Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I am the public's servant

Yesterday, on the way to take my husband to work, he wanted to stop off at a mini-mart to run in and get a packet of breath mints. When you make your living in the retail world, you don't want to be all up in some client's face with breath that could kill a tree, right? So he ran in to make his purchase and I sat and waited for him.

It's difficult for me to just sit, however. (Reminds me of the old man sitting on the porch staring off into space, who, when asked what he was doing, replied, "Sometimes I just sits here and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.") I had my book with me, but I suddenly noticed that the van's dashboard was a little dusty, sprinkled liberally with dog hair due to the ride in the front seat Wimzie took yesterday. I am prepared for crises such as this one, so I reached into the glove compartment, where I keep a little lambswool duster with a wooden handle.

There I was, happily dusting away -- and those lambswool dusters are really great; apparently the lanolin or something still present in the wool attracts the dust like a magnet -- when I got that icky feeling on the back of my neck that someone was looking at me.

Turning my head, I saw that another car had pulled up next to us with a young man who looked to be in his mid-twenties sitting behind the wheel. And he was staring at me in frank amazement, completely gobsmacked, as if seeing a large lady removing the dust from her van's dashboard with a little duster was the most peculiar thing he'd seen in all his born days.

I met his gaze and he looked from my face to the duster and then back again, his mouth open unattractively. I had just begun to wonder if he was on some kind of work release program from the Village Idiots Institute when he shook himself, got out of his car, and went into the store. As he exited his vehicle, I happened to notice that he had a dashboard with such a liberal coating of dust, he could have grown potatoes.

I prefer to think that his astonishment wasn't directed toward my person, but rather that he'd been all agog at the new piece of information he'd suddenly garnered, there on an ordinary Tuesday morning in June: he hadn't before realized that it was physically, or perhaps even socially, acceptable to remove the dust from the dashboard of one's car.

I, just sitting there placidly dusting away, have changed someone's life for the better. Yes. Yes, I have.

3 comments:

Shari said...

Great idea to keep a duster in the car! I'll have to do that given that my dashboard is likely more like that neighboring car's with an inch worth of dust!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Shelley said...

Well, just be prepared for someone to give you a strange look, is all I can say. Hee!

Kbg said...

Keeping the world clean, one duster at a time, I see...I can just see you busily dusting away with your little ponytail bobbing and a big smile on your face with those flashy blue eyes...he probably wondered why he hadn't thought to do this before....