Saturday, February 21, 2009

Maine Bag Lady Hits Driver

I was tending to business, slowly pulling out of the local Dunkin' Doughnuts parking lot when... Wham! "What the ....? Did I hit a moose"? I caught sight of a human form sort of rolling away from the front of my car. With the intensity of the bang on the hood of the car, I thought it must be dead or at least go into convulsions and die right in front of my eyes. My thoughts immediately ran to 1. Where did it come from? 2. Will I lose the house and car having to pay hospital bills and a death and dismemberment judgement to its relatives?

As I exited the car I could see it was a middle-aged woman carrying several plastic bags of clothing and empty soda bottles. I asked, "Are you OK?" and her reply was, "No I am not OK... call the police because you are going to be arrested"!

Well, she was still standing, looking perfectly fine and I was not going to dial 911, which is reserved for life and death situations, of which now it was plain, did not apply (my car was barely creeping, after all). As I assessed the situation I came to the conclusion she was faking it, but I was still worried about the expense that might be involved in fighting an illegitimate injury claim. Inside the Dunkin' Doughnuts I asked the counter help if they could get me the non-emergency line to the police, which they did. After I made the call, 2 men sitting near the window in their coffee klatch spoke up to say, "We saw the whole thing, and she jumped in front of your car." "Have the police come in and we'll give a statement."

Waiting for the police arrival, I stayed under the overhang near the doughnut shop door, and the woman stayed in the morning drizzle in the parking lot muttering to herself. Further evidence to me that if she wasn't interested in coming in out of the rain, she was either a tough Mainer, or a little demented.

When the officer arrived, the first thing he said was "I wouldn't worry about this". What I interpreted him to mean was: "We know her and she does shit like this all the time". After taking my statement and hers, I suggested to the officer the willingness of the inside patrons to give additional statements to which he replied, "That won't be necessary". Which I heard as, " they know her too and she does this shit all the time."

As the adrenalin dissipated from my system, I checked my hood for handprint dents and I was ready to resume my morning when, there she was, this disgruntled bag lady, standing at the cross walk which I now had to cross. She waited and I waited. I wasn't taking a chance of a repeat performance and she looked poised to step out the instant I proceeded. After a long stare-down between us and traffic began to back up, she toddled across in front of me and down the sidewalk.

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