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He Means Well

Benny means well, he really does. C’mon, didn’t he go and get your car washed for you? You’ve got to love him for that. OK, maybe he shouldn’t have taken your keys without asking or leaving a note so you wouldn’t worry and call the police, but really he meant well. He thought what a nice gift it would be for you to have a clean car, especially after he spilled his milkshake all over the seats and carpet last week at lunch. But really, that wasn’t his fault. The kids in the back seat were throwing spitballs at his head and he was just reaching around to grab one of them by the throat and he wasn’t looking at the milkshake. Who could have imagined that one tutti-frutti milkshake would have made such a mess? And he’s really sorry that it got all over your iPod, but those things are very durable, I’m told. I’m sure after it dries out for a couple more days, or certainly a couple of weeks, it’ll work again, good as new.

The car wash did a wonderful job cleaning up the spill and they said they got most of it out, just the smell will be a problem, but not this time of year when everything’s frozen. At least until the car heats up, and, of course, in the summer it might get a bit nasty, but you can open the windows then, or do like they said: use one of those air fresheners that you hang from the rear view mirror. Benny even bought one for you; I think it’s a pine-scented football — it looks so cute. I know it smells a little like the cakes they put in the urinals at the stadium, but that’s part of the charm of it. You see that football and you think of the old stadium and what is more quintessentially old stadium than the smell of the men’s urinals, right? Truly, Benny means well.

So he’s really sorry that when he was driving your car home from the car wash, he ran into that other guy who was obviously not paying attention, going right through the red light. Or maybe it was a stop sign, or a bus stop sign, but still, I don’t know why the police didn’t cite him for something, and why they arrested Benny. Well, I do know why they arrested Benny: He was driving with a suspended license, and you had reported the car stolen, so there was that. But really, don’t you think you should bail him out? He was only trying to help you. He was only trying to make things right.

Benny does the best he can. I know you must still be mad at him for losing your laptop and all those important papers that you had in the trunk of your car. But he was only trying to do a good deed. He figured that while he was out, he’d take all that stuff and donate it to the Goodwill. He’d heard you talking about how you had stuff in your trunk to donate to charity and he figured he’d help out by doing it for you. How was he supposed to know that one of the boxes back there had your computer and all the books and research for your Master’s thesis? It all looked the same to him. If he put it in the bin for the Goodwill, then I’m sure it’s still there somewhere. We talked to the volunteers; they know you’re looking for that stuff, so I’m sure someone will find it and return it to you. At least I’m sure you’ll get back the papers and books — nobody would have any use for those. OK, somebody might have made off with the computer — they don’t have any record of receiving that but, c’mon, you have a back-up, don’t you? Really? You didn’t back up any of it? Oh gosh, you know you should always back up valuable work like that. Oh, you did back it up, but the back-up was also in the trunk and that’s missing, too? Well I’m sure it’ll all turn out for the best. It’ll all show up unless maybe it was meant to be. Maybe God didn’t want you to have that paper as your Master’s thesis. Maybe you’re supposed to write a different paper and this is His way of motivating you to research a different subject instead. OK, so your paper is due next week and it was almost finished. I’m sure your professors will be understanding once they hear what happened. Why don’t you bail Benny out of jail and I know he would be happy to go to the university and clarify the whole situation to your professors or your Dean or the financial aid people or whoever he needs to explain it to. Give him a chance to make amends.

OK, so this isn’t the first time he’s screwed up, and it won’t be the last, but screw-ups are just a part of life. All these things only have a negative meaning because we give them a negative meaning. You just have to come up with a different interpretation. No, he’s not trying to kill you; that only happened that one time when he was off his meds for a month. We’re trying to make sure that never happens again — we’ve been watching him much more closely every morning when he takes his pills. So c’mon, have a heart, he loves you, he’s your brother, give him another chance. You know he means well.

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