The two women laughed. "Jerry* asked us a question, but he doesn't like our answer."
Jerry looked at me. "How many men would you say -- just in general, not specific ones you know -- are scum?"
I considered. "I dunno ... 5%?"
The other women giggled, while Jerry gestured to me. "See, there's an optimist."
"I said 50%," Michelle told me.
Lee offered, "65%."
I stared. "Really?"
"I'd say about the same for women," Michelle added. Lee's estimate on women was a bit lower, 50% or so.
"What about you, Jerry?" I asked him.
"I don't know. 30%? Hmmm. Maybe 2 in 10," he decided. "For both sexes."
I'm not sure if the wild variations in our estimates are because I'm generally kinder in evaluating people (it is awfully hard to make me feel like a person is actually bad or malign) or because they had a different idea of what was meant by scum. What about you -- how many people do you think are scum? And what qualifies a person as scum or not?
* No real names used here.