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Life is only what you wonder.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Beautiful People

Yesterday evening at work, I was assigned the Banquet Room, which would have pissed me off if there hadn't been a large party (of 57 people) scheduled.
The group turned out to be a busload of kids (High School age) and their teachers from a Special Education school. These were kids who were mentally retarded for one reason or another.
It was one of the nicest groups that I ever served. All the kids were very nice and polite.
One girl, after finishing everything in front of her, called to me.
    "Mister Jimmy! I ate it all up!" she said giggling and pointing to her plate.
    "That's great!" I replied while clearing dishes from the table, "You're a member of the Clean Plate Club!"
    "Hey, everybody!" she exclaimed with delight, "I'm a member of the Clean Plate Club!"
She was just radiant. That's the only way I can think of to describe her. And something about that touched me deep inside in a way I can't describe.
And just as I was feeling this incredible feeling that there actually was some goodness and innocence and purity in this world, of course something came along to spoil it all.
That "something" turned out to be Leo, one of our dishwashers who was on his way to the restroom. He sees a boy from the group who's also on his way to the restroom.
    "Jesus," he says to me with a smug sneer on his face, "What the Hell do you call that?"
    "He has Down's Syndrome," I said evenly, trying hard to keep my composure, "In other words, he was born that way. What's your excuse?"
And then I walked away before I said something I'd regret later.

Things like that make me ashamed to be a member of the Human Race.
My faith in Human Nature takes such a pounding sometimes that I'm amazed it still exists.