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A momentary lapse into stupidity
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Joined on June 28th, 2008
A momentary lapse into stupidity
by dreuxl on May 24th, 2009

A momentary lapse into stupidity

Before I tell this story of the events that transpired to my lapse into stupidity, I would like to preface it with the following. I never give money to people on street corners. I never buy things from people door-to-door or people whom cold call. I had very little sleep and was up all night (literally) running a road rally/scavenger hunt, and I as I write this I’m still exhausted.

My initial goal was to pick up Pad Thai before the thunderstorm hit. On my way in I almost hit a partially blind man named “Nathaniel.” He had dropped his cane. I parked my car and helped him get his cane. He said thank you and continued to tell me he was a little lost. He asked if he could get a ride to 12th and Comal. Normally I would hand the guy 75 cents and point him to the nearest bus stop. I’m not comfortable with giving strangers rides, but it was about to pour down and I felt some empathy for the guy. I had just completed a successful scavenger hunt; I’m tired, but in a good mood. So instead I say sure I will give you a ride it won’t take but five minutes. I get my Pad Thai and help him into my car and head off. As soon as we get out of the parking lot, he tells me that my food smells good and he hasn’t eat in a while. Will I give him money for food? He knows of a grocery store that will give him $100 of groceries for $10. Now I know I’m being completely scammed. I do believe he is partially blind but I also believe he was intentionally in the middle of the parking lot. I say no but I will buy him a meal at a drive-thru on the way back. We went through the Church’s Chicken drive-thru. We start diving down 12th and then he starts talking about not making rent, and telling me stories about his landlord. By this time I’m annoyed, and I want him out of my car. I take him to the corner of 12th and Comal give him a couple of bucks because I want to be done with this experience. At no time was Nathaniel aggressive or intimidating. When I got home my wife said she could not believe I did that, as it was uncharacteristic of me. The reason I’m putting this on the forum is that I don’t want anyone else getting hit up with the same scam or something similar. And since he was successful with me he will likely be back.
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A momentary lapse into stupidity
by Lorrie on May 25th, 2009

Thanks for posting your story. I'm glad you're okay and that he did not get aggressive with you.

As an empathetic person it's difficult to know what to do sometimes. I don't usually give money to people on the street although, I must admit that I am more prone to give a couple of dollars to women - because of the movie "Monster" with Charlize Theron. Had that poor women been shown some kindness, her life might not have gone the way it did.

However, you're right, it's not a good idea to get into a car with a stranger. What I do sometimes is keep food (like nuts, granola bars) in the car and a cheap umbrella in case it's raining and I see someone in need.
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A momentary lapse into stupidity
by lasp4448 on May 25th, 2009

Hi, Druex!

There was a blind man around Duval and 43rd or something the other day - blocking the intersection. I asked him from my car if he needed directions. He said that his cane was broken (!) and that he needed to get to Lamar but didn't have the money for a cab. I told him that I couldn't take him. As I drove away, he started griping at me - not nice ! - I didn't stay to listen... thanks for putting your experience out there!

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A momentary lapse into stupidity
by Bullfrog on May 25th, 2009

I have also met "Nathaniel" in the Randalls parking lot on Exposition, across from Casis Elementary. I walk over there for lunch on occasion and met this blind man with a cane asking for help. He told me that he was lost, his friends had played a mean trick on him and dropped him there. He wanted money for a cab or a ride home. I thought he might be from the school for the blind, but I remember him mentioning that he lived on the Eastside. I didn't have any money or a car, so I wasn't much help. He seems to be making his way around town!
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A momentary lapse into stupidity
by devinrey on May 26th, 2009

I met Nathan downtown some time ago. He had approached me and wanted a ride up north. He seems to get around pretty well considering I've seen him all over the city even prior to the time he talked to me. He'll stand in the middle of intersections with his broken white cane and look helpless. I quizzed him a lot because I knew he was lying to me. He had an answer for everything but he eventually got frustrated with me and went on his way.
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