Well this has been interesting. I got back home last night about 7pm from work, feeling glad that the semester is officially done and finals are behind me. I cooked some dinner and called a friend to see if they wanted to hang out. They weren't there so I left a message. It was maybe 20 minutes after dinner that I got really tired, and actually drifted off while watching the commentary on "Double Take" (pretty good flick). I woke up when my roommate got home, got up and read a bit of "Catcher in the Rye" (interesting book so far), but was still sleepy. So I laid down on my bed, not intending to really fall asleep, perhaps a quick nap. I guess I was a lot more tired than I thought, because I slept straight through till midnight. And of course I was wide awake. I hate it when that happens. Anyway, I've basically been up since then. Read some more, watched the rest of that commentary, played computer games.
I decided around 5am to go check my PO Box and stop at Steak n' Shake on the way back. So I'm at SnS enjoying my meal when this guy comes in. I'd say he was in his mid to late 20's. Initially he walked past my table and I just presumed he was a regular patron. He came back past and turned around, saying something to me, but it was so quiet I could barely hear him. I thought I had heard something about a DVD, but then something about gas for his car (?) I actually had to get him to repeat it twice before I got it - he needed money for gas, but didn't want to just ask for money.. so he had this DVD movie that he would give me for a few bucks gas money.
The idea didn't sound very appealing. I mean, this guy looked trustworthy (as much as you can trust "looks"), and he wasn't poorly dressed. The fact that he came out and said he didn't want to just ask for money and was willing to give something (of more value), was admirable. But still, I wasn't very interested, because basically I've come to this decision that I won't just give money in charity unless I'm sure it's going to the supposed cause.
Despite my lack of interest in his offer, I asked "What movie?", anyway, and he pulled out "Master of Disguise" - a funny movie I wouldn't mind having, but I declined. The guy kept talking, like telling me he worked at such and such a place and would get me free food sometime, etc. I wanted to help out, but not on those terms. So I found out he had run out of gas not too far away. Pretty darn close, actually. So I told him I didn't want the movie, but what I would do is go down there and buy him some gas. He really appreciated that and thanked me.
So we drove like the 3 blocks away to where his car was (at a gas station). He noticed the Scripture cards on my steering wheel and commented on it, saying he was raised in church too, and still goes to this Baptist church here in town. He had mentioned that his friend had stayed with the car, but might have walked to his sister's apartment nearby to see about getting a gas can. When we pull up, his friend indeed had gone to his sister's apartment, and had locked the car. So basically this guy was wanting a few bucks for gas now. Which wasn't my deal. It was starting to smell a bit more suspicious now; the car was at a Shell gas station parked at the curb near the pay phones. Since it was locked, we couldn't get the gas tank open, and he was like "well I don't want to have you wait around or anything.. you can just give me a few bucks". I always feel awkward in those moments. I want to help, of course, but I've been scammed many a time before. Yeah, maybe it's just $5, but still.
So I explained that wasn't really my deal.. and paused to think. What I decided was that I would fill up the gas can that I had in my trunk, and give that to him. I ended up giving him $2 along with the gas, since the gas can only held about $2 worth of gas and I said I would give him about $5 in gas. So he walked off with the gas towards his friend's sister's apartment and that was that.
It's not so much the money issue, like giving up $5 or even more. That's not a big deal because I know God will take care of me. It just really bugs me when people prey upon the charity of some people just for personal gain or whatnot. It makes otherwise generous people skeptical and maybe unwilling to help at all. While this situation was kind of suspicious, I trusted this guy at least a bit at the end. I got his name, Jordan, and who knows, maybe I will try to find him sometime where he works in Indy.