A minor dispute regarding the relative merits of “opinion” versus “truth” on legendary Bench One

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The legendary Bench One — formerly the scene of many a vigorous sessions of shoulder-pushing and hand-slapping (long story).
The weather in Berkeley has been sweaty and sweltering lately. And I guess it’s starting to get to me. Because I’m lacking my usual cheerful disposition (ha ha).

So I go to sit down on this empty bench on the campus. There’s one of those hard-plastic reusable water bottles sitting on the bench. On the part of the bench that’s shaded where I want to sit. So I put the bottle on the ledge behind the bench so I can sit there. This guy — who is standing clear on the OTHER side of the plaza walks over and scolds me.

“You shouldn’t be moving other people’s stuff,” he said.

“How was I supposed to know it was somebody’s stuff?” I said. “Something left sitting on an empty bench, I just assumed it was discarded.” (PS. I find these discarded water bottles ALL the time.)

“Most people wouldn’t think that way,” he corrected me.

“Most normal people WOULD think that way,” I corrected him.

“That’s just your opinion,” he said.

“And that’s just YOUR opinion,” I said.

“No it isn’t, it’s the truth,” he said.

“Good one,” I said. “HAH!!” I gave him a good blast of the patented Ace Backwords Snort of Derision as he shuffled off into the sunset.

But that bit always kills me. MY perspective is “opinion.” While HIS perspective is “truth.” HAH!! (ha ha)

Later I notice he has a bicycle with a “JESUS IS LORD” sign attached to it, and he’s handing out Jesus fliers. Geez. If I had known he was such a great man I would have been much more respectful.

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