Frank Burns, a character on the old TV show M*A*S*H, used to say “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” Had he existed in real life you would have been pardoned had you beaten him to death with a hammer. In fact you would probably earn some award for helping cleanse the gene pool, without chlorine, of course. Obviously that’s due to the fact that Frank wasn’t really a nice guy. He used the guise of niceness to do not nice things. Such is not always the case. There are some people upon whom niceness is a mantle they carry honorably. I’m not just talking about the Mother Theresa’s of the world either. We all know people who genuinely try to make the world around them a little nicer. From cupcakes to smiles they share their niceness with you even on those days where you’d rather have a root canal. And, much to your continuing surprise, your world is a better place because of them. However, as noted above, some people wear niceness like a disguise. For example, Ms. Seattle – God there’s a resume builder, “Hmm, not qualified to work at Taco Bell but pretty enough to wear a tiara in public …” – has been forced to claim that her Tweet was taken out of context. Yes, she is really this stupid. Anyway, she Tweeted “Ugh can’t stand cold rainy Seattle and the annoying people.”
Why, yes, she did spell everything correctly.
Nevertheless, the nice people who crowned her Ms. Seattle seem to be less than thrilled. I can’t imagine why. The former Ms. Phoenix – I guess she travels from beauty pageant to beauty pageant filling her empty soul with baseless adulation – will still be allowed to compete in the Ms. Washington pageant.
So that’s nice.
But, today, we are going to look into the world of the genuinely nice. Like this guy who stole a professor’s computer but returned its contents.
A thief stole a university professor’s laptop, and then returned the contents on a USB memory stick. The professor, who teaches at Umeå University in northern Sweden, was devastated when his laptop, containing ten years of work, was stolen.
The professor had left his bag containing the laptop hidden behind a door in his apartment stairwell while he went into the building’s laundry room. When he emerged a short time later, the bag had gone. It was returned shortly after, without the laptop. However, a week after the theft, the professor received a USB stick containing all the documents – which would have taken several hours to download again.
It would have taken several hours to download if the professor had bothered to do so. I’m curious, since that amount of effort seemed to elude him, what he would have done had the thief not returned his documents?
Another thief, this one in Australia, was not to be outdone by that act of kindness. In fact, thanks to the theft of a cell phone, by the time he was done the world was actually a safer place.
Back in October 2011, a crook saw a car window that wasn’t rolled all the way up in a supermarket parking lot. The thief did what thieves do, stole two mobile phones and a wallet out of the vehicle. When he powered one of the phones on, he found child pornography images on it. The images disgusted him so much that he turned himself in to assist authorities with investigating the individual that he stole the items from. The investigation led to the arrest of a 46-year-old man.
Ballarat, Australia, magistrate Michelle Hodgson was blown away by the thief’s willingness to face charges, so that he could help bring down the man who had child pornography on his phone. She wanted the Good Samaritan thief to be publicly recognized for his deed.
The man was given one month in jail and a fine for his crimes, but his assistance led to bringing down a man who had committed a much greater crime.
You know something; I’d do a month in jail if it meant getting one more child-predator off the streets.
Of course, not every theft is about stealing your stuff. Sometimes it’s about someone securing a 10 year, no interest, loan that you didn’t realize you were sponsoring.
An unknown thief returned jewelry to its owner nearly ten years after stealing the items from a house in Saudi Arabia, saying in a letter he feels sorry for the theft and asking the owner to forgive him. The owner said he found the returned jewelry in a bag placed near the door which he opened in response to urgent knocking late night. He informed the police about the unknown bag, adding that when police opened the bag, he quickly recognized the jewelry as his.
“The thief left a letter in the bag saying he was sorry and asking the man to forgive him,” Sabq News said in a report from the western town of Taif. “He also said that he was in need when he stole the jewelry said he considered the gold as a trust returning to its owner.” The paper said the thief returned all the jewelry and “this means the man will make a big profit since gold prices have largely risen in 10 years.”
Ah yes, investment advice from a burglar, what could possibly be more useful than that?
There are, now more than ever, numerous stories about burglars who return the stolen items. The reason for this is simple; burglars now are just as likely to be down on their luck people as they are to be hardened criminals. Think Le Miserabe and not The Untouchables.
Even so, this next story is very nice.
A thief in Brazil who stole a car, returned it after the owner rang him up in the car and told the thief he was going through some financial difficulties. The butcher from Mauá in São Paulo called his own cell phone number after his car was stolen with his cell phone still inside. The thief answered and listened to the emotional man on the other side of the line. The butcher pleaded with him to return the $2250 car.
Not only did he pick up the phone, but he heard the owner’s emotional plea. The owner explained he was having financial problems and that the car was the only thing he had. The soft-hearted robber got emotional too and told him to go to a parking lot to get his car back.
So there you have it, several stories of nice people doing nice things in a nice way. Oh sure, there were those minor setbacks due to the robberies and so on, but still, all’s well that ends well as they say.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.