Saturday, November 04, 2006

Walk Idiot Walk

We’re walking out of the restaurant last night when this mook who looks a bit like DJ Doublestuff accosts us and asks for a ride anywhere. What the hell? He starts telling this bullshit story about how he’s stranded and his cell phone is dead. Kid’s got to be 20 years old, is dressed in a bulky leather coat, wearing black jeans that are way too big for him, and he has a red bow, uh, sorry, “bandana” tied around his head with the bow in front, just off-center enough to be cool (because centered would make the whole thing look really lame, wouldn’t it?) He told a two-minute story in what seemed like one breath, so full of details I can hardly remember them all. The highlights went like this:

He's from a local bible camp.
He was supposed to meet some people, possibly including his girlfriend.
His cell phone is dead and they won't let him use the phone inside anymore because he’s made too many calls and wasn't able to reach anyone.
He'll take a ride in any direction.
He has several cousins and can recite their names to you.
He understands that he is dressed "gangsta" but he's an honest person. This is just a Halloween costume.

I don’t know how they run it at bible camp, but today is November 3rd, and that’s just about three days late for Halloween costumes. We’re also standing in one of this state’s most affluent towns, so it’s hard to fully grasp the concept of “stranded.” But his story is so retarded; I can’t just let it go. I finally got an opening, and laid some friendly catechism on him, rapid-fire, so he’d feel right at home.

"If I live this way, and you live that way, how does that help you? Why do you want a ride in any direction? How is that going to get you home?"

He said he just needed to get to a phone, so any direction is good. I ask where he lives, and it turns out he lives in the very next town up the road. This all seems pretty fucked to me, so I tell him it isn’t that far to walk and that he should start hoofing it. My wife and daughter have long since locked themselves in the car anyway, and my daughter is frantically giving me the wave-off sign from the backseat. He tells me that it’s fine that I don’t want to give him a ride (nice of him to approve my decision like that, huh?) but he tells me he just wishes I didn’t let him stand there and make him go through the whole story. And even though that made me feel even a little better, I did remind him that he wouldn’t shut up, so it was his own fault anyway.

Got in the car and drove off. Then it all dawned on me what really happened. This kid fell apart when his cell phone died. If he can’t call someone to bail him out, he’s completely borked because he’s got no resourcefulness beyond “beep boop bop beep beep boop beep.” It would’ve taken him 90 minutes to walk his lazy ass home, and he would have passed no less than 34 million phones on the way, and countless Starbucks. Or, he would have eventually just found himself home. But all he could think of was how he didn’t have a phone, so he needs to make up some shit about being from Halloween bible school.

I really need to start carrying the digital camera around with me.

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