my trying to explain that I had picked it up from city streets. The man kept saying, "You pick up trash, you own the trash."

From there it was off to the county tire disposal where according to their count I had 300 tires on the trailer at a cost of $1 per tire to dispose of. "Three hundred dollars!" I angrily shouted. "I ain't going to pay it!" It was then they called the sheriff who explained I could pay it or go to jail. I gave the man my credit card.

Then there was the time I decided it would be nice of me to mow the grass at the house across the street. I figured that since the property was owned by one of our local slum lords, the landlord was too cheap to mow it and my neighbor was too broke to be able to afford to buy a lawnmower or pay someone to mow. It wasn't like it didn't need mowing as the city had already left a sign on her door threatening to fine her if she didn't mow her yard soon. I thought for certain I was doing a favor push mowing that 3 foot tall grass and weeds. I even bagged it and set it on the curb for pick up.

Turns out that wasn't the case at all. Turns out the crazy lady living there was some sort of plant's rights activist and growing there in amongst all that tall grass and weeds was some kind of tiny flower, an endangered species, and the last known examples known to exist. Had some kind of Latin name no one ever heard of. Judge fined me $10,000 dollars for violating the endangered species act. I'm still paying the court in monthly installments. How was I to know?

Not to be deterred I decided to open up a soup kitchen in the most depressed neighborhood in town. I figured the people in my neighborhood didn't really appreciate my efforts so I would go find other people who were worse off and help them to get back on their feet. And folks, while things didn't work out quite the way I planned that's exactly what I did.

You see, on the very first day I opened my soup kitchen, one of the poor people I served got food poisoning and died. Now never mind the fact that this guy eats from trash cans or that no one else died from eating from my soup kitchen-- never mind that. This guy's estranged wife hires an attorney who then sues me and in the end the court gives the lady my soup kitchen.

But does she run a soup kitchen there? Oh no, turns out her attorney, along with a bunch of rich investors, bought up the neighborhood, jacked rents up so high all the poor people had to leave, and redeveloped the neighborhood. Gentrification they call it.

So what did the lady do with my soup kitchen? Well after she married her attorney, the two of them turned it into an overpriced trendy restaurant that serves bacon on everything on the menu. Her brother, a
cardiologist and investor in the restaurant, opened his office across the street.