Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Take a walk or a Ride in a Porsche?

I went for my evening walk to get in my 12,000 steps and I was so pleased to get an easy parking space near my favored place to park. In fact, there were two open spots behind me. I locked my car and crossed the road when a super sporty green Porsche pulled up beside me and tried to squeeze into an illegal spot. I was about to tell him there were two empty spots when he asked me for assistance.

He asked if I heard of a restaurant in South Boston called Lo La 42. I told him I heard of it but could not remember how to direct him.

He then told me his phone’s battery died and he was late for a birthday party. His wife would be angry with him. I went to my phone to look up the address of the restaurant and he wrote it down. I asked if he had a GPS in the car and he said “Yes,” but he could not operate it. He tried for a  couple of minutes and then asked if I could do it. I tried with no success because we could not clear out the zip code that was previously entered. I spent about four minutes and then I said, “A solution is in you allow me to be your navigator as I pull up the WAZE application to get you to the restaurant.”

“Would you do that for me?”

“I’m just going out for a walk and I was intended to head down in that direction anyways.”

He said, “Jump in.” He continued, “This has been an ordeal. I took a cab to Southie but the cab driver could not find the restaurant so he took me home. My phone’s battery died and I can’t operate this GPS. This is a life-saver.”  Then he said, “I have to buy you a drink.”

I said, “I would love nothing more than to have a chilled Sapphire martini with three olives and a splash of brine, but I will respectfully decline. I simply want you to go to the party.”

The man was about 42, a Lebanese-American named Tarek. He was grateful for my offer to navigate and he said, “You must come meet my friends.” I declined. He protested.

He said, “They will never believe this story. You have to come tell them so we can all have a good laugh.” I said, “I will vouch for you.”

His friends howled when the story was told to them. He kept saying many sentences about kindness. I did not tell them I was a priest. I thought it would be better to be a mysterious stranger.

Courteously, I left them to enjoy the night. The restaurant was filled with corporate types and the well-heeled, but I want to get my heels put to the pavement. I enjoyed the unusual encounter, and though I was dragging at the end of the night, earning 16,380 steps, I felt lighter for making their day a bit happier.

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