Killer asks, what would you do?
Okay, here is the set up. It is 6:45 pm. I have to meet Disco and Gatewood in front of Young Ave. Deli at 7:15pm to see a band play. I have chosen to meet some work compatriots before hand to get a bite to eat. I am a punctual person so I choose an eatery only one block from Young Ave. Deli. I arrive with one work friend and another arrives with her boyfriend, whom I am meeting for the first time. We are sitting there making witty, clever banter about life's little foibles when I see over the shoulder of the newly acquainted boyfriend a strange and bewildering scene.
The bartender is half pushing, half carrying a tiny, 80-something old lady to the door. She is apparently hammered which is made obvious by her inability to stand, walk, or even hold on to tables for stability. In one hand a small purse, the other hand is clinging tenaciously to a set of jingling car keys. The bartender manages to shove/assist her to the door and then he just turns and walks away, uninterested in the further plight of this geriatric spectacle. I am mesmerized and have now garnered all the attention at the table to focus on the scene at hand. We watch her stumble down the three stairs, trip and lurch forward landing on the back of a parked car on the curb in front of the pub at which we were sitting.
We are all aghast at this poor little woman who is obviously too intoxicated to walk. Then to make matters worse she went around to the driver's side of the car and proceeded to unlock the door and open it. "Holy Shit!" I exclaimed, now a good percentage of the neighboring tables were glancing around to see what we were watching. She attempted to sit in the driver's seat, but could not make it. She was sitting half in the car, and half out of the car, and making no apparent attempt to rectify this situation.
At this point the waitress arrived with our food.
There are moments in life where you can look back and feel warm and fuzzy about a good deed you did, or a positive impact you made on someone's life. There are also moments where you can look back and think, "man, I am really a heartless bastard." I will have to place my next actions in the latter category.
The newly acquainted boyfriend (we will further refer to him as N.A.B for short) kept saying, "how come no one is doing anything?" Then in a character defining moment he got up from his chair and determined that he was the only one who was willing to act. He walked over to the nearest waitress and pointed the scene out to her. She said, "what do I do? You have to tell me what to do?" Realizing she was of no help, he went out the door and over to the car. His girlfriend also took this opportunity to go outside to help the situation as well.
I stayed behind and looked for the ketchup, flagged down the waitress for a new beer, and commented to my remaining work friend, "I would have liked to see if she could have started the car."
I see from my seat that N.A.B has helped her up off the door jam and into the driver's seat. He is having a discussion, that I would later learn involved them trying to convince her to take a cab (which she refused) and even a discussion on them driving her home (but she could not tell them how to get to her house, she just kept saying her address).
My remaining work friend was now disgusted by how long they were taking and the fact they had yet to procure her car keys, so she got up and went outside to take control. I stayed at the table, stole a couple of french fries off her plate, and began flagging down our crappy waitress more aggressively for that beer.
Now all three of my dinner companions are outside, the entire front room of the pub is staring out the windows at this spectacle, my waitress has FINALLY brought me a new beer, and the manager can no longer ignore the events unfolding outside and has entered the fray. The manager, after more failed attempts to get the little blue haired wino to take a cab, calls the police. A surprisingly patient and understanding officer arrives and begins his attempts to convince the gal to take a cab versus going to jail. It still did not appear to be working to well.
N.A.B. and my work friends return to the table, relinquishing control to the authorities. It is now 7:15 pm. I mentioned I am punctual, so I eat the last bite of my sandwich, down my beer, and ask for the check. As the check arrives my guilt of not being as caring and showing good civic mindedness really hit a peak level. I apologized to everyone for having to leave, but I had to go meet the next group. In a meager attempt to elude my guilty feelings I paid the entire tab and headed out the door.
I walked down the curb which now contained one drunken old lady, still sitting in the driver's seat of her car, one police officer squatted down beside the lady outside the car, still trying to talk some sense into her, and the manager of the pub, just wishing this whole sordid affair would go away. I had started feeling good that atleast I had surrounded myself with people who are willing to sacrifice to make the world a better place. Then before I could stop it my head was filled with frustration, because I really did want to see if she could have started the car.