People make mistakes. We’re flawed. It’s what we do.
While that sounds like an overly-simplistic humanitarian view of society at large, the fact remains that people sometimes screw up over the course of their lives. It’s been said that the true measure of a person’s character is not how hard an individual falls, but how quickly that person gets back up again.
As Americans, we’re notoriously forgiving. As much as we collectively get some kind of perverse satisfaction out of building up celebrities only to see them crash and burn in front of our very eyes, we’re also very quick to applaud and respect that individual if he or she bounces back.
However, sometimes there are certain patterns of behavior in individuals that make us think that incidents are not isolated mistakes or lapses in judgement. For instance, let’s take a look at a 55-year-old woman in New Hampshire earlier this month.
An Associated Press story reported that the woman was charged with driving while intoxicated following a Jan. 16 crash. She was then charched with the same offense five days later, when she reportedly crashed into a guardrail.
Then, on Friday, Jan. 22, the woman was arrested again after she was accused of driving without her lights on and rear-ended a pickup truck, which subsequently struck another vehicle, according to the story. That’s three DUI arrests in six days, according to my math.
Yeah, that could be a pattern of behavior — not a mistake.
Of course, not all mistakes manifest themselves in chronic illegal behavior. Doctors in Peru made a mistake recently when they were to amputate the leg of a man who had an ulcer that was in danger of becoming a spreading infection, according to a Reuters story.
It would appear that the doctors, well, amputated the wrong leg. The man had to have the other leg amputated, as well, and the doctors involved have since been suspended pending an investigation.
I’m guessing it won’t take Adrian Monk to investigate this case. Guy goes in with two legs. Was supposed to have one amputated. Left with zero legs.
I’m no Perry Mason, but I like my own chances of representing the man and getting a nice commission out of this deal.
“Your honor, the man has no legs. The plaintiff rests.”
Of course, some mistakes are not necessarily visible ones like driving drunk on a daily basis or accidentally amputating limbs. Some are ideas that probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place, and most certainly should not have been approved by someone hearing that idea.
For example, three British Holiday Inn hotels will be trying a new bed-warming service, according to Reuters. Now, that seems kind of nice on the surface, right? Get into a nice toasty bed after a cold day and drift off into Slumberland with a big, satisfied smile on your face ... yeah, that just sounds good to me.
However, this is not a hot water bottle or electric blanket solution here. No, no, no. The hotels will have staff members get into fleece sleepers and crawl under your covers to make sure the bed is nice and warm for you after a long day.
Look, I understand that I’m not the first person to sleep in a bed when I go to a hotel. I also realize that it was probably pretty recently that another person was sleeping in that bed before I got there. But there has to be a time buffer. Let the cleaning staff get in there. Let the sheets be changed (he said with hope). Let time elapse. What I don’t want is to feel cozy in bed because some stranger was paid to lie there only moments before.
I’m really hoping the thought doesn’t enter their minds that sometimes toilet seats can be a little cold in the morning.
Cold weather was also a problem for a border collie mix in December 2008. The “morbidly obese” dog froze to a Wisconsin sidewalk that month, according to AP, but has since lost about 40 pounds and is moving around well, according to the owners who adopted the dog after a court removed it from its previous owners. The Sheboygan Press reported that the dog now walks a mile at a “normal pace” and is in good health.
It’s good to see somebody learn from his mistake.