Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Robbery not allowed
There was blood on his jacket.
Nice touch!
When your story is that you were robbed moments ago,
...blood on the jacket lends credibility.
There was a drizzle of red peeking out from under his hat too.
It was 10:30 pm in downtown San Diego.
I was pumping gas into my rented car when he walked up.
"I hate to bother you," he explained.
A dark red smear was visible down his neck.
Similar red smears crisscrossed his shirt.
It looked like maybe someone had
...wiped a ketchup covered finger back and forth across his chest.
"I was robbed and I need gas money to get back to Los Angeles!"
Gas money.
Not an ambulance.
"Wow! That's horrible!" I exclaimed. "You were robbed here?"
"No," he told me. "At another gas station a few blocks away."
Of course.
He was beaten and robbed a few blocks away so
...it just made sense to come here to ask for help.
As I hung up the gas pump, I asked,
"Do you need to borrow a phone to call the police?"
"No," he retorted quickly. "I need gas money to get to Orange."
Then, answering a question I didn't ask, he added,
"That's my BMW over there."
Sure enough. There was a red BMW sitting on the edge of the lot.
"I promise to pay you back if you give me your address."
All I have to do is give him my address and he'll pay me back!
Why not make it really easy on him...
...I'll just give him my bank account number and he can direct deposit.
BMW man never offered his name or a way that I could contact him.
Probably in shock from the mugging.
He was dealing with it pretty well, though.
Had I been mugged, I'd probably be less rational.
I would likely call the cops.
I'd probably want somebody to take a look at my injuries.
In my distress, I'd probably call a friend or two for help.
I'm less pragmatic than BMW man.
All he needed was a few bucks...
I opened my wallet and he said,
"It's 90 miles."
Okay. So it's more than a few bucks...
Five dollars wouldn't cut it.
Might as well spit in his eye as give him less than $20.
He's got 90 miles to go!
I handed him a couple of tens.
He took the cash and said, "Where do you live? I'll pay you back tomorrow..."
I smiled and said, "Just pay it forward."
He nodded and commented, "That was a great movie!"
This recently assaulted man offered a movie critique...
....truly better composed than I would have been.
I decided some years ago that...
when someone asks me for money I'll give it to them.
I'm certain that I've payed a lot of liars.
That's not on me.
It's on them.
It's probably accurate to call me a 'sucker'.
Better that than a suspicious, uncharitable cynic.
BMW man probably thinks he's outsmarted me.
I disagree.
Selling your integrity for any price is foolish.
Selling it for twenty bucks is tragic.
Enhanced by Zemanta

2 comments:

John said...

Bible says to pay alms. Doesn't mention filling out a form. Doesn't say you won't get scammed.

Rebecca Welch said...

If you always assume they are telling the truth, you never have to decide who to help and who not to help. Then you can approach the world with the innocence of a child, and help wherever you can. Much simpler, and way less stressful, than suspicion.