Saturday, November 22, 2008

Adventures in Edmonton

It started innocently enough… but then, isn’t that always the case?

A woman in a semi-frantic state approached us at a store in Terra Losa while I was picking Duncan up. She said “My kids are in the hospital. It’s an emergency, can you give me a ride?” We were only about 5 minutes from the hospital so how could I say no to that? We weren’t in the car for more than 45 seconds before she asked me if I could cash a cheque for her. I said “No, I can not” in my best Hillary Clinton voice.

What I should have asked her was if she needed a ride to the hospital, because, well, I just assumed. When I got to the hospital and went to turn in she told me to keep going as she actually wanted to go to a house a couple of kilometers away. That irritated me a little but it was cold out so I figured a couple of kilometers couldn’t hurt.

It only took me a few seconds to change my mind. She looked at me and said “We know each other... the last time my kids were kidnapped you gave me a ride. We went to California.” I glanced at her, thinking this was going to be the longest two kilometers I had ever driven, and decided there was something very wrong with her but that she wasn’t much of a threat.

When we finally got to the street she wanted it was kind of dark and a tad bit too deserted for my liking. She said to keep going to a house down the street with a light on where people were “waiting for her.” That was enough for me; I pulled over and told her this was as far as we were going. She did get out then but walked up to a different house. We kind of had a chuckle at her crazy antics, until I got home and found a cheque book belonging to some guy on the floor in the back of the car. It had a few cheques in it written out for 1000.00 each, obviously forged. So in addition to being used as a free taxi (or perhaps a get away car) Duncan and I had to spend a good portion of our evening in the community police station relaying the story to an officer whom I am sure has heard it all.

Best reaction to my story so far goes to Adam B. who exclaimed “Geez Allie, you’re like frickin’ Gandhi!

Maybe I am too nice.


Chris LaBossiere said...

What's life without a good crazy-lady story?

Tory@(striking)York said...

I've had a run in with a similar story. couple years ago a friend and I drove down to the movie theatre, just as we're getting out of the car a frantic sounding woman came over asking for some bus fare because her kids were in hospital and she had no way to get there. My friend gave her 5 bucks (over my objections) and we went and watched the movie . 2 hours later we come out and there she is, not 3 parking spots away from our car, asking someone else for "bus fare". I guess our 5 dollars wasnt quite enough...

Anonymous said...

We stayed at the Executive Royal in West Edmonton two years ago. One of the guys was approached by a couple who had transmission trouble and couldn't get to his new job blah blah blah.
He was from near where they were from in NB. He checked them out a bit and ended up giving them a few bucks.
Last month I was there again with some of the same guys, and lo and behold they were still working the parking lot.
People like them should be kicked in the nuts.
There are plenty of people who are genuinely in need but get ignored because we get suspicious because of these scammers.

Anonymous said...

Gone are the days when you can just give someone a ride...

Heather said...

Eee...yes. I don't think you should be giving rides to strangers. I'm pretty sure the police will help people out in real emergencies...when 'real' children are at the 'real' hospital.