A Good Deed for the (Rainy) Day

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Consider: You and your spouse are returning home, with a nameless but cheap and smelly fast food dinner, the kind that you’re more than ready to escape the confined space of the vehicle as soon as possible. 

It’s pouring outside.  POURING!  Torrential monsoon.

You’re driving down a two lane, winding residential road.  And there’s a middle aged lady walking along the side of it.  No umbrella.  No rain jacket. 

Given the area, you presume she was visiting a neighbor and got caught up in the leading edge of a storm.  She’s more than soaked, and she’s holding her arms around her body for warmth.

Two cars that are ahead of you both pass by her.  You do the same.  But...

There’s that but that lingers as you continue several hundred yards down the road.  Butt out, but!  The food will taste fine once you get home.  You just need to free yourself of the smell!  ...but... How would you feel if you got caught outside in a storm, obviously unprepared?  And humanity passes you by?

It nags.  The good angel on one shoulder is appealing to your humanity, if not any squashed spiritual convictions.  Thanks, good angel. 

The evil demon on the other shoulder is saying what you already know.  “This food smells.  You need to hurry home before it gets cold.  And eat it while it’s at least a bit good to eat.”  Righto, pointy ears.  “And besides, you never, ever pick up hitchhikers or mysterious people alongside the road.  Bad things happen that way.  Bad things.”

Why is the evil demon making so much sense?  How can he represent the Father of Lies if he’s telling the truth?

Meanwhile, the good angel rolls his eyes, and mutters, “Well, she’s somebody’s daughter.  How’s yours?”

AGHH!  I hate TACO BELL SMELL!  (oops, I said it.  But you guessed it anyway).

Dammit.  So you turn around, with permission from your spouse, who you know will remind you of how bad a decision this is when it turns out badly, even if the good angel is whispering in her ear as well. 

Dammit.

So, you turn around to pick the lady up.  Only, she’s now walking in the other direction.  What’s up with that?   Really?   After getting that drenched, is she closer to her house or closer to a neighbor?  Whatever.

You slow down, crack your window, and shout through the pouring and intruding rain, “Would you like a ride?”

“YES!” is the response, and she quickly enters the back seat.

Okay, this good deed for the day is indeed a noble one, and finishing this off should be a matter of...

Tears?  Okay, she’s cold and upset.  Hysterics?

"Thank you so much I’m so wet I’m going to ruin your seats my cell phone is ruined I don’t have my purse my boyfriend kicked me out of the car what kind of boyfriend does that this is the second time he’s done that I’m so wet I’m from Mississippi I worked at a restaurant I’ve lost my job after 7 years I’ll pay for cleaning your car thank you so much what kind of boyfriend does this to a person...”

Oh, Lordy. 

“Address, please?”

“I don’t know it’s Foxhill Road did I walk past it I can’t find it it’s my boyfriend’s house I have to go there because all my stuff is there did I walk past it I’ve been walking forever I don’t know how I could have missed it did I walk past it your seats are so wet...”

Well, of course they are.  We anticipated that.  It’s okay.  It’s just water.

Let’s see. Hmm, Foxhill.  You’re not familiar with Foxhill, and you’ve only been up and down this road a zillion times.  As has your spouse.  There ain’t no Foxhill.  You know it.  Your spouse knows it. 

Now, for anyone who may be confused, the “ain’t no” is double negative.  Literally, it would mean “is not none,” which cancels out to produce an affirmation that something actually is.   In context, that would mean “There is a Foxhill.”  Except there isn’t. 

In Southern parlance, “ain’t no” is actually a double emphasis to the negative.  “There ain’t a Foxhill.  Again, there is no Foxhill.  You stupid or something?”   Yes, I digress, but that little detour is a comparatively happier place than sitting in the timeline of the story, which I’ll return to just about now...

And, your spouse gives you that “O-M-G what have we YOU gotten us into there’s no way you’re bringing her home this TACO BELL SMELL is awful but it’s mine, MINE!” look.  (Not really, but if it was different food, it would be). You may or may not be familiar with that look (hopefully not), but when delivered in an appropriate occurrence, it takes a nano-second to receive and reply in kind.  You just wanted to give a wet woman a lift.   Sheesh!

You pull over and launch your map App on your smart phone, zooming around for a Foxhill Road, Street... anything.  Please.  Having failed, you search “Foxhill” by name in the city you’re in... Nada.  Great.  Just great.

“This is what happens to people who give and give other people just take and they treat you like crap and drop you off the side of the road and don’t even come back to get you when there’s a storm your seats or so wet I promise I’ll pay to...”

At which point, the scent of cigarette smoke somehow rises from her soaked clothes to add to your odorous mix of nasty cheap fast food and, essentially, wet dog.

“Are you sure it’s around here?  I’m not familiar with it, and it’s not on the map.”

“Yes I know it is I just cant find it did I walk past it...” (response abbreviated).

You take a guess that she’s actually looking for a neighborhood sort of nearby named Foxhall.  That has to be it, of course, because it’s only, oh, TWO MILES away and located on a different road.  How would she have missed that?

So you drive, with the rambling narrative of wet-and-hysterical-woman-who-doesn’t-stop-talking, who very clearly has no idea where she is, where she is going, or where else she can go.  Wonderful.

“This looks familiar.”

Good.  GOOD!

So good, in fact, that the good angel on the one shoulder leaps over your head to put a beat down on the remarkably candid and truthful evil demon.

“It’s on the right it has short trees no person should kick anyone out of their car I hope he’s not there I just want to get my stuff...”

You pull into the driveway.  It’s a nice upper middle class house, a BMW is in the driveway, and a wet lady who just exited your car races through the downpour to the back of the house after an appreciated (and well earned...) “Thank you.”

And you drive away, wondering if the neighbors might happen to remark on the color, make and model of the car that delivered the accused to the murder scene headlining that evening’s news.

Good deed, though.  Good deed.

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