It was time for a break, and the rest areas in Ohio are nice. The mold is a building with bathrooms divided from one with junk food and drink machines by a concrete path off of which are picnic tables and an animal run.
We parked near the machines and took a little walk to the restrooms. On the path were a couple of truckers stretching their legs. They were wearing tee shirts and cargo shorts, and I tried not to stare, but one of the guys had the whitest-pinky legs I’ve ever seen. They looked like scraped pig skin. I haven’t seen a lot of scraped pig skin in my time, but this guy’s legs looked Wilbur’s scalp.
Anyway, we did all the things we needed to do and climbed back in the car. I was reading my Kindle, and Steve was checking our route and chortling over the coupons he’d gotten for motels at the exit where we planned to stop overnight.
A thin, sort of grungy man approached the car. He asked us if we could give him two dollars for gas which would get him and his wife to Columbus.
Steve asked, “Well, how are you going to get to a gas station?”
The man explained that he had a little gas in his car but not enough to get all the way to the city. I didn’t care. I mean, if a man is willing to humiliate himself enough to approach strangers for a couple of bucks at a rest stop, I’m willing to give it to him. My problem was, I only had a single one dollar bill and twenties in my wallet. I’m pretty nice, but I wasn’t giving him a twenty. I asked Steve if he had another single.
Meanwhile, the man said, “I’m legit. Really,” and opened his wallet to show it empty. Could he have pocketed his money before coming up to us? Sure. Again, I don’t care. If he wanted to go spend to dollars on a beer, that was okay by me. Candy bars? Okay. Cigarettes, well, oh, okay,I guess. I’d prefer he didn’t buy drugs with it. He didn’t look like a druggie, though; he looked like a man down on his luck.
While I talked about the bad economy and dearth of jobs, Steve pulled out his wallet and gave the man a five and, oh, so much more. This poor guy didn’t know what hit him.
Steve: “Just rememberr, the next time you go to vote, don’t vote for these RRepublicans.” (Yeah, like this guy looked like he voted.) "That's why we're in this mess, with their unwillingness to compromise . . ." I won’t reproduce the entire diatribe here, but it ended with, “When you pull that lever, remember this right now!”
By then the poor man was edging away from our car as discreetly as he could. Steve’s tirade against the Tea Party continued.
The fellow finally told us (from a safe distance), “I believe in Jesus, and I don’t pay too much attention to anyone else.”
Oh, poor fellow. Steve called out the window, “Yeah, well, sometimes you’ve gotta be careful of him, too!”
The two truckers from the walkway ambled over to their semis. One fellow drove off in his blue van, and pink-legs followed in his red one.