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Monday, December 1, 2008

Good Samaritan?

Funny thing happened on the way to the health food store today. My mother who is 77 years old was in the car with me this afternoon as we were headed to the natural food store to buy some fish oil for my daughter. Fish oil helps stabilize her bipolar and Mother wanted some flax oil for her heart. 

Hmmm…two old women buying oil. I know…seems like kind of a pathetic way to spend a Friday afternoon, but anyway, I'm driving down the street and this pickup truck flies out from the side street that we are approaching and barrels through his stop sign right out in front of us.
As he makes his turn onto the street in front of us, I notice that his tail gate is down and all of a sudden this large white, what looks like a pickle bucket begins to topple and then fall over and down, bouncing into the street, spilling and splattering all of the contents onto the road. "Oh my goodness!" cries my mother. 
As we get closer, we can see tools, a leveler, a drill, a hammer, gloves and much more of the like. The only thing I can think of to do is honk my horn and try to get his attention. Mother yells, "Stop, I want to get that hammer!" But I ignore her and pull around the mess to try and catch up to the truck.
I pull up behind him at the next stop sign where he waits for clear traffic to pull out on to a pretty busy four lane. I start honking again to get his attention because for some reason I can't think of what else to do. At this point, I think I've frightened him or maybe he has started his weekend party early and he is oblivious to what is going on around him, so he peels out into the traffic, making a left turn.
In shock I watch as his large green cooler begins to bounce in his truck bed and it too topples into the street and the lid crashes off, spilling contents all over the traffic filled roadway. "What is wrong with this guy?!" I say out loud while I'm stilling honking my horn and watching him disappear down the street like nothing has happened.
I turn to look in my rear view mirror at the tool, drill, hammer mess behind me and I decide to go back and pick it up and put it into the bucket for him, because I'm just sure that he will be back in a few minutes once he discovers his loss. While I'm picking up tools off the street, an old car with some very rough edges slows down and stops abruptly beside me.
A rather obese man gets out and says something to me, I can't remember what, but I say something like, "Can you believe this? I tried to get his attention." He responds to me that the pickup probably thought I wanted him to move out of my way. Anyway, he starts helping me pick up all these items off the road and I'm thinking how nice that was of him. 
When we finish, he puts the lid on the bucket and carries it over to his car. Uhhhh....I'm beginning to feel retarded at this point...What just happened? Like an idiot, I go back and get into my car because cars are now waiting for ME to get out of the way. I pause and turn back to him and ask him what he is going to do with the things.
He says, "I'm going to wait here and see if he comes back for his things." I say, "Oh, okay" and I get into my car and pull away. Mother says, "He's going to keep that stuff, I just know it!" We looked back at him a moment later and he took off. Yup! That's right...he took off with that man's tools and I helped him do it!
Mother and I continued to discuss our drama filled afternoon for the next thirty minutes. She says I should have gotten the pickup's license number, picked up the tools into the bucket, told the obese man we didn't need any help, so he better just move on, take the things to the police station with the license number we were sharp enough to get and let the police return his things to him.
And she is right! What was I thinking? I looked back and thought about how quickly the fat man jumped out of his car and started picking up tools with me. He already had an agenda and it wasn't to be a Good Samaritan.
I argue with Mother, "What was I supposed to do? Fight in the street with a fat man about who saw the stuff first?" As for the green cooler, someone scooped that up even before it finished bouncing in the street. I know that times are tough right now with gas prices being what they are and all, but....give me a break!

Oh well, funny people are pathetic sometimes.

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