Other People – A Parable

A rich Hollywood agent’s Ferrari breaks down in the desert outside Los Angeles. This is terrible; he’s got the biggest meeting of his life scheduled for later that day. His phone is dead, and there’s nobody in sight. But wait: off in the distance, a vehicle approaches. As it gets closer, he sees that it’s a pickup truck. An old, beat-up pickup truck. Of the kind driven by farmers. Oh, God. Conservative farmers, who see a guy like him (Ferrari, beautiful suit, tons of hair product) and assume he must be rolling in money and does no real work, like, you know, farm work, out in the broiling sun, wrestling cows or whatnot. A punk rich kid, making all that money for what? Talking people into things! What a faker! Jeez, just his luck, the agent thinks, of all the people in the world who might have come along to help, he gets this guy? What does that stupid hick know about his life, about how hard he’s worked all these years? Zeke or Clem or whoever’s probably got a nice stable marriage, to some old farmer lady, whereas Jeannine left him last month because of all the long hours he spends agenting and now he hardly ever sees little Rex and –
The truck pulls up. “Need a lift?” asks the kindly farmer.
“Fuck you!” shouts the agent.

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
George Saunders