Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Virtue of Helpfulness

Cartoon by Ken Pyne

I was granted the opportunity to be helpful yesterday when Heddy, the instructor in an afternoon class prior to mine, had apparently forgotten her coffee cup and what I assumed to be her USB clip. I had five minutes to spare before class, so I went looking for her, but another teacher, Carolyn, turned out to be substituting for Heddy, so I ended up on a wild goose chase that eventually led back to the classroom, where I found the substitute teacher -- Carolyn, of course, whom I'd earlier encountered in the hallway before realizing that she was substituting, and who now understood why we'd passed each other a couple of minutes before. She greeted me with a smile of thanks for the effort I'd made, took her cup, and accepted the USB, informing me that a student had probably left it and that she'd see that the girl get it back. I later received a thoughtful thanks from Carolyn:
Dear Jeffery,

Thank you for picking up my tumbler, and my student's usb today.

I'm teaching Heddy's class while she's gone and had to hurry to my next class.

I appreciate it,


I responded in my typically thoughtful manner:
Dear Caroline,

No problem. I'm always glad for the opportunity to seem nicer than I am.



And I meant that sincerely, for I secretly begrudge my every act of helpfulness and only care about appearances and thus merely hypocritically perform good deeds, and I'm only letting everyone in on the truth about my actual character in an effort to appear deeply helpful to readers who want to know me better. In that spirit, let me urge readers to click over to Ken Pyne's amusing cartoon page for more of his humor and perhaps some of his purchasable cards.

No thanks necessary. Glad to be of assistance.

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At 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think she was just looking for an opportunity to impress you by using the word "tumbler."


At 7:13 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps. The cup certainly didn't appear to have any connection to gymnastics . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JK & I are still waiting our turn to find you being nicer to us than you actually are.
However, being obtuse, otiose, and even abstruse, we probably wouldn't recognize your cynicism.

Someday I will look up those words in the dictionary to find out what they mean.


At 3:19 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The word "obtuse" refers to an angle so large that it's actually smaller. Knowing the meaning of "otiose" serves no practical purpose, and "abstruse" is too difficult for me to understand.

Glad to have been of assistance.

Jeffery Hodges

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