Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Hobo and the Hoagie

I finished up working late downtown the other night. I decided to run over to the sandwich shop across the street to grab some dinner before heading home. This is where my story ceases to be normal.

I got my food and was exiting the front door when a so-crazy-I-though-he-must-have-been-KIDDING gentleman blocked my egress and began to spew forth random words in my general direction.

I don’t know what the hell he was saying, but was waiting for the eventual request for money.

So he gets to the end of his gibber-spiel, and says “so maybe you can help me out … so I can buy some dinners or something.” I was kinda happy, because I had no cash to give him, should he have asked, so I said, “Sure! Let’s go back in and buy you a giant sandwich!”

The part that troubled me was that he found the offer to be agreeable enough that he made some barely audible comment about how NOW, he wouldn’t try to hurt me, or touch me, ‘er nuthin.

Why, thank you, for that, crazy-man!

While the crazy and I waited in line, he indicated to me that he is somewhat uncomfortable with the kid at the counter thinking that I was buying him food out of some charitable motivation . . . so could he please do the talking?

"Fair enough," I say, "order yourself silly. "

He orders 2 sandwiches: “one for me, and one for my girlfriend”

He orders 2 bags of chips: “one for me, and this here, my lady”

He orders 2 cokes. When asked if he preferred bottles or fountain drinks, he indicates that he would prefer bottles: “I like to get nice things for my woman.”

(swear to God, I would NOT make this up)

When he is done ordering -- which was tough considering all of the superfluous words and noises he threw in for good measure -- I gave the kid at the counter my bank card, signed the slip and gave him a hefty tip in consideration of the fact that he was going to have to deal with this guy after I left.

I don’t think I mentioned that throughout our encounter, my crazy companion kept whispering “I’m not gonna touch her . . . . I’m not gonna touch her …NO! ... not gonna touch her . . . not gonna touch her … not gonna …”

Anyhoo . . . I apprised him of the process by which he would take his seat, and that they would bring his food to him.

“Don’t you want to stay and eat your dinner?” he asked me.

I pointed to my own bag and said, “Thanks, but I think I’m set.”

“Well, at least take your Coke.”

So I did. And I thanked him for treating me.

While he was waiting inside the store for his food, I made record speed back to my car.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the visit! I can see Griton is in good company with his Wyoming birth heritage. I had a similar experience with a street person in San Francisco once and it was definitely intimidating. I was very glad there were security guards at my building.

i_highmark said...

I think hem sounds nice!
You should have taken him home and added him to your collection.

Anonymous said...

i think that exact story is how i_highmark met his wife... which eventually led to some pretty deviant sexual behavior.

Reluctant Kerry said...

. . . And perhaps an uncomfortable investigation at the airport? Yeah, I think I heard that sory too!