Friday, June 22, 2012

UH, YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?????

It is summer rerun time and since my friend is still here, I really don't have time for posting.  Some of you were with me when I wrote this in Sept of 09 so you are excused with a huge "thank you" for hanging in so long.  You are the best and have a  remarkable tolerance for claptrap.


The rest of you who are new since that time, I hope you enjoy. My friend read this and snickered all the way through. It was so strange but fun getting a live response to my efforts.  Hope you enjoy my recall of a strange, rewarding,  fun day from my younger years.  Stay cool.

 It was in the early 1980's. I had my vehicle in the shop for repairs and the only loaner available was a humongous van with several rows of bench seats and side opening doors. I was not use to such a large vehicle and was a bit nervous about driving it. However, I did need to pick up my dry cleaning so I illegally parked in the fire lane to protect the loaner from crashing grocery carts and quickly ran into the Cleaners.


I had the side doors open looking for a place to hang my cleaner bags, when someone gently pushed me aside. Startled, I watched a little old lady climb into the van and sit down wearily. Need to state here that at my age then, anyone over 60 was OLD. Today I look on 60 is a still a youngster. Back to the story. My mouth was still hanging open when the next wave hit. One by one, five other seniors climbed into the van, using my shoulder as a hand rail.


"We missed the bus." an elderly gentleman informed me as he squeezed beside two ladies and looked for a place to put his cane.


"You will take us home." he partially questioned, but mostly stated.


I looked at my little group of passengers and tried to push thoughts of law suit out of my mind as I asked,"Uh, where do you live?"


They were from Century Village which is a huge retirement village in Palm Beach County. Today over 6000 people live there. The Village supplied bus service to grocery stores and shopping complexes. This group had stayed too long and had been left on the curb. The last bus of the day was history.


Against my better judgment but not knowing how I could possibly throw 6 seniors back on the curb and still sleep at night, I made sure there were no more stragglers. I then told them to buckle up and headed for the Village which was several miles away.


I was curious why they had no shopping bags. Man-with-cane explained that they went a couple of times a week to the book store/coffee shop that was part of the strip mall to read and sip while the rest of the bus load grocery shopped.


I asked where their books were and he explained that they never bought a book except as a gift. They just read inside the store while sipping coffee. They would then write down the stopping page on a piece of paper so they could pick up where they left off next time.


Being a book and coffee person myself, I could see where that might be the perfect day out for seniors. The price for their entertainment certainly fit into a retirement income.


Now Century Village has over 2000 condos. It would have been nice if they all lived in the same unit but each one lived in a separate building. Kind of wondered how they all got together. Perhaps they met at Bingo.


At each stop, I got out to open the doors for the departing senior and was rewarded with a quarter and a sweet smile or nod for my efforts. I tried to refuse the change but they almost got ugly insisting. I quickly learned that little old ladies will not hesitate to slap your arm with their bony hands if you don't agree with them. So I just took the money and shut up.


I was really getting tickled at the absurdity of the situation. However with each successful unload, I breathed a new sigh of relief. I was beginning to think that this might work out after all.


Man-with-cane was the last to depart. He demanded my name and address. He did NOT offer a quarter. I was tempted to give a false name but I wrote my real name and address on the piece of paper he offered.


Ah, I thought, here comes the law suit. Perhaps I had taken a turn too quickly and caused a whiplash. I was living by the creed at that time that no good deed goes unpunished.


I was delighted though in a few days for I got a lovely card from Man-with-cane. He thanked me very nicely and there were TWO quarters scotch taped to the card. No lawyers ever called.

Still today, over thirty years later, that ranks as the strangest, scariest, yet coolest buck seventy five I ever earned.

Thank you for putting up with a rerun. I'll be back next week.

32 comments :

  1. OMG...too funny!!! Nearly choked on my coffee. This is right up there with the skipping post! LOL...

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  2. What a fun story! I am glad you reprinted it, since I never heard it before, and it's well worth a second read even if I had! We crusty old seniors have a lot of cheek, don't you think? :-)

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  3. Serendipity. Great story and as always well told. Which is why I start my day with you!

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  4. It's a wonderful story! I can understand that your friend snickered all the way through! Have a great time together!

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  5. I remember the story but enjoyed toe rerun. I guess I had better be careful not to park to close to the area where the Area Agency for Aging Van picks up seniors. My SUV is not as high off the ground as some, as 4'10" I can get into it. Usually I am alone so there is 3 -4 extra seats.

    But then I park in the handicap zone. If I were a senior I might deduce the drivers in the handicap zone might be a tad loony, as you don't know what their true handicaps are!

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  6. I love this cute story! You are a wonderful story teller, Patti. I smiled all the way through. You were a brave soul...and a nice one...to take those seniors home.

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  7. I love this story! A perfect rerun.

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  8. Patti, you are the best writer! I loved this story, it is so funny and you were so nice to those oldies.

    Hugs,

    Kathy M.

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  9. This story made my day. And what a wonderful way to get to read books while sipping coffee!

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  10. The same thing happened to me, but on a smaller scale. This is from one of my posts:

    Around 1975 we bought a condo on Maui. A client of Bud’s gave us an old VW bus & had it shipped over. My kids & I brush painted it Yellow Cab yellow & covered it with cartoon drawings. (How often do kids get to paint pictures on a car WITH the owner’s permission?) On the front it said, “Holo holo duck” (wandering around duck) & had my fishducky picture on it. I was taking the kids from Kaanapali to Lahaina one day & stopped at a hotel to pick up a friend. A lady approached & asked if this bus goes to Lahaina. I told her it did. She asked the cost & I told her it was a free shuttle. I drove her to Lahaina. She may still be there waiting for a ride back. If you see her, tell her we went out of business.

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  11. You are funny - I enjoyed that and don't remember it from before. sandie

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  12. Great story ...sort of rememember this I think but read it with a fresh mind ... and smiled all the way through ....'see you next week' ...sorry that should be 'read you next week' lol xx

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  13. I had forgotten this story but now I remember, it would take more than a quarter to drive that van nowadays. Ha.

    I have given your blog an award on my post for today.

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  14. A wonderful rerun, indeed! I'll slap the arm of anyone who disagrees. :)

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  15. soooo.... did you go back to the cleaners and park in the same spot? Hahaha!

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  16. I love how gutsy those seniors were! They just knew when to make a move and get their way!
    I think that van was the perfect replacement car. You didn't get a ticket for being in the fire spot ! You actually got paid! lol

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  17. What a story. One person in the group must have led the charge I think. What spunk that person had. Funny!!!!!

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  18. Great story, Patti! Isn't it amazing how old they seemed then?

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  19. I enjoyed your rerun Patti- I wasn't here the first go-round. What a funny story!

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  20. Dear Arkansas Patti, I'm so glad your reposted this. It's a delightful story filled with your youth and their fortitude in finding a way to enjoy life on that day away from their residences. Like your visiting friend, I chucked throughout. Thank you for enriching my day with your memories. Peace.

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  21. What a GREAT story, Patti...! I LOVE that the old guy with the cane actually mailed you fifty cents! You certainly have had some interesting and wonderful experiences in your life. This is right up there with the best of them....!

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  22. This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read. The absurdity of it all, just makes the story more funny and adorable. I guess there is such a reward to get to that age and be able to slap someone who does not agree with you ;-)

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  23. What a sweet story. I had not read the original and am glad for the repeat.

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  24. I actually read this story to my husband. He got such a kick out of it, just as I did. You do have the best stories!

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  25. Patti....You are NOT late for my Birthday..It's day after tomorrow---WEDNESDAY! Thanks for the sweet wishes.

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  26. Wow, thank you for all the ego strokes with your wonderful comments.
    I am so glad I didn't bore your brains out with my rerun.
    My company is gone and I will catch up as soon as I can.
    Thank you for the fun and sweet comments. I am one lucky blogger.

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  27. That's an awesome story! You were so good to take care of them. We would never have room in our van for that many old people...even if they could crawl up. We used to keep a stool for my grandma to get in.
    Sandy

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  28. Thanks for your comment!
    Come to think of it: Vashti was actually the main instrument for saving the Jewish people from being slaughtered. Unintentionally but she is the woman whom the Jews should be grateful too. She was brave and the first defender of women’s rights. Esther, however, did what was possible and accepted at that time.

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  29. Thanks for sharing. I would write more but I have a bus to catch. I will write more next time.

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  30. We just never know what our day is going to look like, do we?

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  31. Honey your reruns beat anything I could ever write. lol
    Loved this story and you for sharing it with us.
    Too darn funny. I can just vision the guy with the cane. hahahah
    Love ya
    Maggie

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  32. Patti, thanks for this! It made my day happier and I don't think I'll forget your little stint as a van driver for the elderly. Have fun with company.

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