I haven’t written anything new for a couple of weeks and that’s because I’ve been busy getting ready for my cross-country tour of Canada. But something weird happened recently that I just had to share with you.
I was on the first leg of my daily walk along the promenade/beach in White Rock, when I noticed a shiny, red Rolls Royce pulling into the parking lot.
‘Oh, here we go’ I thought, ‘another rich, spoiled, yuppie showing off in his Daddy’s car!’
Suddenly, I felt an onrush of envy flooding the depths of my being.
“Stop!” I screamed to myself, “why should you be jealous of someone, just because they have a nice car and lots of money?”
I continued my walk and continued to think about the silliness that had almost consumed me. I have seldom felt jealousy or envy in my otherwise normal existence – but that’s not bragging – it’s just that I have seen how it has affected other people. Jealousy and envy might motivate some people but I have always been motivated by hunger – because I spent the latter part of my teenage years living on my own and I can remember many days going hungry. Thankfully, my girlfriend at the time worked part-time as a waitress at her Dad’s restaurant in Oshawa, Ontario and I got many a plate of fries and gravy while waiting for her to finish her shift.
So even though I seldom feel jealousy or envy, I hate it when people “flaunt or show off” their expensive toys. And that day was no exception because on the return leg of my walk I passed the shiny, red Rolls Royce in the parking lot and there were several people (all men) gathered around this older gentleman who was all dressed in red, including his red shoes and socks!
“Oh just ignore him, you fools!” I thought as I continued walking.
For the next 2 days I noticed that same old gentleman standing beside his Rolls Royce with a Swiffer (feather duster) in each hand. And on each day there was a crowd of men standing around the car – their eyes green with envy and despair. I actually heard the older gentleman ask if any of them wanted to sit in the car?
“Don’t encourage him!” I screamed to myself at the exact same time that I tripped and fell to the pavement – directly in front of the parked, shiny red Rolls Royce. But before I could gather myself to get up I felt a man’s hand on my shoulder.
“Here my friend, let me give you a hand” the older gentleman offered. He then helped me to my feet – while some of the onlookers were actually chuckling at my misfortune. BTW, ‘chuckling’ is a man’s way of giggling. I could tell by his accent that he was from England – probably from the Luton area. One of my oldest friends (Geoff L.) and one of my prettiest (Harinder A.) are from there so I knew that he must be a wonderful person – despite his shiny, red Rolls Royce.
“My name is Peter” he said as he offered his hand, “are you okay?”
“Yes thanks, I’m Danny and I’m okay” I grimaced.
Peter led me to the rear of his car and opened the trunk. Inside the trunk was a large red duffel bag and one smaller red bag, which was a first aid kit. I have one of the exact ones in my car, so at least we had that in common (but I resisted the temptation to ask him how much he paid for his first aid kit). He offered to render some medical assistance but aside from a few scratches on my hand and a bruised male ego, I was fine – so I politely told him that I was okay but that I appreciated his help.
And then there was that awkward silence that always follows this type of situation.
“What year is your Rolls?” I asked.
“It’s a ’91 but it has been off the road for 17 years” Peter explained. “It was owned by an old guy in West Van who had also owned a dozen other luxury cars – all parked in a very large garage. He even owned a Lamborghini. But due to an illness he hadn’t driven any of the vehicles for many years – he died recently and I bought the Rolls from the estate.”
We stared at each other for a moment and then I replied “But he couldn’t take any of them with him!”
“No, he definitely couldn’t,” agreed Peter.
Again I resisted the temptation to ask how much he paid for his shiny, red ’91 Rolls Royce.
“Here, have a sitdown in the car” he offered.
And as I sat in the driver’s seat of the shiny, red ’91 Rolls Royce, I thought about how wrong first impressions can be. And I also felt a pain in my heart – I missed having my Great White Shark even more now. BTW, you can view the Great White Shark here http://danielstandrews.com/2014/09/08/the-great-white-shark/ .