Thursday, April 24, 2008

The best and the worst

On Monday during the marathon I experienced the worst and the best of people.

The worst

I chose not to mention in my post about Amazing Guy running the marathon an incident that occurred between the 3:15 and 3:30 part of the day when we were standing a block away from the finish line next to a posh hotel. I got the boys to the front of the crowd right up against the barriers while I stood behind them. There was a trio of older women to their right and a family to our left. The husband was at least 6 feet 5 inches. I am 5 feet 9 inches.

Pretty soon after getting us positioned to watch Amazing Guy run by us, I started being touched around my pants pockets. I would swat away the sensation. Then I panicked and thought of AG's belongings in his backpack I was carrying. I checked the pockets and everything was there.

I kept feeling fingers in both my front and back pant pockets.

The family to our left saw their relative run by and the wife and kids moved on. The father stuck around.

The feeling of fingers around my pant pockets continued.

Now, before you think I am a complete idiot I would like to interrupt this story with another story. I was in a New Orleans bar after a week of teaching my 1st-3rd grade class. I was with folks who were also teachers. At one point someone - a fellow teacher - came up behind me and grabbed me around the neck. It was so tight I couldn't breath and he whispered something really stupid in my ear. I swung my hand down and grabbed his penis, forcefully yanked it so that he squeaked in my ear. I turned around, stuck my finger in his face and yelled "Don't ever grab someone from behind like that, especially a woman!" Oh, and he was a former military man. Really honorable - don't you think?

Eventually I was separated from the boys by a tiny woman (she couldn't have been more than 5' 2"). Since I could still see them it didn't bother me to have her between us. The touching around my pants also stopped. Within a minute of her arrival she swung around and punched the 6'5" man in the chest so hard you could hear cracking sounds. She screamed "Don't f*cking TOUCH me!!" and went on to accuse him of touching her pant pockets. Some well-meaning woman asked if she still had her wallet.

6' 5" man went on and on about how he didn't want her wallet and left.

Then Amazing Guy appeared after running 26 miles.

The Best

When AG came over to us, he asked me to lift the boys up and over the barricades. One son tossed his backsack at me while the other kept it on his back. And off they went.

And I bolted from the area, leaving the backsack on the ground.

The backsack which contained his mini iPod, lyrics from his after school musical theater class, a Cub Scout magazine, a photo album, several books (later I suggested he not bring so much stuff) and on and on and on....

When we figured out what happened he was most upset that the lyrics were missing. He sobbed uncontrollably that the school principal (who teaches the class) would be disappointed in him that he lost the lyrics and couldn't practice them during vacation week.

We had been standing by a hotel along the route. I called that evening and the staff member I spoke to went out to look for the bag and even asked around the hotel to see if someone had turned in a backsack. She didn't find it.

We spent the evening promising the heartbroken boy that we would replace everything and explain what happened to the principal.

The next morning, AG listened to the phone messages and started yelling for me to write down a phone number. After getting off the phone, AG announced someone had found the bag.

After several phone messages, I finally connected with the woman who used good old detective work to figure out who the bag belonged to. We arranged for us to drive to her house about 1/2 an hour from our house to pick up the back. Little man drew her a picture of the missing bag with a thank you note. I gave her a card of one of my photos.

I am grateful to the kind woman who restored a little boy's faith in people. And mine.


jodifur said...

Once I lost my purse in a bar. It included my wallet, my palm pilot, everything.

Someone called me and told me they found it. And when I drove to her apartment and picked it up, everything was in it, everything. And no unauthorized credit card charges.

It turns out, she was going to school at my old law school. We talked for a while about that.

Some people are good.

Anonymous said...

Stories like that are so uplifting. There are some really well meaning people out there, it's just hard to find them sometimes.

Res said...

Okay - there is so much to think about in this one post! First congrats to the lady who found the little man's back pack - it is good to know that honest people still exist!

As for the pervert - EWWWWW!!! Too bad you couldn't reach down and yank his penis into his eyeballs until he squealed! SICKO!

Lilacspecs said...

Yeah, not much to say about the worst part. Some people are just....ugh. I'm glad the other lady hit him though...pervert.

And yeah, some people in this world are honest and good. It goes to show that humanity is at least a somewhat worthwhile endeavor.

Goofball said...

it really sums it up, doesn't it. Just now and then you meet people and you just don't get it how mean, rude, pervert, aggressive, ...they can be.

And then at other times when you've given up, someone's goodness surprises you. Because there is still lots of people with their heart at the right place as well! Thank goodness.

Jami said...

Yuck and Yay! There are nasty people out there and there are great people out there. Too bad we can't just deal with the latter.

cathouse teri said...

What a weird guy! Just feeling the women up, or what? I mean, women don't keep their wallets in their pockets anyway!

My sister went to the Boston Marathon to watch her hubby run once. Years and years ago. Someone cut the strap of her purse and ran off with it.

Only time anything like that has ever happened to her.

Anonymous said...

That guy is a total loser. I like to think that karma will repay people like that.

And yay for the best - it really is reassuring to know that there are still people like that "out there."

Heather said...

How nice that there was something so good to restore faith in the goodness of people. That guy has some major issues. What a jerk.

I lost my cell phone last week. My NEW cell phone that costs $200 to replace. Someone found it, called me, AND brought it to my house for me. She's the nicest person I think I've ever met. I gave her $20 (all the cash hubby and I had) to thank her...

painted maypole said...

that first story is... really icky. glad you didn't lose anything.

and the bag! yay! i love encountering good people!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I love that second story - and I can use it to talk to MY ds about faith in humanity, which, as you know, has been a question in his mind.