DOES anybody in life get what they really deserve? The lad at the Pearly Gates might be able to answer that one, but most of us might consider it a bit late by then.
The basic laws of average would suggest they do, though the majority of good people probably fall some way short while many of the truly odious simply get lucky.
If you believe you get your reward or comeuppance after death, then that’s not much of a problem.
The rest of us, though, are left in limbo, either counting our lucky stars or reduced to bitterness and jealousy, thanking or blaming circumstance, class, corruption and general good or bad luck for our status.
I’m genuinely not sure, were I to judge myself, I could determine whether or not I had been dealt a fair hand.
No-one wants to listen to the good so we’ll deal with that quickly — always been reasonably fair, done some charity work, don’t eat meat or fish. Right, on to the bad then.
When I look back I can identify a fair number of situations in which I could have treated someone nicer, listened, not walked away or, indeed, walked away when I didn’t.
There have been times when I said truly awful things to people and left them hurt, though I will say I have largely learned from that, albeit too late to make amends in some cases.
I have never been violent — a close call on a crazy golf course in Harrogate the closest I have come to a crime in that respect, though the judge would surely have recognised that my action in swinging my club at the ball and winging it towards an elderly woman, whose handbag from which it deflected saved her from injury or death, was justified in that I had been heart-breakingly defeated by just one shot on the final hole.
My career as a thief has been a sporadic one, my haul as a child totalling a packet of mints, a Mars bar, a comic (cleverly placed inside another one while in the newsagents), a tennis ball, a few random sweets and 2p off someone’s desk at primary school.
As an adult two semi-accidental crimes have taken place, one involving leaving a store without paying for a number of plants the cashier had failed to scan and an incident in a well-known furniture and homeware store, which saw me leave the car park like a jewellery heist getaway driver after having been waved though from the shop to pick up an item from the warehouse without paying for the other 15 or so in my trolley. I truly didn’t know I was going to be shown straight out to the car park and by then it was too late to confess.
There have also been a couple of cases of leaving restaurants without paying, one with my brother and a group of his mates about 20 years ago and another abroad having attempted to hand over cash to no avail.
There will be other things that come to light — oh, loads of speeding offences and parking in a disabled bay, plus historic offences involving some undetected driving after having consumed more alcohol than legally allowed — but for now, that’s it.
That’s my confession come the day of recognition. Though I must admit I’m banking on the big man not being inclined to take the trouble of reading my thoughts over the years. If he does, then I’m really in trouble.