At beginning of March, I sent my Samsung Blu-ray player in for repair as I was encountering frequent stuttering during playback. The repair process took about two weeks and I had the player shipped to my workplace as there was no one at my apartment to receive the package.

The box, with the player in it, has been sitting underneath my desk for almost two weeks now. I didn’t want to take it home on the bus and Skytrain with me. I waited until I had time to borrow a car so I could drive it back home. With the unfortunate circumstances with me being laid off, it took me until this weekend to have enough time to borrow my father’s car to bring the player home. Now if you’re wondering why I’m still even allowed to be at work, it’s because everyone who got booted technically is employed until the end of the month. No one really needs to show up but if you wanna go use your work computer to update your resume, that’s ok.

Anyways, so this afternoon I’m leaving my apartment building and driving up 8th Street in New West which essentially takes me straight to the studio. I get a few blocks from my apartment when the car ahead of me stops at a pedestrian crossing. At the crossing is an old lady. Instead of crossing though, she runs up to the car ahead of me. I now suspect this old lady maybe a bit crazy. Instead of stopping at the car ahead of me though, she now runs over to my car. Oh great. Why does this stuff always happen to me?

The old lady had a concerned look on her face so now I’m thinking she might need some genuine help. She’s now at my passenger window, so I open it a bit.

“I need some help, I need a ride down the block! I forgot my stuff on the bus. Please?”

My brain is trying to process what’s going on. So there’s no emergency and no one is dying. She’s all excited because she got off the bus without some of her stuff. A very, very tiny part of me thinks she’s totally blowing this out of proportion as she shouldn’t be running into traffic over some material goods. Then I see it’s raining and she’s just an old lady, in her late 50s, standing in the road. I instantly regret saying these words as soon as they leave my mouth:

“Fine. Get in.”

The old lady gets in the passenger seat. I now realize that I have a strange old lady in my car and she wants me to catch up to a bus that I can’t even see in the distance. This could go so bad in so many ways.

I tell the old lady I can’t even see the bus. She says it’s just ahead of us. I drive another block and I can now see the bus just a block ahead of us. Lucky for her, there are a quite a few stops along this route. The car ahead of us unfortunately decides to turn left though and there’s a lot of traffic coming the other way. There isn’t another lane for me to go around him though, so we wait.

The old lady tells me she forgot a bag of groceries. What the hell lady?!?!? I’m racing a bus because you forgot a single bag of groceries? I almost told her right then and there that I’d go to Safeway with her and I’d buy her new groceries. Instead, the car in front of us makes its turn and we’re off again.

Without speeding too fast, I get within three or four car lengths to the bus. Unfortunately, the light turns yellow, the bus makes it through the intersection but two cars in front me don’t, so I’m forced to stop. As we wait, the old lady mentions how it totally sucks getting old as her memory ain’t what it used to be. I also find out she just retired recently.

The light turns green again and now I’m wondering how it easy it would have been for the old lady to have a gun or something in that green purse of hers. The thought of being car-jacked by some grandma runs through my mind. Because of traffic and the head-start it had, it takes me a good five blocks before I catch up to the bus again. It’s a good thing I was going this way anyways.

I managed to get in front of the bus but now I need to figure out how to the bus to stop so that the old lady can get back on it. The plot of Speed runs quickly through my mind but nothing practical comes up. Great movie by the way. I figure I have two options: get ahead of the bus far enough so that I can I drop off the old lady at a bus stop before the bus can pass us or find any stop with someone waiting so that person forces the bus to stop (thus buying the old lady enough time to get out).

As I speed ahead of the bus, we encounter stop after stop with no one waiting. I’m still not far enough ahead of the bus to drop her off without the bus passing us. I briefly wonder what would happen if I just stopped randomly in front of the bus but that seemed dangerous. Instead, I drive on, increasing my distance from the bus. As we approach a major intersection, the old lady assures me there’s always someone waiting at the next stop. As we cross the intersection, the old lady turns out to be right. There’s a single person waiting at the next stop. There’s even a small lane that I can turn into right before the stop. This might actually work as the bus is now over a block behind me still.

I pull into the lane and stop. As the old lady hops out of the car, she thanks me profusely. I wish her good luck and say bye to her. She runs off to the bus stop next to the car. I’m forced to drive off as now there’s another car behind me. I have to circle around to get back on track and because of traffic it takes me a while to do so. When I finally get to the major intersection again, I can see the old lady crossing the road to get to the other bus stop so she can go back home the other way now. In her hand now is a single white grocery bag that she did not have before. I guess she was able to get her stuff back.

I was able to drive the rest of the way to the studio without any further incidents. By the way, my Blu-ray player works great now.

8 thoughts on “THE DESPERATE OLD LADY”

  1. The question is did the old lady give you a CD of her personal Jazz music. I am sure if Pat had been there he would have taken one.

  2. The title of this post should have been “Dear Penthouse…” It would have added a different kind of “what happens next?” dimension.

  3. No way would I have stopped. Good for you. I would have thought it too dangerous to let some stranger into my car. I know it sounds harsh but since I’ve been a victim of a street attack, I’d be very reluctant. And for a grocery bag, really?

  4. Phil: That remains one of the oddest SJC evenings I’ve ever had.

    Cam: If only the old lady was a smoking hot young woman who had forgotten her panties on the bus.

    Tracy: I still think it’s quite ridiculous that I let her into my car.

  5. Aw how sweet of you helping an old lady! I probably wouldn’t have done what you did. But after reading this, it inspires me to think that I should. You deserve a good pat on the back. 🙂

    Yes, it would have been better if it was a hot girl instead, but then maybe she would have had a gun?

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