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Random Act of Mistakes

Are you one of those people who are in control of your thoughts and actions most of the time? Yeah, me too.

But yesterday, when I was home, minding my own business, doing my own thang, a man knocked on my door and before I could stop myself, not only did I answer the door, but I let him in to my house.

I don’t normally let the unknown walk through the doors, matter of fact, they are normally met by a disturbed me with my 9 mm in hand. I never have to say much. Strangely, they leave pretty fast all on their own.

Must have been something wrong with me yesterday. No other reason for me to allow him in.

He didn’t waste any time with his business once inside. He looked a bit tired, and his shirt was soaked from the 117° heat index we were experiencing. That did not, I’ll have you know, factor in to my niceness.

He was some volunteer, do-gooder, asking for money to buy bandages, medicines, fuel for the boats and Chinese lanterns. At least I think he asked for the last one.

“We ask for $50, he said. “But any amount you can donate would help. You can even date your check for whatever day works with your pay schedule. Did I tell you it’s tax deductible?”

Hmmmm thinks I. My father used to be a volunteer something or other. One time he was a volunteer shovel holder. That was the official title. The job was less dignified. The actual position was holding the shovel under the elephant’s hind end, in a parade, to keep elephant deposits off the street. I have a fondness for volunteer something or others.

I bit.

“Let me see what I can do for you,” I said as I moved toward my purse.

Before I could stop my kindness I wrote a check to the volunteer something or other for $50, handed it to him and got my receipt along with a certificate for a free family portrait that will end up costing me more than the check, the kindness, and the value of his volunteer hours for the next 17 years.

I filed the receipt. I recycled the certificate.

He left.

I went back to my very own business.

This morning I thought about my act of kindness and wondered what had come over me. I then remembered his words, “you can date the check for whatever works with your pay schedule.”

I dated the check for March 31, 2054. I think my pay schedule can handle it by then. I also plan on celebrating and committing some random act of kindness on my 100th birthday.

From the life and mind of:

Wanda M. Argersinger

© 2010 All Rights Reserved


About Wanda Argersinger


  1. Oh, Wanda, that’s funny. It will be interesting to watch your bank statement next month and I’m betting that they will cash it anyway. People just aren’t as careful as they used to be.

    This reminds me of how I used to hate those dreaded phone solicitors. Then one day (I don’t know what came over me) I figured out how to get even. I let the fellow finish his whole spiel, then I said, “OK, I’ve listened to your stuff. Now you have to listen to mine. I asked him if he was at a computer, and of course, most of them are. He said he was, so I asked him to pull up amazon.com, which he did. He said, “Now what”? I told him to do a search in books for Janet Elaine Smith. He did, then asked, “Now what?” I told him those are all my books, and what did he like to read. It’s amazing how many books I’ve sold to phone peddlers that way! Making lemonade out of lemons. I really get upset anymore when a whole week goes by without getting a phone marketer!
    Janet Elaine Smith, multi-genre author

  2. So funny, Wanda. Unfortunately, I think the bank will cash it anyway. Janet has a great idea. It might work on door-to-door also. Just keep a stack by your front door and say, “I will, if you will.”

  3. I had a young man come to my door yesterday trying to sell me test prep materials for students taking the ACT or SAT. I told him my kids made 30, 29, and 28 on the ACT without using any kind of prep. In fact, my son went all-night bowling the night before he took it and still made 30. He wished me good day and left. 😉

  4. Yep, your random act of kindness just cost you $50. Banks never look at dates. I’ve tried it too many times. Very funny! On phone solicitors I usually pull the “Can ya hold jest a sec, HEY BUBBA, GET THEM PIGS OUT OF THE KITCHEN. now what was it you was a saying, hold on just a minute…THEM CHICKENS IS FOR SUNDAY. I DON’T CARE IF YOU ALREADY STARTED, PUT THE HEADS BACK ON. IT AIN’T SUNDAY YET. Now what kin I do for you young fell…” Works every time.

  5. Post-dated check! That’s a good one, Wanda.

  6. So funny. So delightful. And I love Janet’s idea. I’m going to have to try that myself. It’ll have to be dollar for dollar though. As soon as I see the royalty check with $50 on it, I’ll buy whatever you’re selling.

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