When all’s said and done, I’ve done little to nothing to fix anything in mine or anyone else’s life. My record of helping is miniscule as well. I did a fair job at it professionally but off the rock and the clock my contribution has been wanting. I find my calling in this area to be as a kibbitzer or to put it more aesthetically, consultant. If I find a friend or associate faced with a dilemma and am asked, I will offer an observation to allow the decision making to remain where it belongs. I step away removing myself from the matter. I may one day learn of the outcome or any resolution of the concern or not. By limiting my participation in this effort, I lessen my responsibility, if only in perception.
Addressing any personal quandaries, I sometimes offer even less. I find if I devote the absolute minimum effort to personal problem solving, less can go wrong. If an employee from the utility company is at my door, I plead for mercy from the wrench wielding intruder. I explain my aunt Minnie is inside on an iron lung. They respond, “there’s no record of that.” I look at them as incredulously as I can muster and say, “well with the iron lung and all, she can hardly be expected to phone in.” Luckily, this person is kind hearted and hasn’t a clue. “Ok, I’ll drop a line to the central office after my shift. Sorry for bothering you and your aunt, have a nice day.” If my ruse is unsuccessful I immediately grab my newspaper in preparation for heading to Sal’s Shot and A Beer Joint.
I have always held, there is no problem too big to ignore. An irate girlfriend after discovering she shares me with another? Let her go. This control problem of her’s would likely have followed her into a dysfunctional relationship she created. Nip it in the bud. I’ve always thought hugs to be a step in the right direction. When faced with fisticuffs in a tavern, I’ve sometimes recommended a group hug. If the mood of recalcitrance has sped by that particular exit, “why don’t you hug my nuts” is often more apropos. By this point, cocktails should have been replaced with long neck beer bottles. A favorite move is to yell, “you may not love our flag, but by God I do.” All patriot bar patrons immediately assemble for battle. A swift nose and chin combination and out the door you go, leaving the melee behind. You will shake your head tomorrow reading about the brouhaha in the local newspaper while relaxing in your hammock.
What I’ve described is a last ditch effort. I guess what I’m saying is, helping and fixing things is best avoided. However, if someone approaches you growling and dragging his knuckles on the ground asking, “aren’t you the MFer who started that fight about the flag?” Play it on the safe side, pass on the hugs and grab a long neck.