One of the best parts of having friends is that when you are out and you need to use the restroom, a friend can watch your stuff. Otherwise you would have to leave your unattended belongings at the risk of being stolen. Agreeing to watch someone’s stuff is a commitment that I take seriously. I almost feel like I need to make the following disclaimer, “I will watch your stuff but only within reason. If the person gets really aggressive or violent about stealing it, I have to be honest, I will probably just let them steal it.”
Now this stuff may be of little value, but that does not matter. What does matter is that you are maintaining balance in the world at a time when someone is most vulnerable (going to the bathroom).
Arnold sees Beth across the coffee shop at a table. She has a textbook, a notepad, and a laptop open on the table.
Arnold: Hey Beth, sorry I’m late.
Beth: No problem, I was hoping you would get here soon so you could watch my stuff. I’m going to run to the bathroom real quick. Then we’ll get to studying.
Arnold: So you’re just using me?
Both Arnold and Beth laugh.
Beth leaves the table for the bathroom. Arnold removes his laptop from his satchel bag and sets it on the table. A stranger walks up to the table, closes Beth’s laptop, and starts to pick it up.
Arnold stand up out of his chair.
Arnold: What are you doing?
Arnold: Yeah you.
Stranger: Oh, I’m taking this laptop and probably this textbook and notepad too.
Arnold: Dude, that’s my friend’s stuff.
Stranger: What are you going to do about?
Arnold: Assertively tell you not to take it.
Stranger: I’m so scared right now.
The stranger is not scared.
Arnold: Or yell.
Stranger: Everyone in here is listening to their own music. People don’t observe the world around them anymore. No one would even hear you.
Arnold looks around the coffee shop. All the people have ear buds in.
Arnold: Well maybe I’ll fight you then. How about that?
Stranger: Have you ever been in a fight before?
Arnold: No, no I have not.
Stranger: Then now is not the time to start.
The stranger pats Arnold on the back, picks up the laptop, textbook, and notepad and exits the coffee shop.
Arnold sits back down, thrusts his elbows on the table, and holds his head in his hands.
Beth returns to the table.
Beth: Arnold, where’s my stuff?
Arnold: Beth, before you say anything else, I want to you remind you that technically you said to “watch” your stuff. Which I did. I just unfortunately happened to watch it get stolen.