Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Turning Down Free Food

 My late sister was crippled, like me. She also had a wheelchair accessible van, like me.

She often got carry-outs and deliveries from her local Chinese restaurant, which was located in a strip mall. One day my sister and her husband went to pick up their carry-out order. There was only one parking space reserved for cripples in the strip mall parking lot and the striped area next to the parking space was being occupied by the strip mall’s dumpster.

This pissed my sister off, like it always pisses me off when I see someone parked in or something cluttering up the striped area next to a parking space reserved for cripples. Because that striped area means NO PARKING, DAMMIT and it’s there because many cripples enter and exit our vehicles via a lift or ramp that comes out of the sliding side door. We need that extra space in order to get in and out of the vehicle so if it’s cluttered up it renders the parking space unless.

And that happens a lot. I’ve gone to shopping centers where the striped areas next to the reserved cripple parking spaces are occupied by metal corals for shopping carts.

My sister called some state agency that’s in charge of enforcing cripple parking laws and reported the strip mall. When she returned a few weeks later, the dumpster had been moved elsewhere and the striped area was clutter free, as God intended. Apparently her phone call actually worked!

Shortly thereafter, the Chinese man who owned the restaurant rang her doorbell.  He was carrying a brown paper bag. My sister and her husband were confused. Neither of them ordered a delivery. What was he doing here? 

When they opened the door the smiling man said he was also very upset that the dumpster had been moved to right in front of his business because he hired feng shui experts to remodel his place so as to attract more customers. But he was afraid that having that dumpster there would  fuck up the vibe they created. So he wanted to give them this free food to express his appreciation for doing whatever she did that made them move the dumpster.

And the next night, the man returned with another bag of free food. And he did the same the night after that and the night after that and the night after that until finally my sister and her husband kept the lights off and pretended like nobody was home every night when the Chinese man rang the doorbell until, eventually, he stopped coming. They didn’t mean to be rude but they didn’t know what else to do. Their refrigerator was overflowing with leftovers from all the deliveries of the previous nights.

Being crippled will take you on many adventures. But I’ve never been on one that made me turn down free food

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