One afternoon my wife and I took a ride to the mall to do a little shopping. We are not big shoppers.
We would rather go on a trip and grow new memories than to collect shoes, jewelry or the like.
We do like nice cars and keep them for a very long time. So far it’s around seventeen years for each vehicle that we have owned.
As we pulled into the parking lot, a car filled with several young men pulled up next to us.
As I started to walk away, one of them spoke to me.
“Hey, your keys are in the trunk of your car.”
I looked back at him from about twenty feet away as he stood by my trunk and I spoke to him.
“No you don’t, I have them right here in my hand.” I held them up to show him. He was not impressed.
He took two steps to my car’s trunk lid and then held up my wife’s set of keys to our car and home.
I looked at my wife standing next to me and whispered, “Get out the hell out of here. Go into the mall, quickly.”
I turned back to the young fellow holding my keys and thanked him for telling me about my keys which he now held in his hand.
“Thanks for taking the time to follow us and tells us about the keys.”
“Do you have any money on you,” he said.
I answered trutyhfully.
“I have about twenty bucks on me. I’m married and have little need for cash these days.”
“That will do,” he said.
I pulled out my wallet and walked toward him with my sole twenty in my hand.
He grabbed it greedily and handed me my the keys.
“Thanks,” was all I could say. I was glad that the exchange had ended with no one being injured or worse.
As the days passed, my wife and I discussed this event often and were troubled by it.
Did they do us a favor or did they really take my money by implied coercion?
They had turned a good dead into a transaction that we had trouble understanding. We weren’t sure that we should thank them or just be happy we got our keys back and were uninjured.
This was a troubling event and to this day I don’t know whether I should be grateful or angry.
We humans are an interesting lot.