Not-So-Pleasant Ville

When I started coming to Mason for my class, I was amazed.  I had never been to a city before where everyone was actually nice and friendly.  My professor would give people tips on how to do good community reporting.  He would tell us good places to go to meet people and ways we could approach people.  And even though I was willing to listen to his advice, I didn’t need to.  No matter where I went in Mason, someone approached me and talked to me.  I was welcomed everywhere I went, and people were excited to help me.  Being in Mason put me in a better mood because everyone around me was in a good mood too.

I was taking a trip to the library one day, and I had a few friends with me.  I had told them before about this “pleasant ville,” but they didn’t believe me and just acted like it was too good to be true.  But, while we were at the library, I was waiting in line to ask the librarian a question.  The man in front of me turned around a few seconds after I walked up and just sparked up a conversation.  When he left my friends just looked at me and laughed.

I had to make copies on the five-year recreation plan which was like 40 pages long.  There was a guy sitting next to the copy machine reading.  I apologized that I was being loud because I had to insert so many coins.  He just chuckled and told me I was no bother.  My thoughts: of course…

Before I even started copying, the librarian walked an elderly man back there to show him where the machine was.  She told him when I was done he could use it.  But, he only had one paper in his hand, so I told him to go ahead.  And I told him I already put money it, but he could just go ahead and use it because I didn’t mind.

After that, my life basically flashed before my eyes.  The guy FLIPPED OUT and threw his paper, which fell behind the copy machine, and yelled “GOD DAMNIT!”

I stood there, frozen, hugging the recreation plan, trying to decide whether or not I could take my eyes off the crazy guy long enough to sneak a glance at the friendly guy.  Finally I did, and he looked just as shocked as me.

Meanwhile, the crazy guy was floppin around behind the copy machine trying to get his paper while he was bitching to me about insurance and the grand canyon, his son because he doesn’t want his house, the government because it’s corrupt, Americans because they’re stupid, and life in general pretty much because he had to make a copy…on a weekend.

But, I don’t know if any of you have ever seen the movie Falling Down.  If you have, he totally reminded me of Michael Douglas.  And I seriously thought I was going to die!  I wish someone would have been video taping because I would love to see my face.  I’ve never felt so awkward and shocked and scared all at once.

But, turns out, he was just a bitter old man.  He was pissed because he went somewhere else to make the copy, but the machine wasn’t working.  So, he was angry he had to make two trips in the first place.  But to top things off…he left his quarter in the machine.  A QUARTER!  I’m so glad my friends were in a different section of the library and didn’t see it…otherwise they probably would have thought I was crazy for all the credit I give to people being kind.

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