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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Poor Bob

ME: Are we supposed to put out our trash tonight? Or is it delayed?
MICE ELF: I don't know. How do I know? 
CP: If you're like me, you have a Bob. 
ME & MICE ELF: <confused looks> Huh?
CP: Bob is our local neighbourhood friend. A number of years ago, Bob started posting in our community Facebook page the trash delivery schedule around holidays. 
ME: How nice of him. 
CP: Well, I thought it was nice in a saccharine way. Sweet, yes. Unnecessary, definitely. Have we really gotten to the point that we don't know when to take out the trash without someone posting it to our community page? We are adults. We've lived our entire lives without someone reminding us it's trash night. 
MICE ELF: But what if you forget? Or it actually got pushed a day? How dreadful!
CP: Seriously. It either sits on the curb an extra day or I miss it and take it out next week at its regularly scheduled broadcast time. 
ME: I have a feeling this is more allegorical than you are letting on. 
CP: Quite right. It's the struggle of the pharmacy and the pharmacist. We used to allow people to call in their own refills. 
ME & MICE ELF: <in horror> GASP!
CP: Right! We used to believe that people, especially adults, were completely capable of recognising their bottles were nearly empty and trusted them, WE TRUSTED THEM!, to call in their own refills. 
MICE ELF: What happened?
ME: Yeah. What happened?
CP: We started to fill them for them. "Courtesy refills" we called them 
ME: Ghastly! 
MICE ELF: The horror. The horror! 
CP: What happened to us is the same thing that befell Poor Bob. For years he reminded our community to place our bins at the curb on the proper night. One night, a night much like this one, he didn't post a reminder. Did he forget? Was he imperiled? None knew. The only echoes on the page that night were of lost souls seeking guidance. Bob? Hey Bob? Do I put out the bins tonight? People became angry with Bob. What was at first an overly sweet, caring gesture had become an expectation. He was the torchbearer for proper trash disposal all around town! If we couldn't rely on him to guide us, what were we going to do? 
ME: Call the local trash company? 
CP: <sniffling> No one knows the number. Bob knew it. That's all we needed to know. 
MICE ELF: Check out the trash company's website? 
CP: <howling in anguish> And trash poor Bob like that? All we know is the Facebook page. Without it we are lost. He is our beacon. Why would we go directly to the source? To the company itself when we have BOB!?
ME: Did people blame Bob? 
CP: They did. Many unfriended Bob. Physically and emotionally, not on actual Facebook. They still needed to be good neighbours on there and find out about the local picnic and parades. But they were distant on the sidewalks, let me tell you. 
MICE ELF: All these poor people made fun of Bob for doing a nice thing out of the goodness of his heart and then they expected it of him and so turned on him the one time he didn't deliver. 
ME: Like refilling patients' refills automatically is somehow our job. Well done. 
MICE ELF: What happened to Bob?
CP: Huh? Oh. No clue. I took my bins out like I always do. Either they get picked up or they sit another night. I'm sure he's okay. I guess we'll find out Labor Day. 

What at first appears as consideration, later devolves into obligation and expectation. 

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