Friday, March 14, 2008

On the Side of the Road

Yesterday we were driving home from a long day in the town we do all our shopping (and most of our socializing) in. My thoughts were doing their usual thing, wandering around in a mysterious pattern, and I was paying little attention to the outside world, when I saw a man standing on the side of the road, holding a sign. People standing on the side of the road with all their worldly belongings and a sign tend to fascinate us, do they not? We have a fixation with misfortune. You agree?

My mom started to pull over, and I could see what the sign said.

“Enuff for a Happy Meal, please?”

My mom handed the man the coins she could find from her purse and said, “Here you go, sir.” Bless her. Kind of reminds me of Les Miserables, when the Bishop calls Valjean, ‘Monsier’: “Monsieur to a convict is a glass of water to a man dying of thirst at sea.”

I couldn’t stop thinking about that sign. How much does a Happy Meal from McDonalds cost? Six dollars? Less? I’ve never even thought about it before.

Gosh, it was so heartbreaking.

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