I Gave a Guy Five Bucks?!

So, the other day, I was minding my own business, trying to fill my car up with gas. But the computer at the pump got frozen, and I couldn’t figure out how to pump gas, but I’d already put my credit card in, so I couldn’t just try another pump. So I did the only logical thing to do. I walked into the station and asked the attendant what was wrong. He said, “Oh yeah, that happens, just hold the enter button down and it will work.” So I went back to the pump, and he was right, it worked.

So I started filling my tank. Now, I am a man of much efficiency so I like to clean the windows on my car as the gas is pumping. This helps me to keep my mind off the fact that I can feel my wallet getting lighter as the gas is flowing. Well I clean the back window, and put the brush away, and low and behold, as I turn around, some guy is standing there. Like I said, just “some guy”. And I was thinking, ”Why is that guy standing there? Is he going to kill me?”

Well after about ten seconds, and not seeing a gun, I still feel a little cautious but at least I’m alive for now, but I notice the guy’s mouth is moving. He’s trying to say something to me, but I can’t understand him. I tell him to hold on a second as I put the gas pump away and close up my tank, but I find that this guy just keeps talking to me. And I’m thinking, ”What does he want? Does he want money? He’s got to want money.” Then I notice that his wife and child are with him, and I’m thinking, ”Why is this guy begging for money with his wife and child present? Does this man have no dignity? Does he not want his wife to think that he’s capable of providing for them? Does he not at least want to go out during the day and pretend to work, while he is yet begging?” As these thoughts are going through my mind, I am also afraid that he’s still going to try to kill me. Naturally, I would be afraid of such things.

So about this time, I’m kind of wondering where this guy came from, and I notice that there is a minivan on the other side of the pump that I’m at. So I’m thinking that this minivan belongs to him, and it looks pretty new, so I’m wondering why this guy is asking me for money if he can afford to have a new minivan. Then I thought, ”Maybe he murdered someone and stole their minivan.” Yes indeed, that thought actually went through my mind. Right at that point, he mentions that he’s from Romania, and this is the one thing I can understand that he’s saying. And so I ask him, “Where are you trying to get to?” And I can’t understand what he responds with, and he realizes that I can’t understand him, because he says, “I don’t speak English so well.” And so I was like, “I don’t speak gibberish so well, I don’t understand what you want?”

And I’m worried right there that he wants me to pay for the gas for his minivan, and I was like, ”There is no way that I’m paying to fill up your minivan with gas, that would cost me like a hundred bucks, and it is a lot to ask for a hundred bucks from a complete stranger.” But that’s what I think he’s asking for, so I say, “I could maybe get you one gallon, but that won’t get you very far, because I think you probably want to go further inland because the coast of California is a pretty expensive place to live, and if you need to beg for money, maybe you should live somewhere cheaper.” Well anyway, I don’t think he really understood that I was accusing him of being an idiot for living on the coast and begging for money, but he’s not the first beggar I’ve seen so it’s not too unusual.

Well he keeps talking, and I still don’t know what he’s saying, so finally I’m like, ”I got to get rid of this guy before he decides to kill me.” So I whip out my wallet, and I was thinking, ”Well homeless guys are happy with one dollar, but this guy wants to fill up his car with gas, so if I give him one dollar he’ll probably kill me, and if I only give him five dollars he’ll think I’m cheap, but there is no way I’m giving him twenty bucks, because that is a lot of money, but I don’t have a ten, so I guess I’ll give him five anyway.” So I give him five bucks.

Well this guy just looks at me like I’m cheap, and so I’m thinking, ”I guess I could give him six since I do have a single.” But I’m also thinking that I just want him to leave so I say I don’t understand and wish him well and get in my car and drive away.

Then as I was driving away, I realize that he may have just been asking for directions, and I gave him five bucks for nothing. Then again, the next day on the news I heard about a homeless man that did murder some dude over a quarter.