Can Anyone Help Us, Please?

Now you may think that my writing a totally fictional story yesterday was just another example of my warped humor. It was, but that was not really the point. Something interesting happened this weekend and I’d like your point of view. And if you feel so inclined to mention this on your blog as well, I’d like more perspective. Saturdays I spend a lot of time with blogs. Besides doing the Saturday: 9 meme, I usually do a review on The Rising Blogger. This past week a post was nominated that I enthusiastically reviewed. The blog is called Putting the “F” Back in You. The author is a man named Bryan who was nominated by a previous winner. He seems to be a hero. Here is the winning post (I am asking you to start here with me for an important reason.), its title was Can You Help Me Please? Here in bold is Bryan's post:

That was the message on the note she passed me, under the check when she paid for her pest control treatment.

I pulled into the driveway of a new customer, a one time treatment for fleas. As I got out of my truck, I heard a man yelling at the top of his voice, calling someone a bitch, a whore, white trash, scum; and who knows what else. As I got to the door, I waited for the yelling to cease. I then heard what sounded like a slap. All kinds of thoughts were running through my mind at this point; like opening the door unannounced and finding out who this man was beating on. I waited another minute that seemed like 10. It was quiet again. Normally I would have left but hearing the slap of a hand against skin made me stay.

I rang the doorbell of a run-down 20+ year old trailer. A man (if you want to call him that) answered the door with sweat across his brow, slightly out of breath giving me a blank look. I know in his mind he was wondering how much I had heard. I acted as if I had heard nothing. I explained who I was and he opened the door for me to enter. I surveyed the living room and the open kitchen looking for any signs of what had taken place. Nothing, no sign of anyone. The man, I will call him "Dick", stated he needed just a couple minutes to gather a few things together before he and his family left the house. "Ok, I will start treating from this end of the house (pointing down the hall) and work my way out. Dick agreed and he then exited to the opposite end of the mobile home.

As I entered the first bedroom, A lady (will call her Gwen) was sitting on the bed, softly sobbing and wiping her face. The blood began to boil in my veins; I knew then who this mother fucker of a man had been yelling at and who he had hit. "Good morning, I am here to do the flea treatment, do you need a few minutes before I start in this room?", I asked. Gwen didn't look up nor make eye contact, "No, you can start in here, I just need to get my shoes on and get my baby", she answered while staring directly at the floor. I walked closer to Gwen, she briefly glanced up at me with a shameful look on her face. My heart sank. There was a welt the size of a hand print on the left side of her face. I had never been in a situation quite like this before. "Are you are okay? Are you hurt?", I whispered. With a trembling voice she was only able to muster the words, "I'm okay, I'm okay". "Do you need help?", I asked. Gwen gave me a blank look, her bottom lip quivering, "I have no family, I have no friends, I have no place to go".

I heard footsteps coming down the hall. "I will see what I can do to help", trying my best to comfort her and let her know that someone was on her side. Dick entered the room just as I began spraying and quickly left as Gwen exited also. "What the hell can I do? How can I help help her?", I thought to myself. A dozen different ideas raced through my mind as I was treating the house.

After the treatment, I wrote the ticket out for the service and handed it to Gwen, along with my business card that listed my office and cell number. "Here is my card, if you do not see a significant drop in the flea activity within 24 hours, please call me. Preferably my cell number; I have it with me 24/7 and it's the best way to contact me.", I stated; while trying to send her a message telepathically as I looked at her. Gwen handed me a check. When I took the check from her, I felt something on the underside. Without looking at the amount, I quickly put the check in my pocket. Her green eyes were saying, "help me" as I exited the home.

I pulled off the road once I got a few miles a way. I dug in my pocket and pulled out the check and the accompanying note. It said, "Can you help me, please? Call me", and listed a phone number. I couldn't turn a blind eye to a lady that was being abused and had 2 small children. "Was I crossing the line concerning my job? Was I expected to help? ", I thought. My friend Katherine gave me the reassurance. I sent a text to Katherine, "help her" was her reply. At this point I didn't care if I got fired if the company I worked for, found out after the fact.

This afternoon I found a "safe house" for Gwen and her 2 children to get refuge. Luckily, I was able to contact Gwen without Dick finding out. She must have thanked me 100 times over her crackling voice. My eyes watered. The "great escape" comes tomorrow when I try to get her out of the house and get her and her 2 daughters to a safe haven.

Pretty good, right? He got a lot of great comments from both Rising Blogger readers and his own. Even the woman, named Gwen, that he helped joined in the comments, Gwen in bold:

Gwen said...

Dear Bryan,

You deserve much more than just a blog award. What you did for me went beyond what the normal human being would have done. Not only did you help me get out of that hellhole, you probably saved my life. Finding a place for my girls and I to stay was going the extra mile. Because of you I now have a good job and a new life. My girls are happy now. They laugh, they smile all the time. My daughter Caitlin always says her prayers every night. For over the past week she has ended her prayers with "and thank you God for sending Mr. Bryan to help us." You are truly an answered prayer, a hero and an angel. God Bless you, Bryan.I hope you have a wonderful father's day. Jen and us will be stopping by tomorrow with a little surprise.
Love,Caitlin, Jessica, and Gwen.

But then things got very weird. Another person commented and it was the first comment that did not praise Bryan’s rescue of this woman, Gwen. Someone called Marquis de Sade had left a comment on the post. He lifts lines from Bryan's post so we will do Marquis in bold:

Well Bryan, let's hope I'm not doing you an injustice. You see, I used to work as a professional in a Child and Family Centre at University College London, and your story just doesn't ring true.Here are excerps from your story with my comments in [bold].
The man, I will call him "Dick", stated he needed just a couple minutes to gather a few things together before he and his family left the house.
You'd think you would have waited just a couple of minutes before starting, but no ..."Ok, I will start treating from this end of the house (pointing down the hall) and work my way out." Dick agreed and he then exited to the opposite end of the mobile home. As I entered the first bedroom, A lady (will call her Gwen) was sitting on the bed, softly sobbing and wiping her face.
You say where you will start, and he heads in the opposite direction! How convenient. Away from, and leaving you alone with the lady he has just abused. Even though abusers are control freaks and would not dream of doing any such thing.Dick entered the room just as I began spraying and quickly left as Gwen exited also.
So Dick and Gwen are both in the room when you start spraying. She has not even had time to collect her baby. Are you normally that quick? No protective clothing to put on? No respirator? No clearing your clients off site? Isn't that just a tad unusual? After the treatment, I wrote the ticket out for the service and handed it to Gwen, along with my business card that listed my office and cell number.Gwen handed me a check. When I took the check from her, I felt something on the underside.
So this abused lady is the one to hand you the check? That's really odd. Once again it's in the nature of abusers to handle money, not their bullied partners. So either she has a check account (unlikely) or he has written her the cheque to give to you (unlikely). It said, "Can you help me, please? Call me", and listed a phone number.
Another strange fact. The lady already has your number, so she can call *you* when she feels it is safe to do so (24/7 in fact). However, she gives you a number to call *her*. And risk being caught handing you the note. And risk your call coming in when Dick is around. He may even intercept the call. And it's not going to be someone else's number because she just said she has no one else. My friend Katherine gave me the reassurance. I sent a text to Katherine ...
Must have been a long text. This afternoon I found a "safe house" for Gwen and her 2 children to get refuge.
Something she could not do? Luckily, I was able to contact Gwen without Dick finding out. Presumably using the "call me" number she gave you. Well, it was going to be risky wasn't it, as I have already pointed out.And now a nice message from Gwen. She knows you're a blogger then? And how lucky that she used the name Gwen too. And she says "Because of you I now have a good job and a new life". That's quick work. Eleven days? To move, settle, get the job, and post.And what about Dick? Hope he doesn't read blogs 'cos I guess he has your phone number and work adress too ...

I’ve had people leave very critical comments on my posts. I have not deleted one that I can remember. In fact, I enjoy the back and forth. I am not always right, sometimes it seems like I am NEVER right! But Bryan did not respond to the comment. He deleted it. I am not passing judgment here. In fact, I put a poll on my sidebar and would appreciate your opinion. I would love to believe him.

So that led to yesterday’s post. Could I just make up a story and would people believe it? But I chickened out. Or better put I respect you, my readers and friends too much. So I ended that post with the truth. Did I get anyone? I don’t know. But it was an interesting idea. Also as an aside, I don’t much care about the truth. He won The Rising Blogger Post of the Day for his post. There was never a rule that the post had to be 100% true. Bryan wrote a great post about an interesting story. If he made it up, so what? We didn’t award him the Congressional Medal of Honor, now did we?

Please vote in our poll and we'd love your thoughts. Thanks for coming by today. Have a great Hump Day! Happy birthday to Galloping Gary (a WTIT DJ founder) and Paul McCartney. A special thanks to Mimi Lenox at Mimi Writes for assisting with this post. Peace!

33 comments:

Epiphany Alone said...

As an occasional (ok, rare) contributor to TRB, I'd say it doesn't matter whether it's true. It's a compelling story. Based on Bryan's reaction to the critical comment is that it's probably true. If you had helped a complete stranger (and her two kids)in this situation, you'd not react well to being criticized at every turn because you did the best you could - you're not a police officer, you're not a crisis counselor, you're just a GUY who wandered into a very volatile situation. Given the dissenting commenter's profession, you've got to figure that that guy sees 10 "Gwen"s a day, gets them out of these situations, and sees them back in the trailer cooking dinner for "Dick" that night claiming "oh, he says he's going to change!" only to get a call in the morning from "Gwen" that she has a broken arm AGAIN.
Now, that was a cheery little window into life...sorry.
Anyway, it's my opinion that TRB should stay out of the drama. It was a well-written story, period.

Dawn said...

This is an amazing story.
I agree that it is suspicious all the way through. If rescuing someone from an abusive situation were only that simple... however it is well written and captured my attention so on that basis alone it's a definite winner.

As for your story yesterday... having dealt with Bible Walkers my entire life my suspicions were raised immediately. They send them out in pairs. It's unheard of to send a young single girl out alone. And she would never ask for or accept a drink... ever. She would be risking her soul to eternal damnation!
And that concludes my two cents :)

Hahn at Home said...

The only time I've ever deleted a comment was when a woman I'd dated for about a month didn't like something she read about my past. Woman gone, post remains.

Oh, and when someone has emailed me to remove a comment.

The way I look at it, if one person reading his post does something next time they see someone in danger, it will have been worth it whether it was completely true, partially true, or just fictional.

Had "Gwen" not commented, I think he would have gotten away with it regardless.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Heath-
I agree it is well written.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Dawn-
You are right. I've never seen a solo door knocker, either. And I agree it sounds too simple...

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Lori-
I totally agree. He says "I'll call her 'Gwen'" and then she posts as Gwen? That doesn't ring true.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I don't care if a post is true or not either. If it's entertaining I'll read it. Creative writing is just that...creative. That's what makes a good writer excel. I loved this story and I'm sure this has played out as a true story here and there. Very well done and he deserves to win. That's my two cents worth. Have a great day Bud. :)

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Sandee-
Thanks for sharing!

Shannon H. said...

I really don't mind if the story is true or not. If it is then a big pat on the back to Bryan. If it isn't then oh well...it was still a good read.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Shannon-
It is posible that he embelished, too.

Mimi Lenox said...

I just wrote a lengthy comment and lost the whole thing. Re-formulating...

Mimi Lenox said...

I do think it matters that it's true. It was not written as fiction. He does not write a fiction blog.
Does it matter that we are questioning that it is true? Of course. Here's why.

You wrote an enthusiastic review for The Rising Blogger in which you said "As a matter of fact we can think of no post that we have ever read more serious than this one".....There has been no better post that The Rising Blogger has awarded, in our opinion.". You were impressed with Bryan's story because it was a real-life drama and inspirational post and praised him accordingly. I doubt you would have given him an award had you known it was fiction. That is generally not what The The Rising Blogger looks for, nor can I recall this type of twist on an awarded post before which caused more than one person to re-read the post and question it - and understandably so. With respect to Bryan, after reading Gwen's follow-up comment and the mysterious blogger named Marquis' now deleted comment, it was unsettling that the comment by the dissenter was deleted and replaced with a toddler giving him the middle finger as Bryan's response. Had I written this review and praised a blogger personally for being a hero as you did (and so did others), I would want them to be a hero.

You were impressed with an inspiring story based on true events presented as true.
It should be true.

Bond said...

As I read through Bryan's account I found myself questioning the same things the commenter did. WHy did the abuser go to one end, yet Bryan found her in a room at the other end. Never would happen.

I have had friends who have lived this life for real. Bryan would never have gotten into the trailer before "Dick" had "Gwen" and the girls out.

NO WAY does Bryan go into a room "Gwen" is in without "Dick" being right there at the least.

NO WAY she gives Bryan the check...NOT gonna happen with "Dick" right there.

I could go on, but the bottom line is...it is a well written story.

No where is it said that a post nominated has to be true.

Do I appreciate this Bryan making it sound so easy for this to happen? NO..

Did he deserve the award for a good post?
yes

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Mims-
Thanks for you well thought out comments. It does put it in another light. I have not reread my TRB post since it was published...

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Vinny-
Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I think you are right on the money!

Ann said...

Bud, like you, I would like to believe him, and hopefully it is true. If not, it's certainly an inspirational story.

In addition, we all know the true is often stranger than fiction, and if he was stressed, or still trying to protect someone, there could be parts of the story that were changed- that wouldn't surprise me at all.

And it could be the reason whoever commented thought some things didn't add up. But, that doesn't mean it wasn't true.

A few weeks back, I started a feature, asking my readers to decide which story out of two stories was fictional and which one was true.

You may remember it. You would be surprised how many people guessed the wrong answer.

Hence, nobody really knows if the story was true, but him...

Therefore, I suppose you were in the position of taking his word for it. It would be nice if it were true.

Although, there's something to be said for artistic integrity, he could have been telling half truths for a reason.

Interesting post~ I think you and Mimi did a good job.

Have a great evening. And I'm glad to know you're still at The Rising Blogger.


Cheers~

Ann

Shannon H. said...

Just dropped by to Share the Love! Drop by for a visit :)

~*~Shannon~*~

Linda said...

Having been a police dispatcher for way too many years and received training on the patterns of abuse and things to look for in regards to potential abusive situations, I was skeptical right from the get-go on this story. And that's exactly what it is, a story; not a recounting of actual events but a fictional story. Interesting - yes, believable - no.

I guess the thing that gets me is that if you are posting as an honest-to-goodness this-really-happened to me kind of blogger then it seems more like lying than story-telling when a person posts something like this. It's almost like Bryan needed a pat on the back and provided one for himself.

Now, were it I telling this tale and the Marquis de Sade or Napoleon Bonaparte or Inspector Clousea or whoever he wants to call himself left me the comment that he did, I would have taken the opportunity to justify my story bit by bit with each part that he picked out. Were it a true story, one could give a viable explanation as to why things happened the way they did.

Sadly, I don't think that they did and if this guy was awarded a TRB award for not just the post itself but for the actions behind the post then that's just wrong.

Personally, I don't like to be duped or lied to or misled - if this was a work of fiction then Bryan should have said so right up front. It's kind of like Milli Vanilli lip-synching all those years but worse. People want the truth - not a fabrication.

Oh, and one other thing while I'm still standing on this soapbox - if one wants to make up a tale to get undeserved kudos perhaps one could find something a little less unsettling than domestic abuse which is an ugly, ugly secret in way too many households.

Stepping down now ...

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Ann-
The more insight I have received including being emailed that he wrote a follow up post that someone found absurb, is giving me less of a sense of exageration. Thanks for checking in. I liked your truth/lie post. It is hard to tell...

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Shannon=
Will do!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Linda-
Your insight is from one with experience. I appreciate that you explained what did not sound real to you and trust your judgment. Thanks!

Travis said...

Bryan's post was an excellent read, as was yours.

And even if Bryan's story isn't strictly true, or remotely true, it still acts as a nice little parable.

Drowsey Monkey said...

I was one of the first to comment on bryan's post, and I just left him a comment similar to what I'm about to write here.

I wondered too about the details but chose to think it was more true than made up. But whatever, if someone wants to use literary license, I don't have a problem with that.

When I saw that 'gwen' had commented, well that did seem odd, but again, who cares, it was a well written post.

What I don't understand is what you're doing. Why do you care so much? Why this attack?

I really feel what you're doing is just mean spirited.

As far as removing comments, I've removed comments, why not? It's my blog I can do what ever I want.

Bottom line for me, it was well written.

Drowsey Monkey said...

I have to add something here to Mimi's comments. Because I'm not sure how this blog is connected with the Rising Blogger blog ... but if the Rising Blogger thought it was more fiction than truth then they should have dealt with this in a private manner, removed the post and let it go. I find what you're doing here far worse than what you've accused Bryan of doing. And I say that as an impartial person, I don't know Bryan I just came upon his blog one day and enjoyed the writing.

The poll is a bit much.

kissmyasskat said...

It sounds to me like You are trying to profit from some negative remarks by getting traffic to your site.

Let's see choose a post,give it an award, then rip it to shreads... that is just mean.

You have capitalized on this for your own gain, the poll was just the last stab. I am wondering if you have given any other person such hassles that have won your oh so precious award???

Really you are just making your self look like total fools, why would anyone want an award from you???, when they see the way you have dissed the writer.

You chose to give an award, you should have defended it saying simply the award stands and nipped all the comments in the bud. Honestly You are the one who looks like a fool here, not Bryan.

All that matters is that a woman was given a chance to escape an abusive situation and her daughters have a chance to learn it's not acceptable to allow someone to beat you. In the end that's all that matters...a life was saved and the rest of you can go about your own lives knowing you did nothing but help promote the notion that the good guy always finishes last

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

HI DM-
The connection here is that I wrote the review for TRB. I do not believe I attacked or the folks that comment attacked Bryan. The credibility of his story is all we are discussing.

If he made the story up to pass himself as a hero, how is it that the folks here are worse than that? The Rising Blogger stands by his award. We have the right to discuss all sides of the story.

If you choose to remove comments that you do not like, that is your right. But if we had that policy, then your critism of me and my blog would have just disapopeared.

But hey, this is America. You have the right to say you think my posting the story and the poll is wrong or "too much". I don't agree.

I think blogs need more intellectual discussion and a bit less "SO then I went to the store for Pampers." But that is just my opinion.

Thanks for taking the time to check in.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Kiss My Ass Kate,
Good name, BTW. I've written some of the reviews for The Rising Blogger since it began. There has NEVER been a situation like this one.

Our blog traffic is just fine, thank you. The people who wrote all the comments but you and the Monkey lady, are regular readers and commenters.

Your conclussion that Bryan really did this, that in 10 days Gwen not only has a job and visits him, she uses the name that he "made up" certainly suggests the story could not be true.

You conclusion that he saved anyone is a stretch. Yet you think we are the fools? Lady, think again.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Well, I'm not a regular reader of your blog as you say, I came here because I got an email from Judd at the Rising Blogger with your link informing me of this situation and he asked me to give my opinion if I wanted ... so I did.

As for what you're doing, I stand by what I said.

What you're doing here strikes me as someone who is having a hissy fit and you want all your readers to know about it. I stand by my comments that this could have been handled in a better way, dare I say a more adult way.

But hey, so glad you're out there policing the internet, lol. Umm...okay.

Ultimately, what you're doing here, not cool, man. Not cool.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

DM-

OK, I was with you, although I disagreed with your initial comment. But, come on. I do not have hissy fits. I didn't when I reviewed your blog or when I reviewed Bryan's.

I did not comment on any of this on the Rising Blogger. I have no problem with Judd contacting you. It is good to have differing views.

If you read my post all I did was ask the question. Is this dude on the level? Nothing "hissy-futty" about that. Brian deleting the comment rather than responding to it is either a man who can't respond or is hiding something.

You have blasted me three times now. Which is your right. I appreciate that you feel passionate about the subject. After all is this what's blogging is all about? If my readers and friends were not interested in any of this story they wouldn't have taken so much time commenting and analizing the story that I asked them to check in about. I'd say I am serving my readers. Nothing hissy about that Ms. Monkey.

Notice that I did not delete your comments. That is more stand-up than what your freakin' hero Bryan did...

Mimi Lenox said...

Hissy fits? Oh please.

Drowsey Monkey said...

He's not my hero, don't even know the guy.

I just don't like the feel of public ridicule, especially when it's connected to the Rising Blogger blog...it just looks kinda bad in my humble opinion.

But ... at this point it's water under the bridge. Time to move on.

Judd Corizan said...

I think, for the record that Bud was covering a news story. It had some twists and turns. And even more that we decided to stop revealing. Needless to say, we do not have faith in the story. And the award stands.

Starrlight said...

Ooo ooo! Can I hissy fit with ya Bud?

I'm with you on this one. If he played it off as non fiction and it was made up not cool. It makes a mockery out of people who are abused and those who try to help them.