well today, on my way to work (a 10-15 minute drive on a semi-busy road/highway, but NOT interstate) i saw a 70+ year old man walking along side the road in front of a mini-mall and across the street from Meijer (kind of like walmart but better) waving at every car that passed as if they were a taxi he was trying to "flag down." I was confused. i pulled over to get something breakfasty from Burger King just so i could see what exactly this man was doing and to see if anyone would pick him up. then i thought, while sitting in the burger king drive-thru.."I could pick him up! It'd be my first every real-life hitchiker!",... so, after seeing him continually fail in flagging people down and walking a few steps when the road was void of passing cars, i pulled over to the side of the road and rolled my window down, pretending i had done this before. "Hey....uh...you need something?" i asked. He walked over to the car, leaned his head inside the window and smiled, as if he was wondering what i needed from him. "Good morning!" He said cheerfully...his blue trucker hat was cocked to the side. "Morning...did you need a ride?" i asked. he looked at me as though i were a people smuggler and kindly smiled and said, "Nope. Just saying good morning to everyone who passes by." I was perfectly embarassed. "Oh...well...good morning!" I said. He waved again and then backed away from the car...walking on, and turning around every time he heard a car about to pass. he waved at the car...bending down to the side of the road as if he were giving the side mirror a high-five on the side, and then proceeded to walk further on down the road. i drove away, watching him from my rear view mirror, laughing at this man who's on the road at 8:06 a.m. wishing cars a happy drive, or good morning...from the side of the road. i wondered how many people thought what i thought and how many actually knew what he was doing. i have a pretty generous imagination, but i'm willing to bet that no more than one car actually knew what he was doing, and furthermore, waved back and shouted good morning to him while zipping by. i suppose the niceness and peculiarity of his actions made me even more suspicious (i.e., maybe he just robbed someone's apartment and this was his getaway plan---pretty smart eh?). but nonetheless, i couldn't help but thinking of driver's education class and watching the video that shows a person driving through a neighborhood while every person out on their front lawn waves cheerfully as the driver passes, while the driver honks his/her horn politely and waves with sheer glee. perhaps this man watched that movie one too many times, but still, i would love to see this happening on a regular basis. wouldn't it be cool to get to know people via watching them every day on the side of the road greeting cars as they head toward work? "Oh there's Joel again! He's retired but yet, he always finds time to say 'Good morning!' Gee that'd be swell!!!! (I'm only kidding)----No, but seriously..it would be.
Sunday Morning Thoughts
10 months ago