A Wise Decision or Not? Reflections on being kind.

It is true although I may have overreacted.  I was driving from the college where I was teaching a night class back to my home.  The college is in Tampa and my home is in Winter Haven, Florida.

I take I 4 and it is about twenty five miles.  About five miles into the journey I see a man, about forty hitchhiking on the side of the road.  I normally do not like to pick up hitch hikers but I did.  He asked for a lift to Lake Land about ten miles down the road.

I thought I was doing a good deed.  He asked me a few questions which for some reason I felt uncomfortable answering.  All of a sudden he was an inquisitor and I felt I was under pressure to respond.

I mentioned I was a professor.  Now I am a male so I was not afraid of him in some ways.  But then he said, “Boy am I hungry”

I could see there was a McDonald’s up the road and got off.  I do not know why but I felt unsafe.  Just a feeling.  The hair on the back of my bald head was sticking up.  I pulled up to the McDonald’s and saw there was a line of cars at the pickup window so I parked handed him a ten spot and told him to go in and get us some hamburgers, fries and a couple of cokes.  He was pleased as punch and went inside.

I do not know why. Maybe I was not really hungry at ten at night.  Maybe I did not want a greasy burger.  But I do know I did not want this stranger back in my car questioning me, eating greasy hamburgers, and in the back of my mind asking for some more money.  I assume it was my paranoia and I let it get the better of me.

As soon as he entered the place I peeled off and got back on the road, leaving him with the money, food, and the idea that he won something.

Was I nuts?  What would you have done?

Since then I have not picked up anyone.  Better safe than sorry.


One thought on “Hitchhiker

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