He drove the little truck through the parking lot slowly, looking past us to a point in space none could see as he went by our set-up. I was in the park with my friends who give out food and my task was to get the signatures of those who picked up today’s goods. My friend’s husband has to provide a sign-in sheet to the food bank where he gets many of the items to show that he is, in fact, handing out what he is given.
As I stood and looked to the south, I saw a dark sedan; the driver was moving swiftly. The guy in the little truck parked in a spot to the east of where the food was being distributed and the sedan’s driver pulled in next to it. Three men jumped out of the sedan and approached the guy in the little truck. One man turned off the truck’s ignition and said something that the rest of us could not hear. Another man opened the door and the third pulled the driver out. The first man landed a roundhouse punch to the eye of the man who had been behind the wheel of the little truck.
Turns out, the punch-er was the owner of the truck, and the punch-ee had stolen it, having jumped in at a local gas station. The punch-ee’s eye was purple and he covered it with his hands as he walked away. The punch-er’s fist was sore and he gratefully accepted a bottle of cool water since we had no ice.
The punch-er and the other two men did not know each other but had joined together to get the punch-er’s truck back.
Once the dust settled, we finished handing out the day’s fare; my friends’ son was on his way to his nephew’s birthday party, after which he would be preparing to head back east. ‘Come visit if you are in Philly!’ he said, sad that I would not make it to the party for his brother’s son today. They live a good distance from me and my invite was second-hand; I’d feel weird showing up to a party for a baby I’ve never met …
I saw Miss Viv as I drove out of the lot; she was disappointed that she had missed our giveaway. ‘I am glad I saw you though!’ she yelled from the other side of the driveway as she turned and dragged her shopping basket, full of items from the other organizations and churches that distribute food, clothes, and more at the park every Saturday, back the way she had come.
On the way home, I circumnavigated my usual path to the highway, having a shopping list to attend to and the annual Route 66 event to avoid — blocked streets made my usual alternate route almost impossible.
As I drove home, I saw a full-sized pickup, pulling a trailer: Mo’Betta BBQ was emblazoned on the side, bringing a smile to my face. What a good name.
Just another Saturday in San Berdoo.