That Damn Good Deed

I should have known better, but I did it anyway. I came to a stop, put the car in “park,” pressed the emergency flasher button, and got out of the car. I then dragged two large, broken tree limbs blocking the street to the side of the road, then pulled them off the pavement into the high grass.

Many hours later, the painful itching around my ankles and much higher, around my belt line, tell me chiggers lay in wait in that tall grass. And they took full advantage of my good deed to latch onto my flesh and drink greedily of the fluid stored beneath my skin. That damn good deed did not go unpunished. I could have left the limbs in the roadway for someone else to have moved. Or for someone else to have run over them, damaging their car’s undercarriage in the process.

There were no good options, no good outcomes. Only difficult choices with unpleasant outcomes. Of course, I could have driven home, lathered my feet and legs with something offensive to chiggers, and returned to do my good deed. But I didn’t. I actually thought of that, but considered that someone might have motored by in the intervening time, ruining their car in the process. So I stopped and did my damn good deed.

No one saw me do my damn good deed. No one would have seen me drive around the limbs in the road, leaving them for someone else to deal with. So I didn’t even get the pleasure of seeing admiring glances cast my way for stopping. The only way I can receive accolades is to write about my damn good deed and hope a neighbor happens upon my post. It would be the first time in history that a neighbor happened upon my post. Less likely things have happened. The war in Vietnam, for example, and mankind’s landing on the moon.

The only good to have come out of the episode is that a few chiggers died, crushed as my fingernails scraped across their miserable, bloated, parasitic bodies filled with fluids extracted from my flesh.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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