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A Cautionary Tale

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(In my group of friends, I am the most cautious. Despite being able to see the entire lot, entrances and all, I look both ways before crossing from the gas pumps to the store. My friend is going in to get some snacks, and rolls his eyes when I stop to look both ways. We’re both in our early 20s at the time.)

Friend: “I can’t believe how paranoid you are all the time. You can see everything here! It’s safe.”

(As he starts to cross, I throw my arm in front of him.)

Friend: “Don’t give me that. It’s sa—”

(Just as he was saying that, a car sped into the lot, right in front of us, and screeches into a spot across from the gas pump on the other side.)

Friend: “How the h*** did you know a car was coming from that way? It’s all woods back there!”

Me: “It’s called ‘listening’ and knowing the only way out from that way is either here or the street that crosses. 50/50 chance, but I like to think everyone in a two-ton vehicle is an idiot and trust none.”

(My friends never bothered saying anything about my caution after that.)

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