It has been one week since Mr. Sackman executed his unintentional Canada goose mascacre on the Apex Peakway and I just thought that I would check in with him and see how he has been holding up. Bob, how are you doing?
BS : Surprisingly I am doing much better. Although I felt kind of guilty at the time it happened in the day since that night I have been processing it all and I know that it was an accident and I ultimately feel that I can forgive myself for what happened.
Do the geese forgive you?
BS : I am not sure that geese possess the ability to forgive. By that I mean, I do not think their intellectual framework includes the concept of or the capacity to forgive another entity for a harm committed upon them.
What makes you think that?
BS : I guess there is no way to know for sure but it is a hunch I have based in no small part upon the size of their heads and the likely size of their brain contained within that little skull.
Just to confirm, there was no damage to your car, correct?
BS : That’s right. My car did not see the inside of an auto body repair Salt Lake City shop.
Does that factor into the way you feel.
BS : No. Why would my car incurring damage have an effect upon whether I felt guilty about killing some Canada geese?
Well, if there was damage that had to be repaired by a collision repair Salt Lake City you might be less inclined to feel guilt because you had to suffer too.
BS : I am not so sure guilt works that way.
You do a lot of thinking about the capacity of other beings to think don’t you? Geese can’t forgive and damage to your car does not impact your level of guilt.
BS : I’m sorry I don’t quite follow you.
Describe the moment you hit the Canada goose with your car. What was going on at the time.
BS : I was late for a meeting. It was a Tuesday evening around 7:30 pm and the lighting was pretty dim. I was probably driving a little faster than I should have been. I drove through the intersection of Route 55 and Apex Peakway. Right at that corner is the Wake Med Medical facility. There is a pond in front of the building where the geese like to swim and they are always walking around in the grass near the road eating what ever it is that the geese eat. A lot of times they walk across the street. This is what happened that night.
So you drove through the intersection and you hit a goose that was in the process of crossing the street.
BS : Yes. I did not see him but I knew exactly what happened when I heard and felt the bump on the car.
Was there any damage to the car? Did you have to take your car into a collision repair Salt Lake City?
BS : No there was no real damage so there was no need to take my car to an auto body repair Salt Lake City but the goose was definitely killed.
How did that make you feel?
BS : I felt terrible. Everyone loves those geese. At the time I was worried about making it to the meeting on time so I just kept driving. I remember sitting in that meeting wondering if I had committed a crime and wondering if I should notify someone about what happened.
I don’t think so. I am pretty sure the crime of cruelty to animals requires a level of intent that I don’t think was present. Also the municipality has people on the payroll who’s job it is to pick up animal carcasses. I think you are in the clear.
The newest sign is up and reads, “TREATMENT IS NOW COMPLETE! STAND TALL & CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY WITH FAITH, HOPE & ALL OUR LOVE!” At the bottom of the sign is a smiley face. Does this mean that there will be no more signs to follow?
SM : I cannot say that. The sign thing really took me by storm. It is encoded within my DNA at this point. I seriously can not picture myself never ever posting another sign on my front porch.
Maybe you could start something new? The treatment is over after all. Perhaps you could open your own sign shop?
SM : I don’t think so. I am sixty years old and retired. I am financially set for life. I don’t want to open up a business at my age.
Do you think Susan appreciated the signs you have been posting on your front porch?
SM : Of course she does! What a silly question. Why do you ask?
Well, I hate to burst your bubble but I have spoken to a few people in the neighborhood who have expressed that your signs make them uncomfortable.
SM : That’s ridiculous. Everybody loves my signs. The amount of effort I put into them combined with the positive sentiments… What’s not to like?
Maybe some people felt that Susan wanted to maintain a certain level of privacy concerning her illness. The intent behind the signs and banners was clearly well meaning. However, their public display made the whole thing, well, public.
SM : You people are being hyper-critical. Can’t a neighbor do something nice for another neighbor?
See, this is part of the reason this whole episode was awkward. People did not want to tell you this because they were afraid of exactly this reaction.
SM : And so you waited until now to tell me? You waited until I posted the very last sign?
So it is the final sign?
I am sitting here with a car who has just been released from an auto body repair Salt Lake City shop. How was your experience, sir?
C : Well the experience of the accident that forced me to go there was not too pleasant. I was in and out of consciousness while I was being worked on by the mechanics. I don’t think I liked that experience because I much prefer to maintain my wits about me. But I recognize that it was necessary to get to the point where I am now. So on balance I would say I am happy to have had the experience.
What exactly was damaged that required repair?
C : I was rear ended by some other fellow who was not paying attention where he was going. My back fender and trunk were dented in. After the accident the trunk wouldn’t close properly.
That does not sound too bad.
C : No. I got off lucky and the collision repair Salt Lake City shop was able to get me back in good repair without too much trouble. It could have been far worse.
C : Well, my engine could have been damaged for example. A damaged engine is far more expensive to repair (generally speaking) than a dented fender and trunk. The parts are more complicated in an engine and require more finesse to remove and install.
Yes, well thank God that you did not have to have your engine repaired.
C : Agreed. Although I cannot say that I actually believe in a divinity.
I understand. It was just a manner of speech.
C : Right. I get that. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. The language contains all these antiquated references to God that assume the speaker actually believes in God.
Tell me, what is it like to be a sign?
S : Life for signs and banners is not that interesting from the standpoint of action. We don’t physically do all that much. However, it is interesting from a sort of Zen perspective that by doing nothing we actually do quite a lot.
I don’t understand.
S : Of course you don’t. Let me see if I can phrase this another way. Signs and banners created by a sign shop when they are performing their function do not move. They do not move (generally speaking) because it makes them easier to see. And by not moving and thus being easier to see they are more effectively conveying their message.
So it is by doing nothing (that is, standing still) that signs do what they are designed to do which is to convey the content of their message.
S : Precisely!
Do you find satisfaction in that?
S : Certainly. As a human your mind is structured in a more complicated way. There are layers of motivations and competing concerns. However, the mind of a sign is as simple as it appears. We need only perform our function well to achieve satisfaction. That is enough for us.
That sounds nice because it is simple and direct.
S : Indeed. Complication for the sake of complication is a highly overrated quality of the human consciousness.
I’m not so sure that the human consciousness is complicated for the sake of complication by nature. I think perhaps that is more a byproduct of our modern times.
S : So it’s a maladaptive behavior of some sort.
Maybe. In truth I have not fully thought this line of reasoning through but it seems right to me.
S : That’s fine. We can leave it at that for now until the next time that we have the occasion to speak to one another.