Monday, December 19, 2005

Steaming Hot Popcorn

I was feeling hungry.

On the front seat next to me, was a steaming hot microwave popcorn bag just waiting to be opened. I pulled into the gas station, and stepped out of my car, when a man approached me.

"Maam? Can you spare some money for my kids? We have car trouble and we're driving down to L.A. for the holidays and my kids are hungry."

I didn't have any cash, but I happily offered him my untouched bag of popcorn.

He leaned over and punched the bag out of my hand. The popcorn exploded in every direction.

"I asked for money!" he shouted as he rushed away disappearing behind cars.

I stood there for a moment. Shivering.

With him disappeared something else -- my trust.

I got back into my car and as I drove off, I felt sad and confused.

This man has made it difficult for me to want to help a stranger again in the future. It's hard to trust fire once it's burned you. I wonder if I will always remain skeptical. Will it always just linger there under the surface with me? Will I always second-guess someone with needs?

I laid in bed that night, thinking of him, still shivering from the cold.


c h e l said...

I cannot believe that. Wow. Who would do that?!

danny said...

It's hard not to be cynical when you encounter someone like that. I'm sorry that happed, and you lost your popcorn too!

grumpiest girl in the room said...

Your heart is huge, so I'm guessing your skepticism will diminish sooner or later. I've been yelled at for offering to buy someone food who was asking for money because they were hungry. I guess they weren't all that hungry, eh? Some folks just say that in an effort to appeal to your humanity so you'll give them some cash. You were very kind to offer your popcorn.

ValGalArt said...

Hi Doodlegirl: I read your stories and got current on your blog. I cried when I read the story about your dad! You are such a great writer, I can see and feel your words so clearly. I know you will get past this incident of the indigent man. You are a kind person and that is what is most important. You were willing to give what you had which is the kindest gift of all. I think I have mentioned before that whe I read your words i feel as though I am reading my own life! I love that!!! I will stay tuned to more doodlegirl adventures and please have a magical holiday!

Janet said...

Gosh! I'm sorry that happened, too.Because of your good nature, you will probably be willing to help someone again, sooner than you think. Like Val, I always identify with your stories. When I first ever entered the Blog world,yours was one of the first I discovered,and it's still one of my favorites!

Beth said...

That is such a horrible thing. One bad egg can ruin things. Hopefully, one day, you'll come across someone, who when you offer them your bag of popcorn instead of cash, they'll kindly take it and enjoy it and feel blessed.

Hopefully the good people will over ride the bad people of the world.

Rayne said...

Try not to feel bad about what happened or to carry the happening in your heart. This is a common scam. When you think about it, why would he be driving his family to LA if they didn't have the money to do so? I can guarantee you there was no family in distress waiting in the car for him. He was a con artist. My parents live in Ga. and this happens all the time. My mother just tells them to go away because they frighten her, my father tells them to pull their car up to the pump and he will fill it with gas for them and not one person has taken him up on the offer yet. They demand the money instead and then stomp away shouting when they don't get it. He said he has been approached by the same guy three times now.

Alina Chau said...

Coool illo!