Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don't Talk to Strangers

The following is a true story, no names have been changed to protect the innocent because I never got the guys name.

One morning I had to be in downtown Chattanooga at 8:00 in the morning for court, and this was during the time I was having car trouble.  I was lucky enough to have a friend that lived near me and worked downtown so I could catch a ride there, but I knew that I was going to have to walk home.  It was only 7 miles and it was a nice day so that was not a big deal for me to do so.  So in preparation I packed a bag with a change of clothes, my iPod and was ready to be on my way.  To make sure I chose the best route for a pedestrian I used Google maps on my iPhone to plot the course.  After walking for about 3 miles I came to a point where I had to go either left or right.  And really being in the groove of walking and not wanting to pull my phone out, I trusted my keen sense of direction and I knew I was supposed to go right.  After walking for about two miles I saw a pretty cool looking tavern that I made a mental note of returning to in the future, then I saw a Hookah lounge that surprised me, I thought, "I have been to a Hookah lounge here in Chattanooga, I didn't realize there were 2 and there has to be if I'm seeing one over here."  Wrong, the same one that I had been to before which meant that I took a wrong turn and walked 2 miles back toward downtown.

After turning and walking back the way I came, I inadvertently added 4 miles to my walk, and 7 miles suddenly becoming 11, I began to tire.  I get about 3 miles from the house and as I am walking on the edge of a parking lot I hear a horn blow.  I turn around and a guy in a Scion XB says, "Hey."
I say hey back.
He asks me, "where you walking to?"
I said, "home."
He says, "how far is that?"
"About 3 more miles", I said.
He said, "hop in."

Now everything you are taught as a kid comes to mind, I mean this was text book, he did everything but offer me candy.  I mean I was sure to get to kidnapped and tortured.  But I was really tired and really wanted to take the ride, besides, this guy picked the wrong guy to kidnap for ransom, or to murder.  I mean I am a 6'9" black guy, he can't take me even if he tried, plus I was wearing a hoodie so was obviously I was caring a gun.  So this guy wold have to be crazy to have any ill intentions, right...  So I get in the car.

Before I can even fasten my seat belt, the guy asked me how old I was.  I sort of raised an eyebrow and answered, "35."
He said, "oh, you look much younger than that."
"Thanks", I said
"So where to", he asked.
And I explained that I would just show where to turn just up ahead.
He then start in on what he was intending.
"So, do you live alone?"  He asked.
"Um, yeah, yes I live alone", I answered still feeling being the superior species in the car and knowing I was more than capable of handing things if they went south.
"Yeah, I have to pick my friend up in about 2 hours so I was just looking to kill sometime, are you in a hurry to get home" he asked?
"Well I was walking, so only as fast as I could get there, but I do need to get home."  I said.
Yeah I was just looking to kill some time," he said again "you got some time?"
At that moment my phone thankfully rang, so I answered and gave him directions while I was on the phone.

Now despite what you have read so far, I am not stupid, I gave the guy directions to the end of the next street over from where I live.  I wasn't going to give a potential homicidal maniac directions to my front door and get some surprise visit later.  As he pulls up and I am expressing my gratitude to him while on the phone he gave his last ditch effort.  "Can I come in, watch some TV and hang out for a while?"
"Sorry, man", I said, "I have things to do, but thank you again."
Being on the phone with the power company during all this I said the receptionist, "don't talk to strangers, or accept rides from them, I think that guy was going to try to rape me or something."

I made it out that time alive and safe, but who knows about next time.  Don't talk to strangers people!!
The Grim HEEP

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