Blog Posts from April, 2004

What Would You Like Me to Do?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2004

I was trying to squeeze my car into a space that was too small, next to the curb, a couple of weeks back. I was trying to avoid blocking the driveway in front of me. As I backed up, the bumper of my car touched (and I mean touched) the bumper of a Jeep Cherokee behind me. He had lots of space behind him, and was taking up much more than a single parking space. My phone rang; Mary. While I tried to talk to her, a Yuppie Guy got out of the Jeep, and asked me if I’d like to take a run at his car.

“I don’t think so,” I said, distracted.

“Do you think it’s okay that you bumped into my car?” My dad always told me that’s why the call them bumpers.

I replied, “Not really, I don’t think that it’s that big a deal, actually. Your car’s not damaged at all.”

“So why don’t you take a run at it?” See, his car wasn’t damaged, but his Perceived Impregnable SUV Shield of Safety was.

He eventually went away. I felt I had deflected spears and done it fairly well. Mary was impressed; she had heard the whole thing, and would have suggested one verb and one preposition to him.

But after a few moments–after I had finished talking to Mary, and driven away–I came up with what I think I might better have said to him: “I’m sorry. What would you like me to do?”

I think I’ll try to remember that. I think it could be useful again.