The Bearded Teen
A little gratitude please
The bearded teen hadn’t been on his bike long before he had horns honking and pedestrians yelling at him.
With one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding his cell phone, he texted with his thumb while slowly meandering down the two-lane road. He wore no helmet or safety gear, and rode on a one-speed beach bike.
When he broke through a small barricade and sloshed through freshly poured concrete, it caught his attention.
The sudden lack of forward movement slowed his progress. His bike tipped over and he had one foot in the wet concrete.
Six hardhat men ran to him with rage in their eyes.
He said, “I’ll sue.”
Walking out of the concrete and then lifting his bike to solid ground, the bearded teen stomped his feet to get the concrete off and did the same with his bike.
“Sue? There was a barricade warning you not to go any further, you blooming idiot.”
“Frank, Frank, go easy on the boy. Look at ‘im. He’s pathetic. Concrete on his feet that he can’t get off and his spokes are hardening even now.”
The supervisor turned to the boy. “Son, go ahead back to your texting. Don’t mind us. We’re just poor shlubs trying to make the world a better place while you go about making your world a better place through your texts and tweets maybe.”
The teen squinted at the supervisor and looked at each of the workers.
“Go on,” the supervisor said. “Text away. Don’t mind us. We’ll take care of this.”
“I’m glad you’re able to see it that way,” the teen said.
“What’s your problem? I didn’t thank anybody.”
“Yeah, but you should’ve because you probably don’t realize this – what with all your texting and all – but there were five guys here ready to rip your head off 45 seconds ago.”
The bearded teen froze and looked at each of the well-tanned, muscular men without moving his head. All six were grinning. He could feel the intensity because those weren’t ‘glad to know you’ grins. The teen assessed his options during his scan.
“Thanks and…sorry about the mess.”