A few days ago, when I was riding the train, my girlfriend asked me for a debriefing on the big news of the last week. So I told her: death of a Supreme Court justice, and no one’s sure how he’ll be replaced; battle between giant tech corporation and giant law enforcement agency over the fate of your smartphone privacy; increasingly real possibility that an openly racist reality TV star will take the Republican presidential nomination. “Now I’m feeling really depressed,” she answered. “I wish I hadn’t asked.”
She’s not the only one. These are dark times, my friends. Every time you turn on the TV or open a newspaper, it’s outrage, deception, crushing inequality.
That’s why it’s so important to share the positive stories, too. Yesterday, my friend Tyler Bower shared one such story on Facebook. “I KID YOU NOT,” his post began. “I had some store credit at a thrift store for selling some clothes. Moments ago, I redeemed my credit and my name in their records was, Tyler BONER. I had a credit of $69.69.”
I know, I know. It seems to good to be true. I didn’t believe him at first, either. Then, a few hours later, he posted photographic proof. And now, it seems like there may be a way out of the darkness after all.
Tyler told me that the clerk at the thrift store may have misread his name, or the error may have been a simple typo. Either way, he’s glad it happened. After the clerk at the store noticed the mistake, “We both started cracking up then he told me that my credit was $69.69 and we continued to laugh but in a subdued manner because it was just so strange,” he said. “I remember it being kind of hard to leave because we had some sort of bond due the absurdity of the transaction.”
He added that he’s always wondered what life might be like if the third letter in his surname were swapped out. “Being ‘Tyler Boner” instead of ‘Tyler Bower’—I’d be a completely different person—Imagine how different I’d be! So In a way I was just waiting for something like this to happen,” he said.
A chance at a different future, grasped, if only for a brief moment. For Tyler. For all of us. Boner $69.69. Let’s try not to forget it.