Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Greater Good; The Lesser Evil

"This year has been fucked up," he told me, with a sigh. First his motorcycle, parked outside his ground floor apartment and locked, was stolen. And while he was dealing with that blow (the police said, don't bother looking for it, if you did manage to get it back it would no longer in a safe condition to ride) he received a call to tell him that his name had been picked from a database for one of those Nigerian con schemes - where an email, purportedly from him had been sent to the other people on the database (people who knew and liked him) to put money into an account. Signed by him. But the account was in the UK and made out to one Duke or something.

He flopped down in front of me, frustrated. And I wondered too. Why do these things all seem to happen at once?

A thought whistled its way down the wind and alighted on my hair. "Sometimes bad stuff happens to prevent even badder stuff happening."


The thought repeated itself, rather miffed. Surely I had heard it the first time.

"Oh yeah? What about my accident in December? Only shit came out of that. I mean what with the problems with insurance and the workshop and getting the car back only a month later in that condition....what good could that have possibly served?"

The voice was silent. Later, much later, in fact a day later, as I ambled along the pavement in front of Jaya 33, heading for the post office to post off two very important cards, the answer came to me in the form of a question.

Disembodied Voice: "What were you planning to do if you had not been in that accident?"

Me: "I dunno, deliver gift baskets, do my errands, go back to JB?"

Disembodied Voice: "Yeah, but what else?"

And then I remembered. Tired as I was at the time, I had decided to undertake a foolhardy trip up north to deliver a gift basket. And if that was not enough, I intended to stop off at Penang and pack some banana leaf from Velu Villas to take with me. I now see how dumb the whole idea was. I also see what the larger evil could have been. That old female slamming into me and nearly killing me, could have very well saved my life.



So I wondered what my friend's greater evil would have been. What would he have done on his bike? Who would have died?

I couldn't tell him, of course. Being of a very skeptical frame of mind, he would have brushed the idea off, irritated. But it was comforting for me, nonetheless. He's one of those I'd like to have around for a long, long time.

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