I visited one of my good mates the other day (whom I shall refer to as ‘Surfer Dude’), and was greeted by his wife (forever more to be known as ‘Master Artist’, or MA for short), who was engaged in conversation with a fuming man (whom I will refer to as ‘Angry Bird’).
After venting enough steam to run a power station for a month, Angry Bird left. MA explained that he was an old friend of Surfer Dude’s; he dropped down every month or so to pick up his mail (Angry Bird had used their address for this purpose for many years). He had just returned from a long yacht trip up the coast with a friend, who had unceremoniously dumped him on a remote beach when the two of them realised they couldn’t be on the same boat together without killing each other.
Angry Bird had an anger management problem; his temper would rise to the point where he would lose it – almost having a psychotic break. This issue would often arise when he recounted events that made him upset, as he had while talking to MA earlier.
MA explained that she had been a bit worried about his rising ire and that she had prayed for Surfer Dude to come home from the beach. I had knocked on the door, effectively answering that prayer.
“I’ve never worried about him before,” MA said. “I didn’t think he would hurt me, but I was a little concerned.”
“If he’s using this place as his home address,” I said. “It might not be on the up and up.”
“Angry Bird isn’t the kind of person who would do something dishonest,” said MA. “He’s a very intelligent man who goes out of his way to help people.”
Surfer Dude arrived home not long after. “Yeah, the address thing is obviously dodgy,” he said.
(Alpha Girl looks over my shoulder as I type. “So what’s this about?” she says.
“Friends who take advantage,” I reply.
“Hah! You’re no expert on that,” she says. “You don’t have any friends.”)
So what’s the point of this story?
Have you ever had a friend who has stretched the friendship just that little bit too far – taken advantage of you in some way? It could be stealing your world-changing idea and making millions, or building their motorcycle in your front room, or turning up on your doorstep after a decade away looking for a place to stay and asking you to change their colostomy bag.…
I’m talking about people you consider good friends, people you would bend over backwards for (so, no, not your Facebook friends).
Now’s your chance to blow off some steam – share your experience in the comment box below (but don’t use any real names).
Go on, you know you want to.
(Alpha Girl frowns. “That’s it? You’re getting readers to write the blog for you, now?”
“I call it ‘writer/readers Hanging Out about not so Positive Experiences’ or HOPE, for short,” I reply.
“More like ‘writer Suggests High-minded Idea Terribly’,” she says. “Or SHIT.”)