A few years back, I had a strange experience when I went to a gas station to fill up my car. I pulled up to a pump and was parked next to a brand new cherry red Mustang Cobra GT. Quite a fancy and fast car - especially for such an old guy. I would say the man was probably at least near his 80's. He was slightly hunched over in his matching red Cobra leather jacket while pumping gas in his car.

I went about my business and had just put the nozzle in my car when from behind me I heard, "Excuse me young man!" I turned around and the old guy was looking at me. He started to talk, but I couldn't hear him over the traffic and wind noise. I walked over to him and said, "Sorry, what was that?" He held up a ten dollar bill and asked me, "I have $5.22 put in my car, would you go in and pay it for me? I have a bad leg." I agreed and went in to pay for him.

Now, it's not everyday that an old guy asks me to take his money and go pay for his gas. Although, it is pretty common for an old guy to have a bad leg and a hard time walking. It was also a very cold windy day, so I don't blame him for not wanting to slowly shift across the parking lot. So that wasn't that out of the ordinary, but $5.22 in gas? That was barely three gallons (at the time). Oh well, whatever.

I pay and walk back out with his change, and think to myself that if he offers to let me keep some of it, I would decline. An elderly person should be able to get a 25 year old to take a minute of time to do something that would be a hassle for an old guy and not have to give anything other than their gratitude.

I get back to his car and he's sitting in the driver's seat with the door open. I look in and the guy is dead. Not really, that would have really freaked me out. Anyways, I hand him back the change and he says "thanks," and then wants me to close the door for him.

It felt kind of weird. At first I felt good - helping the old guy out. Then I felt like I was a valet. I guess I was expecting an old dude with such a nice car to offer me a buck or two for helping him out, even though I didn't think it was necessary. Being asked to close his door took me by surprise.

I finish filling up my car with gas, go in to pay and come back out to my car. I get in and buckle up, look over and see the old guy is still sitting in his car - revved up ready to go, but not moving. He's dead. No, not really. Just kidding again. He happened to be faced my direction and gave me a small 'thanks' nod with a big drip of snot on his nose. I look back to my car, turn it on and reset my trip odometer. Then I hear some "clink" sounds. I look over at the old man again, and see he's now rolling up his window, and I wonder... did he just toss the change out of the window? That might upset me a little. If he didn't want it, he could have offered to let a kind 25 year-old who helped him out keep it. It just confused me even more with this whole situation.

None of this is a big deal, maybe you just had to have been there, but it just gave me a strange feeling. From feeling good and helpful to being moderately used. It was just... strange.

So I drove off. He was still parked in his car. I looked as I drove away and sure enough, I spotted some change on the ground! And there were quarters in there, quarters! Quarters are my favorite coin... 

 


Ian
09/07/2013 2:20pm

I absolutely remember this story.

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Ian again
09/07/2013 2:24pm

I made my last comment before even reading it again... Classic. I laughed through the entire second half of it. Thank you for re-posting!

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