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The Good Samaritan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Deborah Hamlin   
Saturday, 20 March 2010 12:20


I was reading an article that made a reference to being a Good Samaritan, claiming that it would make a person feel good to know they've helped someone.   I agree....to a point.   I have my own story of being The Good Samaritan, and believe me, when you end up pissing off four elderly people, the police and a dog, it makes you think twice about random acts of kindness.
 
It was Thanksgiving day 1997, and I was annoyed because my then husband refused to close the restaurant we owned down fro the day.   That, of course, meant I had to work the whole day and put off our Thanksgiving dinner plans until late night.   I was grumbling about the forced change of my dinner plans when an elderly man came in to order.   I asked him why he wasn't at home carving a turkey, to which he replied that he had no family and was thankful to be able to get out on his own and have a meal.
 
I was humbled.   I realized that although I was still going to have Thanksgiving dinner, albeit late, this man would have none.   I made up my mind that I would secretly bring Thanksgiving to him.   Through the course of the conversation, I casually asked him where he lived and after awhile he left, happy with his take out, and I with my plan to be The Good Samaritan.
 
After closing that night and going home to prepare our dinner, it was nearly 11 o'clock when I had it finished.   I packed up two of my best porcelain plates filled with homemade love, and set out to find the man on which I would bestow my act of kindness.
   I drove to the end of the street he told me, and looked for  "the big white house on the corner."   I think every damn house on that block was white.

I pulled into a driveway and parked in the back, then walked to a back kitchen door and knocked.   I heard a very strange thumping sound followed by a dragging.   A minute or ten later, a very old, very frail woman answered the door dragging an oxygen tank behind her that was attached to her throat.
Okay, not for whom I was looking.

I apologized and explained to her that I was looking for an elderly gentleman, and I thought he lived here.    She pulled out a pen and pad and wrote that this house was converted into apartments and had several elderly tenants.   What was his name?
 
I had no idea what his name was.   In all my eagerness to be
The Good Samaritan, I never thought to ask.   So I described him.
"Uh, he's pretty short, wears glasses, and he's bald."
She gave me a dead stare.
"And he's old."
I could almost hear her sigh inwardly.
 
She wrote down that maybe it was McDaniel I was looking for.   He lived in the garage apartment.   I thanked her and walked to the garage, climbed the rickety stairs, and knocked.
 
A tall thin man with a beard opened the door.   Again, not for whom I was looking.
"I'm sorry,"   I said.   "I was looking for McDaniel."
"I'm McDaniel,"   he said gruffly.  "But I don't know you."
"Okay then, I'm looking for someone else.   A short balding man who wears glasses?"
 
He thought a minute and said maybe I meant the guy downstairs living in the garage itself.   I thanked him and climbed back down and knocked on yet another door.   I could hear him shuffling around, but he never came to the door.   I knocked again.
 
"You're gonna have to knock louder than that, lady,"   the man from upstairs suggested as he walked down the stairs.
"Ol' Charlie can't hear nothing.   He's just about deaf."
 
Well then this couldn't be the man for whom I was seeking, either.   But before I could say anything, McDaniel was pounding hard on the door.    Somewhere nearby, a dog barked furiously at the racket.
 
"Charlie! Open up!    There's someone here to see you!!"  he yelled at the top of his lungs.
"Huh?   Who's there?"
"Open up, I said!"   McDaniel punctuated each word with another pound on the door.   "There's a girl here!!"
"A squirrel?"
"A GIRL!"
"Who is it?"
 
McDaniel looked at me and apparently missed the shocked expression of disbelief on my face.
"Uh, D-Debbie."  I answered. "But this is not the--
"DEBBIE!!" yelled McDaniel.
"Betty?"
"NO!   DEBBIE!   She's got food for you!"
The door opened a crack and a man the size of Santa's elf peeked out.
 
"I don't know no Betty,"  he said to me.
I looked from one confused man to the other.
"I'm terribly sorry,"  I started,   "I have the wrong apartment."
I turned away and left both men to stare after me.   

Okay, I thought.   'Process of Elimination' don't fail me now.   He's got to be in the next apartment.   I went to the front of the house and found two doors, knowing only one of them was his.   I picked one and knocked.
 
Drag, thump, drag thump.   I had my head down in embarrassment as the old woman opened the FRONT door to her house and gave me that dead stare again.
She quickly scribbled on her pad 'Please go away.'   I smiled weakly and nodded.   "I'm just going to try this last door over here, then I'm leaving,"   I promised.
 
I stood at the door that I finally knew was his and paused to savor the moment.    From the corner of my eye I caught McDaniel standing at the corner of the house watching, and the old woman stood at her door to watch as well.
 
I shifted the plates of food in my hand and knocked on the door.   The man I had been searching for opened the door wide.
And he was stark naked.

I was so stunned that I dropped both plates of food on the porch and covered my face.   He stood there looking at me, then down at the floor.
"I know you?"  he asked.
"I-I'm from Subway,"    I said through a shielded face.   "I brought you Thanksgiving dinner."
"You came all this way just to throw it on my porch?"
"No,"  I said in a strained voice.   "I just wasn't expecting you to answer the door, well naked."
 He looked down at himself and chuckled.
"Honey, if this scares you now, I can't imagine what it's like for you with a younger man!"
I turned and ran off the porch, leaving behind a trail of mashed potatoes and broken dreams.
 
I quickly walked to my car and got in to leave but was headed off in the driveway by an approaching police car.   The officers informed me that I was disturbing the tenants and someone called to complain.

After a lengthy explanation with all four neighbors looking on and interjecting comments of being awakened with no satisfactory explanation, the officers warned me not to go picking on old people, as if that were my idea of fun.
 
One thing I did learn that night--it's not always fun being
The Good Samaritan.


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TAKING THE WRONG SUBWAY ROUTE!?
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Mean Dean - 03-21-2010 08:18

:woohoo: :S God & I give you a hurrah for the thought & for TRYING. The elderly simply found you very TRYING on their psyche. Your "Super Sub" from SUBway got torpedoed, but one would have to "dive deep" to find anyone who would call you a "TURKEY." Your plan of attack was certainly flawed here, but the valuable lessons learned, will benefit you if you ever again delve into the Good Samaritan role. Note, "surprise attacks" are wasted on the elderly, plus the surprise naked counterattack on you was wasted too. :whistle: I'll bet your ex, "Satan," was proud of you too. :evil:
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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 March 2010 08:42