For full effect, download “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson and/or Jimmy Buffet and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Their liquor-laced lyrics will tell you all you need to know.
For this ethical dilemma, the curtain opens just outside of a local gas station where our hero, Brett Van Delay, is standing in front of a Redbox returning his copy of some B-list movie just released. Yes that’s right kids, he has no life. His eternal companion is Redbox.
Seated to his left on the sidewalk is his counterpart, Motorcycle Mark. Motorcycle Mark has been plopped in front of the local gas station for a few hours now. So far his mediocre life hasn’t really amounted to much. But tonight just might be his lucky night. The night where everything comes together for him. Motorcycle Mark sees that Brett Van Delay is having a hard time selecting his next movie/companion, so with a quick swoop, he loads his conniving cannon and goes to work.
Motorcycle Mark: “Hey Mr. you gotta minute?” Brett Van Delay looks over at the middle-aged chap with clothes that haven’t been washed since 2009, and bloodshot red eyes as their mate.
Brett Van Delay: “Yeah, whatsup?”
Motorcycle Mark: “Well, see the thing is, I’m in a bit of a bind ya see, my motorcycle is out of fuel, and I gotta be in Phoenix by tomorrow. And the thing is, I lost my wallet on the way down here, so I don’t have any way to refuel. Do you got any cash you could spare for me?”
Brett sizes the man up and down, and glances around at the given surroundings. The man smells like a Long Island Iced Tea, and in the background across the street is the town’s local bar, “The One and Only”. In this moment, Brett poses a response that is the ultimatum in his decision to be a Good Samaritan.
Brett Van Delay: “Well, I could fill up your bike’s tank if you want, where’s it at, and I’ll just use my credit card to fill it up.”
Motorcycle Mark steps back and gives his retaliation, “Oh no, that’s too much trouble for you to do. If you just have any extra cash, I’ll just add it to what everyone else has given me so that I can put a full tank in later. Do you have any extra cash on ya?”
In Brett Van Delay’s wallet sits a $50, a $20, and two $10 bills.
Brett Van Delay: with a sour smile on his face. “Sorry man, I don’t have any cash on me.” Turning his gaze back to the Redbox, he ignores the alcoholic beggar and goes back to fetching a new flick.
Is it wrong for him to be dishonest to the poor, a man who more than likely will go waste away the “gas money” on a shot of tequila, salt and lime? With this being the Christmas season, would the person whose birth we are celebrating spare a spot of silver for this drifting drunk? Is it wrong to be selfish with your spendings, especially if they are only going to be splurged on a gin and tonic? I toss the four-worded rhetorical inquiry in your direction once again my fellow readers:
You be the judge.