Heck, I love people because you just never know what they are going to say or do. The other day I finished my morning constitutional with a visit to the local drugstore where I intended to purchase a cool and refreshing beverage. I had worked up quite a thirst and eagerly anticipated the relief that said cool and refreshing beverage would provide.
As I approached the store there was a song in my heart and a spring in my step. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on that refreshment. My reverie was suddenly interrupted by a voice from just to the side and behind me. Now mind you that if you ever encounter me you’d be well served not to approach me from just to the side and behind me as I have a skittish nature and am sometimes inclined to swing first and ask questions later.
“Sir, I need a condom. Can you please help me?”
The voice belonged to a lanky male. He was dressed in a pair of torn bluejeans and a blue sweatshirt. I’d guess that he was in his early twenties. I must have had a puzzled look on my face because he asked again for my help.
“Sir, I am kind of short on cash and my girl won’t let me be with her without a condom. Can you help me?”
This was a new sort of plea. As the Salvation Army Bell Ringer can attest to I am not always the best guy to approach for money. I haven’t any problem making contributions, but I have specific charities that I like to give to.
So I looked at the kid and asked him if he was serious. He vigorously shook his head and then pointed at a black Toyota Camry. “That is my girlfriend in the front seat.” She smiled and waved at me.
“Doesn’t she have any money to buy condoms,” I asked. He shook his head and told me that he was too embarrassed to ask her. I laughed and asked him why it was easier to ask a stranger for help than to ask his girlfriend for money. He mumbled something about telling her that he was trying to get money for gas.
I told him that he was on his own and started to walk away. Before I could take two steps he started to beg and stammer something about my not remembering what it was like to be young. That really wasn’t the brightest move. I am not old. I do remember exactly what it was like to be a single twenty something, but I was never that dumb nor brazen to go beg for condoms.
So I told him again that he needed to find someone else. Apparently the strain of trying to keep his pants zipped cut off the oxygen supply to his brain as he called me a “fat, old, asshole.”
I turned and faced him and corrected him. I am not fat, nor old but I am an asshole…when provoked. And with that I wandered over to the Camry to go have a conversation with his partner.
The window was open and she had been watching so she wasn’t all that surprised to see me. She gave me a big smile and thanked me for helping her.
“I am going to offer a different sort of help than you think. Your pal just asked me to pay for condoms. Do you really want to risk getting pregnant with the spawn of this genius?”
The genius was none too happy with my comment and continued to berate me. I turned and suggested that he should just leave it be and tried to walk away. But I had insulted his manhood and now he was determined to try and regain his honor so he stepped in front of me.
By this point in time the girlfriend had gotten out of the car and was trying to convince the genius to walk away. As he had prevented my acquisition of a cool and refreshing beverage I was somewhat cranky so I made a few comments of my own including the “why don’t you do something productive with your life and go serve in Iraq.”
I’d like to say that it came out as a real zinger, that it sucked the wind right out of his sails, but it didn’t. Instead it sounded pretty much like the kind of comment an old middle aged guy might make. DOH!
And that is really kind of, sort of how this story ends. Not with a bang. Not very exciting at all. It just ends.