Blog: Like A Vagrant...Jumped For The More Than First Time
(originally written 5/12/15)
I can't make this stuff up.
You're going to assume I'm making this up, because of my proclivity for spinning yarns as an entertainment device.
I'm not making this up. Though I can't offer proof, just be advised I wouldn't spend what little spare time I've got these days on a fairytale.
About two or three weeks ago at 8:30 am, I laundered my clothes at Go-Go on San Carlos Avenue in SJ. (In 2012, I wrote about a Go-Go attendant who randomly alternates between adoring me and hating my guts any given week...but I'm not here to talk about the past.)
After dumping my load inside—don't turn that nasty—I drove to the plaza's rear parking lot to do some reading/blogging in the shade while it finished. No sooner than the engine was off and the laptop opened than some guy approached my car. Assuming he was a bum, I got my Lysol spray can ready.
He turned out to be a dude I'd seen inside earlier. The guy—a 50-something graying man seemingly of southeast Asian decent who somewhat resembled Ted Williams the Golden Voice homeless guy—asked if I'd jump his car.
"Ted" seemed harmless enough. He had his own cables. If worse came to worse, I could take him. Out of plausible excuses to deny assistance, I bucked up and repositioned my ride.
Within five minutes it was all over. The grateful guy was on his way...
...only he wasn't.
After jumping Ted, I returned to the unshaded-but-Tedless front parking lot. 15 minutes later, it was time to head back inside for the washer/dryer switch. Near the entrance was Ted—instead of making a quick exit as everyone else I've ever jumped has done, he remained on the premises, presumably with his car shut back off.
This is analogous to a woman curling her hair, cosmeticizing, decking herself out in Chanel...then going to bed.
I floated theories around in my mind for, oh, about 12 seconds before dropping the matter and moving on. His battery, his problem.
Ted—and our encounter—was 100% forgotten for the next two-plus weeks...until Laundry Day rolled around again this past weekend.
It played out exactly as it had before: the instant the engine is shut off and I begin removing the key, a man sidles up to my driver window. It's funny looking back, but once again I presumed this to be a bum. It wasn't a bum, at least not your typical one.
Ted was back. And he needed another jump. For a different car.
"Excuse me sir could you maybe help give me a jump for my car?"
"Didn't I just give you a jump two weeks ago??"
"Haha yes I'm sorry but could you...please..."
This is weird. This makes zero sense, and I don't like it.
"No, dude. Once was enough."
Ted sheepishly waved goodbye and sauntered off.
It didn't end there. I unloaded the car and hauled everything in—with Ted's car still in place. When I returned outside about FOUR minutes later to grab something...Ted and his car were gone.
This time, well over 12 seconds were spent trying to unearth even a morsel of plausibility in this experience. The same guy...in the same spot...allegedly needing jumps for two different cars two weeks apart...staying when the car is jumped...driving away when it isn't jumped.
If he worked somewhere in the plaza, it could make some sense. But I launder there regularly and patron all the neighboring businesses (except the dentist's office. There's something off-putting about a dentist's office concealed by trees). He ain't no employee. And even if he was, he wouldn't be needing to leave work at 8:30 am—he'd be arriving.
As with most of my weirdo-based postulations, I concluded whatever motives behind Ted's behavior are rooted in perversion. He is really asking, "Excuse me, can you give me a jump so I can turn on my car...and myself?"
Don't look at me like that—what are the alternatives? Ted's an undercover agent? What the hell is his mission, recovering an ancient African car battery stolen from the Smithsonian? (Besides, agents don't sound like Latka from Taxi. Google it.)
Any and all theories are welcome.