Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wherein Our Heroine Unknowingly Aids and Abets

WheelchairI hesitated to tell you what happened last Wednesday for fear of blowing my cover and revealing myself as a Complete and Total Idiot but then I remembered how long I've been posting now. I'm sure you've all discovered my mental state many moons ago and I'm in little danger of revealing anything new.

I was on a mission to Fred Meyer, our local grocery/super store, to pick up a few things. As always I had Lillian by my side and as we walked through the parking lot and into the store I noticed a man in a wheelchair just inside.

To give you the full picture, he was probably 45 years old but looked closer to 70. His hair was gone, his scalp splotchy and crusted, and his bony, knobby fingers had yellowed nails that hadn't been trimmed in months and tapered to claw-like talons. Hidden behind thick lenses, his watery eyes gazed off to the side while his weak head lolled on his shoulder and he seemed only to have the strength to manipulate his electric wheelchair. He didn't look as if he had much longer to live and would be lucky to make it out of the store. The point is, if you didn't feel some sympathy and pity you'd have to be made of stone I tell you.

He was parked in front of a display of magazines as if he were having problems. He didn't seem to have the strength to lift his arm let alone pick up a magazine and I was just wondering if I should ask him if he needed some help when a store employee who seemed to know him approached and struck up a conversation.

"Oh, I guess he's taken care of," I thought with a touch of relief. Though I have good intentions, I don't always act as smooth and gracious as I'm aiming for and though I didn't want to ignore someone who might need help I worried about offending him by assuming he could use a hand and honestly, he was a little scary-looking.

So Lillian and I went happily through the store, grabbing the things we needed, filling our cart and finishing through the check-out lane. It was only a few minutes later when we were pushing the cart out the sliding doors and down the concrete ramp to the parking lot when there, in the middle of everything, was the same guy. He was completely still and given the fact that he was sitting there in the middle of the parking lot I made the assumption (and this wins the Nobel prize for genius) that he probably needed some help.

Wanting to do the right thing but a bit nervous I approached him. It wasn't hard as he was in the way, wasn't going anywhere and I couldn't get to my car without going around him. Remembering all those Good Samaritan lessons I'd heard over the years I got up the courage to timidly ask, "Um. Do you need any help?"

I couldn't hear his answer so I got a little closer. "Yes!" He said in a raspy, broken voice.

Relieved that I hadn't misjudged the situation I said, "What can I do?"

"Light my pipe."

Startled I said, "What?"

"Light my pipe," he repeated with a bit of a sneer as if I were stupid and at which point I noticed that grasped in one claw was a red pipe and hanging out of his jacket pocket was a lighter.

I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a request to push him to his car, to be taken inside, to make a phone call, whatever, but not this. If you don't know me you may not realize what a sheltered life I've led. I've never smoked, don't like it, and haven't the faintest idea how to light a pipe--though it seems pretty intuitive--but in that micro-second I had all these quick thoughts:

"Oh my gosh, he wants me to light his pipe . . . I don't really approve of smoking . . . but I asked him if he needed help . . . I can't back out now . . . what do I do??" It seemed pretty rotten when he was in such bad shape to just leave him with a lecture about the health concerns of smoking--I was guessing that smoking was the least of his problems--so I reached for his lighter and weakly flicked it a couple times. At least I know how those work.

I figured I was supposed to hold the flame at the bowl so that's what I did, and in a second there was smoke coming up but just as I put the lighter back in his pocket the smoke reached my nose and I was hit by "OH MY GOSH THAT'S NOT TOBACCO SMOKE!"

Great Googly-Moogly I'd just lit a bong. At least I think it was a bong. Maybe it was a bong. Okay I'm not entirely sure what a bong is, I'll have to look it up but that wasn't your regular old tobacco smoke coming from that little red pipe. I, who'd never smoked in my life, had just (in front of my daughter no less) lit up some guy's weed. Great. Just great. Holy Cow. To anyone's observation I was standing in the middle of the Fred Meyer parking lot pushing drugs on a poor invalid with a preschooler in tow. I looked nervously over my shoulder expecting to see the entire church congregation staring at me.

He didn't even say thanks and I left him sitting there with it in his hand as I rushed to get the groceries in the car, afraid he'd next ask me to hold it to his lips or help him inhale. I did a quick panic, wondering if I'd broken the law or anything. "No, no," I thought. "I'm pretty sure that it's legal to smoke for medicinal purposes. And if that guy isn't a poster child for the nearly-dead I don't know what is." I figured I was safe from any jury but nonetheless I objected on general moral principles.

So there I was, trying to be a Good Samaritan, going around helping guys in wheel chairs smoke drugs. In the middle of the Fred Meyer parking lot. With Fruit Loops in my cart and my daughter watching it all go down. I could visualize the headlines: "Felony Amid the Fruitloops: Housewife Gets Seven to Ten." If there's a Stupid Prize I'd win--whoever said "No good deed goes unpunished" should have met me, I'd give them something to think about.

What in the world should I tag this post with? I can't think of anything I'd want the search engines to read--maybe I should have titled it "Come on Baby Light My Fire."

***

Congratulations to Angela from Bryan, Texas for winning The Paper Princess stationery and pen set from the last Saturday Giveaway. Join me next Saturday for another random drawing--it's going to be good I guarantee. This time I've got two prizes . . .

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61 comments:

Robin said...

Oh my goodness, I just spit juice out my nose! (Note to self: do NOT drink orange juice while reading funny posts).

Too too funny.

Jaycee said...

That is pretty funny.

I remember speaking to a guy once on the phone - who I fancied. He was ill and I asked if he wanted me to bring anything around to him to aid in his recovery. A bit of chicken soup I was thinking. He said he needed cigarettes.

Now I've smoked but never when sick, especially with the flu. I said that he didn't really need cigarettes as they wouldn't help him get better and as a result never went around. I obviously didn't fancy him enough.

Jenn in Holland said...

Nah, the title is perfect. And the tag line just makes it all the better.
What a hilarious event! I am giggling still as I try to comment. No matter what it was you lit for him, pipe tobacco, or weed, the hilarity lies in the fact that this man who apparently needs a lot of help asked for am light. Oh, my Scribbit, I think you are ready for a trip to Amsterdam!

Corrie said...

Funny! 'Poster child for the nearly dead' (maybe a Deadhead).

Rebecca said...

hee hee/

Console yourself with the thought that he probably just smoked grass for medicinal or pain relief purposes.

Erica said...

I take it Lilian is too young to understand, I'm sure she'll find it rather amusing when she's older.

www.littlemummy.com

jeanie said...

Oh no, Scribbit!! I am very wary of guys in wheelchairs after I did a similar good samaritan deed in my late teens - to be advised that all he really wanted was to - umm - fulfil a certain desire that I was really not willing to help out on.

Jeana said...

"Mary Jane: Where's Spiderman When You Need Him?"

"Weed: It's Not Just for Gardens Anymore"

"What's in the Pot?"

"The Totally Awesome Samaritan"

"When You Lit a Bong for the Least of These, You Lit a Bong for Me..."

Any way you go, you should follow the post with a recipe. Munchies, you know.

Cracking up here. Cracking up.

Mary Alice said...

Ahhahaaahhahahahahaha......THAT, my dear, is a classic. This is something you will be retelling years down the road at family reunions to your grandchildren and great grandchildren as they gather at your feet.

Joyful Days said...

I can now go forth content that I have had the best laugh of the day. That was a hoot!

snarflemarfle said...

Oh, my heavens! That was hilarious! I don't think I'd have even asked if he needed help!

Melissa R. Garrett said...

I would have been absolutely flustered had someone asked me to light his pipe - especially one filled with drugs! OMG! Did your daughter ask any questions??

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Oh Michelle! Bless your HEART! You were only trying to serve your fellow man.

That is a HILARIOUS story that I am sure the kids will so appreciate - when they are older.

Karen said...

Hilarious! You'll laugh at this one for years to come. I'm sure the guy was highly grateful.

Trixie said...

OH MY!!!!! I definately would not have expected the guy to ask you to light his pipe, let alone his dope pipe. Eeeek. That must have been SO awkward:)

Trixie

Amber said...

OHMYGOSH. What a story! I'd have reacted the same way as you. Hilarious!

Sandy said...

Wow.

That is seriously funny! By the way, I would have reacted the same way....

Daisy said...

Felony among the Fruit Loops -- great headline!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Even though you might have been in quite a bit of agony in that Fred Meyer parking lot, at least you turned the experience into a highly amusing post :) !!

Judge ye not and avoid the appearance of evil ... what is a gal to do?

Lisa Milton said...

Googly moogly is right. I am going with the medicinal uses, although I would have those same thoughts {I AM GOING TO JAIL. WHO WILL RAISE THE KIDS?}

Great post.

TeaMouse said...

Well you can pat yourself on the back for at least giving it the ol' college try, I would have been scared to approach him.

I mustn't be too naive as I saw the wacky tobacky coming from way back.

Lissete said...

Break out the Depends! This was absolutely hilarious! Thanks for brightening up my day!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This will keep me chuckling all day long. I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, I'm sure, so I probably would have helped him hold it to his lips while he sucked on the dang thing.

Leslie said...

That was hilarious!

janet said...

Hum! Your writing skills made it sound funny, and that's what good writers do. I think it's very sad, see it all the time in Denver, epically around the VA. I'm glad you did what you did.

No tellin what's gone on in this poor mans life to bring him to this. Probably a vet and just think in another 20 years there will be a slew of men and women to take his place.

I think you did a noble thing, regardless of what it was and compassion is never a bad thing for your child to wittness. She hadn't a clue that you just fired up the guys weed pipe. You just were helping a poor guy out.

Oh and teaching your children to be non-judgemental is never a bad thing either.

Stie said...

Oh, that is just too good. Way to go. Laughed outloud today!

Marie N. said...

Gasp!

Just when you're all happy about modeling good helpful behavior for your children.

My dad's war-gaming buddy smokes a (tobacco only) pipe. I used to come home from ballet every night to a home filled with just the right amount of cherry vanilla aroma. If I went down the the basement it was too strong. That particular smell is a happy memory for me.

JAM said...

Yep, trying to do the right thing eventually causes one to step in "it." I've never done this, but I sure feel for you. And he was a jerk to allow you to do that.

Heffalump said...

Isn't it lovely to have a place to record all of these stories for Posterity?
I can almost hear the future genealogist saying as she points to your name and picture. This is your great, great grandmother Michelle, who lived in Alaska...have I got a story for you!

Ni Yachen said...

The best baked beans may come from Boston, but do you know what they say comes from Alaska, not smoked salmon. :)

The post had me laughing. How did you key it in for a week?

Magpie said...

LOL - that is about the funniest thing I've read in a long time.

Jules said...

I got a great laugh out of that! Too funny!

Val said...

You did the right thing.
I'd go to jail to help a sick person.

Sheila said...

Too funny! I think you're safe since I don't think he was an undercover cop. :)

eve said...

WOW! That is one CRAZY story! I love you for asking him if he needed help! But I think because I'm such a snob about drugs I would have given him a lecture. Right or wrong I'm bossy like that.

Loralee Choate said...

You know? There are few people who can fly a freakflag of life events like I can, but seriously?

RIGHT UP THERE on this one, baby.

Awe. I'm so proud of you!

Wink

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

!Seriously rolling around laughing! It couldn't have happened to a FUNNIER person!

jesseca said...

OMG - that is flippin' hilarious!! You would think this fella would be in a better mood if he is smoking his special stuff out of his little red pipe ;)

maggie said...

That story made my night.

Schelle said...

sounds to me like he could have been in a lot of pain, and embarrassed too... I think you did a good deed.

Michelle A. said...

Oh my! What a story! The way you wrote it, I felt like that could have been me. Moments like that are great for memories - but in and right after the moment - a tinge of red would cover my face as I pondered my momentary light headedness.

Thanks for making my day! Hope your doing well.

chilihead said...

Holy Crap! That was my DAD!

allysha said...

Now THAT is a great story- one that you can tell the grandkids, and have them rolling on the floor...once they're old enough!

my4kids said...

too funny!

Babystepper said...

This honestly sounds exactly like the kind of thing that happens to me.

In high school there were these two guys....well, it's a long story if you're interested I'll just put it in a blog post. =)

You are so funny, Scribbit.

Gina said...

Finally, something that made me laugh! teheheheheheheh! =))

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

Boy this hits close to home. I have a friend in a wheelchair from cerebral palsy amid a host of other problems. I know what little quality of life and what few pleasures these folks have. It just makes me feel sad.

If I didn't relate personally, I'm sure I'd be better able to see the humor.

Amy W said...

OMIGOSH, I can't believe that happened!

Robinson Family said...

Hillarious! Totally not where I expected your story to wind up! I don't blame you one bit--I think I would have felt the same way.

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elena jane said...

oh gosh, now i've got strains of "come on baby light my fire" going thru my head. funny funny! :)

Jen said...

OH MY GOD! That's rich! Did you offer the poor guy the Cheetos from your cart? LOL

Nancy said...

That is too funny! But I know what you mean about wanting to offer someone help, yet not quite sure if they need it or would be offended by it. I wonder what you'll do next time you come upon a situation where you wonder if they need your help....! Nancy

Poppy Fields said...

LOL! I don't know if you want to know this, but the reason I laughed doubly hard is that...in the french language, lighting one's pipe is very lewd slang for another gesture, involving ummm, I better just leave the initials...bj...

Damselfly said...

OK, this just made my day!

Melkhi said...

Oh wow! That is so funny and so sad at the same time. I would have been just as confused and conflicted in that situation.

bobbarama said...

Well, at least now you can scratch 'Light a bong' off your lifetime list of things to do.

Hee hee

Jennifer said...

That was freaking hysterical! Stuff like that happens to me too. I'm so glad I'm not alone!

Lill said...

This is one of those things that I read and then have to tell my dh, the cats and our nearest neighbor. I found you thanks to bobbarama and will be back to read more, if you don't get arrested before then. Please, try to stay legal, but if you can't, keep writing about it.

Shine On,
Lill

Deborah Robinson said...

Thank you for contributing this article to Mom's Blogging Carnival.

Natasha said...

Hilarious! I have just recently discovered your blog and have very much enjoyed the posts I have read so far. This one especially! I hope you don't mind, but I posted a link to your blog (and this post specifically) on my blog (which is nothing as fancy as yours...just a mom recording some memories as time allows). Thanks for the good reading!