I had a very enjoyable Saturday. I haven’t seen my father since the beginning of summer (see previous entries), and he drove up for a quick South Carolina tour. We met him in Columbia, where my daughter was able to see grandpa, play games, and do putt-putt. Everyone was able to catch up and afterwards we had a very good dinner at Texas Roadhouse.
It was all going swimmingly – until this Jerk screwed it up.
The only Rest Area on I-20 other than the one marked “Welcome to South Carolina!” 96 miles away, is between Lugoff and Camden. Its a nice place for a rest stop. They rebuilt it a few years back. Any way, all I wanted was a coke for the return drive home.
When I drove up there was a car parked way down the street all by itself. You cant park right in front, because there are 15 handicapped spots, but this old beat up car was way away from anything else, and someone was sitting in it.
Car, all alone, away from front door, with passengers at night. Something raised my “this ain’t right” alarm. Were they smoking dope or just sleeping?
Anyway, I toss some trash, and walk up to the coke machine, and fight with the machine over my wrinkled dollar. I can hear voices, and someone drags a trash bag by. Just as I get the machine to accept my second dollar, the Jerk walks up.
I think he’s going for the coffee machine. He’s tall, lanky and scrubby, about 50 and dressed in his backwoods best – dirty jeans and blue/white flannel checked shirt with the essential “John Deere” hat. He says “excuse me brother”, as I hit the Coke button (I mean pepsi – the Coke button is on the westbound machines. The Eastbound sde only has crappy pepsi, WTF?).
First thing – I don’t have a brother. Don’t call me brother. I’m not in your monestary, church, or cult. You’re not my brother. Sir or Mister will work, but I’m only my Sister’s brother.
Thinking this guy might be lost, I turn and step back, putting six feet between us, and say “yes?”
He says “We’re down from Fayetteville and…” (Okay the Lost theory might work until what comes next).
He starts this blubbering thing. Don’t talk and cry at the same time. I don’t want to hear it. Cry, or Talk. Don’t do both. He’s giving me some sob story about someone being sick in the hospital and having seizures and at this point it’s obvious he’s not lost and just wants money. I cut him off with a curt,
“Look dude, if youre wanting money you can stop right there, this is all I have”, and I hold out the two quarters I just got for change. He stops blubbery-talk and turns to walk away. He heads towards the bathroom while I get in the car, and then back towards his own car, seeing no other victims.
You never know what kind of crazies you might find out there. This guy could have had a knife or something. Its already a darkened Rest Area, don’t approach people with some BS story begging for money. If he would have come up saying “hey man can I bum a dollar” I probably would have given him one. I’ve been at rest areas before and been a quarter short of a drink. It’s very disappointing.
I didn’t want to call 911 – but it would have been nice to get a trooper to come run these a-holes off (because his back-up was still in the car). I was angry halfway home. So, if you’re driving down I-20 soon, and stop in Lugoff after dark, and someone blubbers for money, tell him off for me.