Have you ever heard that statement, “No good deed goes unpunished?” Sometimes I wonder if that’s not true.

Not that I did a good deed, or anything. It’s just that sometimes you try to be nice to someone, and it just doesn’t work out like you think it ought to. Here, let me just tell you what happened.

By the way, I try to be a nice person, honest. You can ask anybody…. Well, don’t ask my wife, but ask anybody else.

Last week, my old truck, Copperhead, (I name all of my vehicles, don’t you?) turned over 300,000 miles. I was so excited I called a whole bunch of people that I thought would be impressed. They weren’t. Oh well, I was. I decided to celebrate, so I stopped at a fill’em up joint to fuel up and get myself a chocolate Moon Pie.

I pulled up to the pump, jumped out and started wrestlin’ the hose and nozzle around to fill her up. That’s when a little bitty car whipped around to the pump in front of me. All of a sudden, a lady jumped out and started fillin’ her own car up. I walked up to the front of my truck and looked at her car. It was a pretty little thing.

“Hello there,” I said. She looked at me, stuck her nose up in the air, and then looked back at her car. “That sure is a pretty car you’ve got there,” I said, tryin’ to be friendly. That’s when all you know what broke loose.

She let go of the gas nozzle and walked up to me. “It’s a hybrid and it gets 40 miles to the gallon,” she said, but she wasn’t smilin’.

“Wow,” I said. “You can’t beat that.”

“And what is that thing there?” she asked, as she pointed at my truck.

“That?” I said. “Well, that’s my truck.” Then I smiled. “She just turned over 300,000 miles.”

“No,” she said. “What that is, is a gas guzzler. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are depleting our limited supply of unrenewable resources.”

“Do what?”

“There is only a limited supply of fossil fuel and you’re wasting it.”

“I ain’t wastin’ it,” I said.

“You are, too.”

“No I’m not, and any way, it ain’t a gas guzzler.”

“Yes it is,”

“No ma’am, it’s a diesel guzzler.”

“Same difference.”

“No ma’am, it isn’t. You see, to get that gas you’re usin’ over there, they have to refine crude oil and diesel’s one of the things that’s left over. You see, I’m using the dregs, so you can have your gasoline.”

“Oh, so you think you’re smart, huh?” she snapped. “Well, what are you going to do when the earth runs out of fuel? What then? Huh?”

“I guess I’ll ride a horse,” I said. “What are you gonna ride, a broom?”

“What did you say?” she growled.

“I didn’t stutter lady.”

“People like you ought to be punished,” she snarled. Obviously, she hadn’t seen the weddin’ ring on my finger.

“You are just a bully,” she said.

I looked up in thought. “My I ask you a question?” I asked.

“What?” she spit.

“Well, do you remember the first thing I said to you?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Well, ma’am, if I remember correctly, I told you hello and you didn’t reply. Then I told you how pretty your little car was and that’s when you started jumpin’ all over me. I tried to be nice, but you wouldn’t let me. So the way I see it, you’re the bully.”

“Well!” she exclaimed.

“What’s the matter? You can dish it out, but can’t take it?”

“That truck looks like a big old’ ugly behemoth, and as far as I’m concerned, you can take it and run it off of a cliff!”

“Well,” I replied. “That little ol’ car of yours looks like a suppository, and I guess you know what you do with those, don’t you?”

“I can’t believe you!”

“Believe it sister,” I replied, and she stormed off.

I finished fillin’ up and went inside to get my Moon Pie. When I came out, I looked at the front of my truck. You know, I could have sworn it looked like it was smilin’ at me.

Rusty Mitchum lives in New Harmony, Texas, where he writes a regular column for The Lindale News and Times. He says the only reason he writes is to keep the voices away.