You know, Rupert, guys have underestimated me my entire life. And for years, I never understood why. It used to really bother me. But then one day, I was driving my little boy to school and I saw this quote by Walt Whitman, and it was painted on the wall there. It said, “Be curious, not judgmental.” I like that.
So I get back in my car and I’m driving to work, and all of a sudden it hits me. All them fellas that used to belittle me, not a single one of them were curious. You know, they thought they had everything all figured out. So they judged everything, and they judged everyone. And I realized that their underestimating me… who I was had nothing to do with it. ‘Cause if they were curious, they would’ve asked questions.
Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) in the brilliant show Ted Lasso (2020-), which tells of a quaintly charming US sports coach who comes to a west London football team after being hired for the most unlikely of reasons.
There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. But isn’t that the point?
Pam Beasley (Jenna Fischer) in the brilliant mockumentary The Office: An American Workplace (2005- 2013). Based on the British version, the American adaptation was set in Scranton, Pennsylvania and tells of Michael Scott, Jim, Pam, Dwight and a wide array of memorable characters.
Alfred Joseph was a nice man. The type of man who would lend you his umbrella even if it meant he got sodden wet. The type of guy that would drive miles out of his way to make sure his friends got back ok. Even strangers sometimes. The type who would always bring far more than he needed to when invited to a party, but wouldn’t be annoyed if guests didn’t bring anything when he hosted.
Indeed, he was a legend in the small town for his kindness and generosity. When little Bobby Firman broke his leg and missed out on his trip to Disneyland, Alfred was the one who set up a fundraiser and gave generously himself to make sure Bobby could go when his leg was better. When Alfred’s competitor for the Best Homemade Lemonade was disqualified through an overzealous technicality, Alfred made sure she was reinstated, even though it meant he lost out on the prize. When the town was voted among the least desirable, Alfred used it as motivation to help change its whole perception. He worked harder than anyone cleaning up the parks, scrubbing off graffiti and helping to improve dilapidated buildings. And smiled his way throughout.
People would ask for his advice all the time and he would never mind, even when he was out shopping or in a hurry. He made so much time for everyone that people often joked that he must have more hours in the day than everybody else. It was that same humour that led people to comment that the town’s most popular attraction wasn’t the majestic 40-foot arch by the town hall, but rather the short, bespectacled and much-loved Mr Joseph. Which made the fact he wanted to kill his wife all the more surprising…
That’s the opening to my short story “Motive, Murder, Method” from my third book Always Never, Rarely Sometimes. I wanted to thank those of you who had got a copy so far and to let you know that my website http://www.alexanderraphaelwriter.com/ with all the details has now been updated. I hope you guys are all well.
And I know we weren’t perfect but I’ve never felt this way for no one And I just can’t imagine how you could be so okay now that I’m gone Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me ‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street
Taken from Olivia Rodrigo’s debut song Driver’s License (2020), which has smashed all number of records, including being one of the most dominant number one’s in US Billboard’s Top 100 history.