I've been asked if I want to buy a duck, asked for money, and even asked if I live here as I sit on the porch.
I usually just answer no to everything asked of me, even the queries of do I live here (why admit residency when you don't have to, another attempt at living off the grid), but on Sunday I was caught off guard when a young man asked me a simple question, "Do you have a car"?
For the first time since I was asked if the beach was that vast watery expanse on the corner, I answered yes.
Mistake number one. I had a good thing going with this no tactic, I should have never abandoned it, because if you think there was no follow up question to this, you are wrong.
Follow up question, "Can I get a ride"?
Before I could even revert back to the triangle "no" offense, he hit with me the details.
You see, he didn't need a ride just due to the lack of a car-well, that had something to due with it obviously-he, as they all so eloquently phrase their stories, had some guys chasing him.
I am not Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa, or Bono, but I do have a heart.
Certainly I do not want to see anyone, as crazy and tatted up as they might be, fall victim to a horrible beating just because I get shitty gas mileage and never drive on a Sunday.
It's a traffic thing, not a religious thing. I still use a t.v. and a blender.
But I truly did not think that getting in my car was going to exactly save the day for this guy, so I gave him the best and most blunt (considering his time crunch) advice I could. I pointed in the direction opposite that of his potential attackers, and told him "Run. Run that way".
I feel this was good advice. I have been the victim of "guys chasing me", and I can tell you it is a tough position to be in, but not one you can't get out of. The solution is simple, and really high school physics if you think about it, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction of the people trying to kill you, and don't stop.
Beyond the physics, I would also advise other methods mixed in, such as, but not limited to-bobbing and weaving, hiding in/behind/under things, seeking shelter, calling the police, and of course the obvious, never get in a position in the first place in which people will want to assault you. Of course this is all common sense, which maybe the guy with the spider web tattoo on his neck didn't quite grasp. His loss.
Despite my solid and quick advice, and what I would think is a basic human instinct to go in the opposite direction, upon my denial of his request for a taxi/bodyguard service, he shrugged his shoulders and walked back in the direction of which he came, aka, where the guys who wanted to kill him are.
Like I said, I have a heart, so try not judge me as I tell you how this ended.
Jesus wouldn't judge.
I went to get a chicken breast sandwich on the delicious and nutritious 9-grain omega-3 bread Subway has, and on my back saw quite a scene at the corner of Pacific and North Venice.
An EMT was putting the same young man who needed a ride (and survival skills) into the back of an ambulance, clearly to tend to the wounds inflicted by large fists and feet, judging from his swollen face.
You might think the moral of this story is something about lending a hand to your fellow man, or doing your part for society, but let's face it, the moral of the story is so simple, even Forrest Gump understood it.