26 April 2009

What Being an Anarchist is all About

There are people I see in my everyday life I recognize easily enough but do not know. There are a lot of people like that in all our lives now. Not many of us go fishing on a Sunday afternoon with our butcher or our candle stick maker any more. Much of the human contact in our lives is very incidental.

I was behind one of these nameless people in my life as we waited for a red light to be replaced with a green one. He was with his boys in their Volkswagen. Squareheads around here fucking near all drive German makes. One of the boys' backpack was sitting on the Volksie's trunk.

I looked around real careful to make sure it was safe for me to step out into the middle of the road. If you have ever gotten out of your car in an intersection you know what a vulnerable feeling it is to be on foot, in a black sea of asphalt, with all these demented people swerving around in their cars like John van Dongen.

I grabbed the pack and scooted over to the driver's window, knocked, and asked, "One of your boys missing a backpack?" He recognized it, and his boy's good luck, and he rolled down the window and said, "Thanks a lot."

As I was hurrying back to my car I could see the other drivers watching had gotten a chuckle out of the boy forgetting his pack on the trunk. We all fuck up. Fucking up is every bit as inevitable as death and taxes. Then the boy whose pack it was leaned out of the car and yelled, "Thanks mister!"

Being neighbourly is what being an Anarchist is all about.


Jon said...

Great story.

Today I went to a retirement party for a guy I've known more than twenty years. My peers have started retiring.

As I was leaving, I stopped to thank my friend for a good twenty years and a nice party. He was a bit drunk, but in a sweet sort of way. He thanked me for the good times we have had, but then he said something great: "We've all done a great thing together man. That job could have been hell, but we all helped each other and looked out for each other. That made it into heaven. That's the only difference."

I'll be telling that story for years to come.

ib said...

Going fishing with the butcher and the candlestick maker.


Be glad you were not mistakenly shot for perceived robbery.

Laila said...

Super story Beer. Pretty darn sweet for an anarchist.... : )

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Anarchists are known for splintering into tiny sub-groups like an tall hemlock in a hurricane. Perhaps I am a Lollipop Anarchist.

Gazetteer said...

Of course, the irony is that one of those intersection cameras that van Dongen set-up to catch anarchists splintering into niceness very likely snapped a photo or three of Mr. Beer approaching the other car, on foot, in a manner which was perceived, based purely on the context, to be malice aforethought....

As a result, it is entirely possible that Mr. Beer's grainy image has already been deposited in the Interpol folder marked 'potential car jackers who did poetry'.

Or some such thing.


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Giving assistance is associated with all manner of risk. Look at what happened to those RCMP trying to help that poor man from Poland. All they were doing was helping and they end up getting screwed.

Gazetteer said...


Now I get it.

If Mr. D. had only had the foresight to have a backpack on his person he would have been just fine....