Last Friday, I was sitting in Davis Square waiting for friends when I saw a painfully obese woman in a wheelchair stop, out of breath, in front of the Burren to ask one of the patrons outside to push her three doors down to McDonalds. The patron looked a little scandalized, but assented.
Today, as I was about to cross the street to get to the T in Brookline, an old woman on oxygen braced against a stoop railing stopped me to ask me if I was crossing the street. Strangely enough, I was, and when I shared that with her, she thrust out a handful of ones and asked that I go get her a pack of cigarettes. I demurred, saying, "I hadn’t planned on coming back." She responded with, "It wouldn’t kill you, you know..." "Yeah, I know. But hey look, there’s my train. Nice chatting with you."
Now, I know that everyone has their vices (even me, shocking as that seems...), but it strikes me as sad when you’re not able to satisfy those habits without involving otherwise disinterested bystanders. It begins to border on pathetic when the need for assistance appears to be the result of overindulgence in that same vice. Scenes like these just seem like people attempting to take advantage of the good nature of others. Had O2Woman asked me to run across the street for some milk, I probably would have taken the time to help her out. But for butts? I’d sooner assent to a random bag search on the T.
Me: Hi, I’d like a large Frappuccino.
Annoyed Barista: A venti? Sure. Do you want Café or Crème?
AB: Kaf-FAY or KREMM
Me: Coffee or cream? Are you making non-dairy Frappuccinos now?
AB: [sighs] One is made with coffee, the other is made with vanilla and milk.
Me: ...and no coffee.
Me: So it’s a milkshake?
AB: No, it’s a KREMM Frappuccino.
Me: Right. I’ll have an iced coffee.
Me: Yeah, whatever.