Sunday, April 05, 2009

The scariest good deed that I've done.

I've always wanted to help out a stranger by giving him/her a ride. In fact, it is on my list of goals/accomplishments. Today, I can check that one off the list.

I was driving home from Boeing, where I had left my car for the weekend (I had gone to New Orleans to visit Brandon, and Tim graciously gave me a ride from the airport to my car), when I realized that I was low on gas. I stopped at the BP on Florissant right off I-70 to fill up. After I was done, I had to go inside to get a receipt because the printer on the pump was broken. On my way back out to my car I was stopped by a dingy-looking Caucasian fellow who asked if I could give him a ride to the Denny's at I-270 and Dorsett. I replied that this was in the opposite direction from where I was headed. He countered that everybody so far had said the same thing. I gave in and decided to give him a ride. Besides, this was a clear opportunity to accomplish one of my goals...even if it was 21:30 on a rainy Sunday night. Every time I've considered doing this before, it had been a hitchhiker or someone walking on the side of the road and by the time I truly entertained the idea I either was already too far down the road or realized that I was in a hurry to get somewhere.

In any case, the ride to Denny's was fairly uneventful. He introduced himself, though I don't remember his name, and thanked me a few times. I would guess he was probably in his 40s. He smelled badly of cigarrettes and beer. He talked profusely, though I could only understand half of what his raspy voice said. It was actually a pretty uncomfortable experience, and I second-guessed myself the whole ride over...especially after he started talking about how he had been in many different jails over the last few years. He even scared me once when he reached into his jacket pocket, but he was only retrieving a 32-ounce can of Miller High Life, and not a gun. After arriving at the Denny's parking lot, I have him 3 bucks (to buy a cup of coffee) and bid him farewell before heading home. I guess it all turned out OK.

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