2007-09-13 / Opinions

What you gonna pay me?'

By GARY TOOLE

When I was growing up, helping folks just came naturally because hospitality was taught by action.

It was common place for folks to help each other because money back then in the 1950s was scarce as hen's teeth as the old saying goes. Now there's a lot more money and folks are more self-centered, selfish,and just plain old greedy! And if you think that none of the church folk are included in that, then I've got some ocean-front property to sell you in Nebraska.

My Uncle Vick said back in the 1960s when things started getting better that prosperity would be the ruination of this nation. Oh how true that is to a great extent.

What led me to write this piece is when I was delivering some furniture to a lady, it was too heavy for the both of us to carry and a young man walked by. I thought he would offer to help. Of course I had to be dreaming about the real good old days. He bounced on by with his britches hanging down to his knees. I could have parked a Volkswagen in the seat of them.

I quickly asked, politely, "Young man, would you mind giving us a hand?" He looked sort of dumbfounded and mumbled (He didn't speak English. He spoke mumble.), "What you gonna pay me?" I started to do like they used to do us back in the better days, "Speak up so someone can hear you." I also wanted to say, "I'll tell you what I will pay you! No attention!"

Being desperate, I said, "Five bucks." He replied very boldly and without sympathy, "Give me ten and we got a deal!"

After my blood pressure came down, I said, "No thanks, and by the way, pull your britches up. I don't want to see your drawers."

The lady's husband came up about then (God sent him) and we got it inside and saved my back. (It is so easy now to throw my back out because I have a slipped disc.)

I thought, not wishing this to happen, "Maybe someday that punk will be enjoying the myth of growing old with a slipped disc. No, make that two slipped discs. With no money in his pocket, he will be needing help and because we've let this society go to the dogs, there won't be any help."

Now, I was not wishing this to happen to him, but it could. This lady that I was helping told me how different her son, who was working, is. She said that he was so helpful and polite to everyone, especially the elderly.

I told her, "You teach them but more importantly they learn by example." His mom and dad are a great example. What kind of example are you setting? We learn by example. Can you say amen?

Return to top