Yesterday I was closing up a package to my main belt finisher when a long-time customer came in and after greeting us, turned to me and said "Why is Arthur in your car?" I said, "Excuse me? Arthur's at home--I think". She said, then why is a grey-haired man sitting in your car in the parking lot. In a small town, customers do recognize your car and often drive on by if you are the one they want to talk with, rather than an employee. Anyway, I walked outside and saw my car had its driver's door open and, yes, there was a little grey-haired man sitting in the driver's seat. Not my husband. A total stranger. As I walked up, I smiled and said, "Hi". He responded and then said "do you like this car?" I said yes and then he asked if I had one like it. I again said yes, but added that this was my car. He hesitated and then said, "Oh, so that's why it won't start." So he got out of my car and I noticed his cane that he had put in the back seat. We chatted some and he wandered off, still looking for his. When I went inside Marcia and Dotty couldn't believe that I had left him to find his car by himself. So, back out I went.
Then I started walking him around the parking lot to assist in finding his car. The pitifulness of the situation is only apparent later when I discover that the reason he can't recognize his car is that it is a rental. However, my car is prehistoric (1998)and no rental company would have a car even remotely resembling it. But as we're walking around the parking lot (with my encouraging him to hit the button on his keys so he could activate something in his car) nothing is happening and no cars look like mine. Thank goodness, a woman approached with a little dog and he commented that his wife was coming. I suggested they come inside and call the police who could then contact the rental company. The wife asked if it were customary to tow cars in our parking lot. (It's K-Mart's primarily, and no I have only seen cars towed which have dead batteries). They refused to come inside. I don't know where they went, but I kept look out trying to locate them--they vanished.
When I got in my car to go home last night, I noticed that an extra pair of sun glasses I always have in my cup holder was missing. I didn't notice them on him or in a pocket. What would he want with a pair of women's sun glasses? But they are definitely missing! I had to run an errand, so it was dark as I drove home. I noticed that I had no dash lights, so I made a note to stop by my mechanic when I closed today at 2. However, driving to work this morning, inspiration struck. He had pushed or pulled every button and lever trying to get my car to start. So my dash lights were off, my air conditioner was on the border of cool and heat, the air vents were blowing into my face rather than toward my feet, etc.
What is even more disturbing is the fact that many of us will end up like him--not recognizing our own vehicle. The gentleman should never have had a set of car keys because he was really not with it. And I and you may be there one day. Why do we resist giving up our car keys? And should I start locking my car? My husband, that New Yorker, says of course not, we're in Vero Beach. I wonder.