Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm sure this is a great metaphor for something...

Two people are walking towards a bus stop. They both are in a hurry to get home because they're running a few minutes late and they promised their significant other/child/parent a nice evening outing. The bus whips by them before they get to the bus stop, and picks up a few people at the stop, then takes off quickly because it's behind schedule, leaving our subjects a few steps behind.

Person #1 waves his arms incredulously, as if it's impossible the bus driver couldn't obviously see that he wanted to get on the bus. He rages internally about how he'll be late, his evening will be ruined, how people will be upset with him, how life isn't fair, how this always happens to him, and why can't he ever get lucky. He gives the bus the finger and sullenly puts his head down and pouts at the bus stop.

Person #2 puts his head down and starts running after the bus. He figures he might as well give it a shot, he's late anyway and he's got nothing to lose. Besides, he wasn't at the bus stop yet, and the bus was, according to his watch, a little behind schedule anyway. And this'll be a good way to work off the extra donut he ate over lunchtime.

The next bus stop is just past some stop lights a bit further ahead. Person #2 looks up and notices the light has gone red and the bus is stopped behind it. If he can only get to the stop lights before they turn green, he'll be able to get to the bus stop on the other side and hop on. Person #1 mumbles to himself about the lack of courtesy of city bus drivers and kicks at the dirt.

The light turns green, and Person #2 never has to break stride and runs clear across the intersection to the bus stop, hopping on the bus. Person #1 finally looks up, sees what's happening, and starts sprinting like a madman towards the bus. But the light at the intersection goes red, and he has to stop, looking up and seeing the bus heading off into the distance. There will be no catching it now. Person #1 screams obscenities, and since he exerted himself and didn't get any further (well, maybe a half-block), he's even angrier than before.

Person #1 gets home 20 minutes late and in a bad mood. He already considers that his nice evening is ruined. He barks at his family, is rude to the waiter at the restaurant, doesn't talk to his date, and goes to bed regretful about how he intended on having a nice evening, but the stupid bus driver ruined it all.

Person #2 gets home on time and energized because his gamble to run after the bus paid off. He tells the story of his trip home to his family, who are flattered by the fact that he went to such an effort to make sure the evening took place as planned. Everyone enjoys their dinner, and go home, deciding that they don't want their evening to end just yet, and stop by the movie store to pick up a rental and some popcorn. Laughter is shared by all, and all go to bed happy.

What have we learned?