One Friday night after work I was in line at the bank, sitting in the worst car I ever owned, a 1971 Chevy Vega. The little four cylinder engine was clack-a-lacking away as the line inched forward in the heat and exhaust fumes.
A drunk guy came up to me and said "Excuse me. You need some Rislone for that engine." I did not know what to say to him. He was not threatening in anyway, but how many times are we going to take advice from strangers, advice from drunk strangers, advice from drunk strangers about our cars that are only running by some miracle of seventh heaven in the first place?
Apparently, my blank stare made him self conscious. He straightened himself as best he could and said "I know I don't look like it, but I am a mechanic."
He described in great detail what a bottle of Rislone looked like, where I could get it and what it would do for the knocking in the engine. I can not recall now if I took his advice. I doubt if I did. But, I have always remembered he said, "I know I don't look like it, but ..." It is as good an excuse as any for just about everything in life.
How many times in our lives when we have been whipped, defeated, broken hearted, disappointed, despairing, wounded, discouraged (well, you get the idea) and felt like saying: "I know I don't look like it, but I am usually much smarter than this."
"I know I don't look like it, but I am a good mother," I wanted to say when my hyperactive, attention deficit, five year old son ran down the aisles in the book store.
"I know I don't look like it, but I am a nice person," I wanted to say when I was handcuffed and hauled to jail after telling a policeman to *bleep* off.
"I know I don't look like it, but I am someone who does the best I can all the time, even when I know my best is not good enough."
That is my story and I am sticking with it.
One good thing about that Vega - the universe finally took pity on me and sent a tornado to hurl it through the dining room wall at my boyfriend's house. Buh bye!