Monday, April 02, 2012

A Moral Dilemma

Coming back from a field trip with my 12-year-old daughter, looking forward to a quiet evening at home on a Saturday night. The early spring weather is unsettled and cloudy. I see an older blue Ford Taurus stuck in the muddy hillside on a back country road -- a primitive road -- this means an unpaved road. With only one house nearby that no one lives in; the exhaust pipe is still spitting out its contents. I pull over to see if I can offer assistance, which is the norm in our neck of these woods. The smell of cheap apple wine comes wafting out of the passenger side door as I approach. It's someone I know, a man of about 60 years of age named Chester who is quite drunk. I crack open the passenger front door of the car and ask him if he is all right. It becomes quite evident that he is fine, but totally drunk. I know Chester is almost indigent, and lacks any type of job. I know he is a veteran and has crippling rheumatoid arthritis in his mal-formed fingers. He has an old prospector's hat on and fuzzy-with-dog-hair black clothes.

There is no cell service in these woods so my phone is useless. I get Chester out of his car and he is reluctant to accept my help. After accusing me of being several things: an FBI agent, a cop, and other things, I assure him I am none of those things. Fifteen minutes of arguing ensue. I assure him that his dogs are not in his car, he gets into my Jeep and I tell him I will take him home--that this is his only option. I assure him I do not want a "twenty spot" to try and drag his car out of the ditch. I specifically tell him "I'm not dragging your piece of shit car out of the ditch."

He begins to get ornery. He is enebriated after all. He tell me that "You fucked me up". and "I have stuff to do tomorrow". This is after he asks me if I have some beer or wine on hand. When I reply "Normal people don't drink and drive", he becomes belligerant and tells me that I need to smoke a joint.

I drop him off at the rural heavily treed property where he has his trailer. I knock on the woman's door who owns the property, as I know she'll be home. When I explain to her what happened, she is non-plussed and all she will say is "That sounds like him". "Just leave him there, and he'll walk on up through the cow pasture up to his trailer".

I apologize for bothering her, and get Chester out of my Jeep after some reluctance on his part. He tells me from her driveway "My car better be there tomorrow". I assured him a with half belief "Oh, it will be there, you can get it tomorrow when you are sober". If he is sober ten minutes out of 24 hours.

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