Monday, May 29, 2017

In which Primo does not want to give a ride to Capital City to some weird guy

Primo: This guy wants a ride with me to the party convention.

Me: So? Isn't that the environmentally responsible thing to do - to carpool?

Primo: Yes, but he's really weird.

Me: Like how?

Primo: Well, he always asks people for rides - he doesn't have a car.

Me: Why doesn't he take the bus?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: What kind of job does he have?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: How old is he?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: How can you not know these things?

Primo: Because I don't know him! He asks perfect strangers for rides!

Me: Oh! Yes, that's a little presumptuous. Have you given him a ride before?

Primo: Yes, and that's why I don't want to do it again.

Me: What has he done to reciprocate?

Primo: What do you mean?

Me: I mean, how is he returning the favor? When I was in grad school, in one of my classes, my professor talked about their being three principles that are constant across all cultures: the taboo against incest, the principle of hospitality, and the principle of reciprocity. It's part of our social contract - that you don't expect to get a favor without giving a favor. Does he buy you a coffee? Does he offer to help pay for gas?

Primo: Nope.

Me: He is not doing it right!

Primo: And he's just odd. The first time I met him was a few years ago - that night at the mayor's campaign party -

Me: The one where your car was towed?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Yeah, that was fabulous.

Primo: It was raining that night. I don't know if he walked or took the bus or what, but he was wearing one of those dollar store ponchos.

Me: OK. To keep the rain off him.

Primo: Yes. But he kept it on ALL NIGHT LONG. He was inside. There was no rain. But he was still wearing his rain poncho!

Me: You can tell him that I am taking the bus to meet you in Capital City and we are spending the weekend there so you can't give him a ride. This guy is too strange.

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