Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tactical Test 9/15/09

Thursday, August 21, 2008
12:03:20 AM EDT

Tactical Test

Who can protest and does not,
is an accomplice to the act.

The Talmud

I am fortunate to live in a country where protests are legal. If my government does something wrong, or doesn't do something right (what! oh, no! never!) thousands of people will come out to protest, and it usually gets some results. But a protest can also be small and individual.

I was called upon to take over a role with 2 days notice. I had to take a long bus ride to get to the job. By the time I reached my destination I knew half the role.

I was put up at a company house with a family; parents and two sons. He was a teacher on vacation, she was an actress in the show, the older son was college age, the younger one was in his mid teens. Upon my arrival the younger boy set to work helping me to learn the rest of the script. And he was tireless. He made sure I knew the whole part word perfect. He was so generous with his time that I wanted to do something nice to repay him, but he said he didn't want anything. However, I got my chance.

I noticed that the older boy did not like his younger brother and would put him down at any available moment.

About a week later, on a dark night (which means a night in which there is no performance) we all enjoyed an al fresco supper in the back yard. We set up a table and the five of us sat around and ate.

After supper the conversation turned to current events and politics. People expressed various opinions and questions. When the younger boy spoke up his brother said "Oh you. What do you know about anything?"

"Well, I've read some articles, and..."

"Oh, swell. You read an article and now I suppose you think you're an authority on everything?"

"No, but...."

This harangue kept up.

What puzzled me was why one parent or the other didn't step in to put a stop to it. I wasn't in that family and didn't know the story so it wasn't any of my business. But it was happening in public, and since I was "the public" I finally got tired of listening to it, and if the namby parents weren't going to protest, I was.

I don't remember the exact words, but it went something like this:

"You two guys are brothers, right?"

"Yes. Unfortunately." the older one said.

"Well, when I first got here, your brother was a great help to me. He knuckled right down and helped me learn the role and stayed with me until I knew the whole play. And for that I admire and respect him very much. And I don't want to sit at this table and listen to you insult him. FIND A DIFFERENT TOPIC!"

There was a silence while everyone looked at him. Shortly after he got up and left the table. His parents and I talked about something else.

I don't understand why nobody told this creep to shut up long before I had to.

I thought that maybe his younger brother would grow up, get some power and knock his sibling on to some other backyard someday. But probably not, He was too nice a guy.

DB - Vagabond Journeys

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