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.