Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good Samaritans

As I was making the rounds tonight, reading blogs, something that I read on Anna's blog brought back the memory of an event that I have not thought about in, sheesh, something like 15 years. 

The time was the early or mid-90s and I was living in Houston. My kids were elementary school aged, probably about 7 & 8. We were leaving the mall at night. I remember that it was dark.

As we walked to the car, we passed an "old" guy with the hood up on his pickup truck, hooking up jumper cables, obviously having issues. His wife sat in the passenger seat of the truck. They were grandparent aged, and since I was probably not even 30 at that time, that means they were probably in their 50s. I was parked maybe three or four spots down from them.

I loaded my kids up in the car and pulled around to where they were and asked if they needed a jump. The guy, a very Texan-y guy, said he'd be much obliged, he was certain that's all he needed, just a jump start. His wife opened the car door and said something, I don't remember what. Something that was really nothing, like thanks, or that would be great, or whatever.

And the guy said, "I told you to shut the fuck up" and punched her in the face with a closed fist.

I hit the gas and got the hell out of there. If I had had a cell phone, I probably would have called 911. But I didn't. And by the time I got home, it didn't seem like placing that call would be very effective. So I didn't do anything. And in retrospect, I am not proud to admit that my concern for that woman was 99% diminished by my fear and freaked-out-ed-ness for the perceived close call that we may have had, had I parked and put myself in a position of helping this guy out and the psycho doing something to me or my kids.

This really has nothing to do with Anna's post about doing the right thing. Just a memory of a freaky event triggered by her experience. And while I'd like to think of myself as someone who does "the right thing," that event really opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of people in this world that ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM.

8 comments:

Jen on the Edge said...

Freaky. How did you explain that one to your kids?

bernthis said...

i'm sorry but your kids come first. It is horrible, just horrible what he did but you did the right thing.

Cat said...

You did the right thing by getting the hell out of there. We kind of walk around thinking everybody thinks like us, but that is obviously not true.

Fantastic Forrest said...

I'm glad we have cell phones now. I know you'd call if something like that happened today.

Keetha said...

Good Lord. How horrifying. I'd have done the same thing, I mean, it's your kids.

Janet said...

that poor woman.

Maggie May said...

Yes, that's absolutely true.

Dreamybee said...

Jebus! What is wrong with people? Who knows what would have happened if you had stuck around? Maybe nothing, but it's not worth it to stick around and find out, especially with kids in tow. Calling the police after arriving home would have been a toss up in my mind too. You don't know who they were, they might have been gone already, and who knows if that might have just made the situation worse in the end for his poor wife? Tough one.