Friday, October 25, 2013

Bob Evans' Weirdness

Several years ago while visiting my parents, the three of us grabbed an easy dinner at their local Bob Evans' restaurant.  About halfway through our meal, the folks at the table next to us finished and left.  They consisted of a couple appearing to be in their early 70s (he with a cane and she in a wheelchair) and their daughter who appeared to be in her early to mid 50s.

So Dad, Mom and I finished up about 20 minutes later and as we exited the restaurant, we were somewhat surprised by what we saw.  A van was pulled up close to the entrance with its side door open.  The old man with the cane was sitting on a bench near the restaurant door, the old woman was by the van laying on the ground on her back, and the daughter (now sweating and looking exhausted) was leaning against the passenger seat in the van.  No one said anything to us as we approached the scene, but my dad had to stop to see if everything was okay.

Through her huffing and puffing, the daughter admitted that she just couldn't get her mother into the van.  Apparently after several attempts, the daughter had given up trying to get her mother from the wheelchair into the back of the van.  Neither of them were in the best of shape to start with.  And the old man seemed fairly frail so I doubt he was any help.  So Dad asked if we (he and I) could help in any way.  The daughter basically threw her hands up in the air and said, "Well if you can get her in the van that'd be helpful".

After rolling my eyes at my dad (the way I always did when he happily volunteered me to get involved in a situation I wanted to avoid completely), I drolly looked at him and said (while heaving a labored sigh), "Okay how do you want to handle this?"  While Dad and I took a second to discuss what to do (and my mom took the time to remind my dad that he was too old to do what he was about to attempt), the daughter lets out this gem: "You can just grab her by the harness and pull her up into the van".

Grab. Her. By. The. Harness.

Dad and I shot each other a look.  I looked over at my mom and she gave me her best WTF expression.  As much as I wanted to know why there was a harness on this old woman, I chose not to ask.  I just wanted to do what I had been volunteered to do and get out of there.  And let me tell you, there was no way in hell I was going to grab an old woman by a harness and lift her anyplace!

After Dad and I visually agreed we would not follow that procedure, we decided that Dad would help me lift her off the ground, then shift all of her weight into my arms and I would put her in the seat while Dad helped guide me in.  And that's what we did.   When we picked up the woman, I could feet the harness apparatus.  It felt more like a life preserver.  I guess it was something the daughter made the mother wear so she could more easily maneuver her around when necessary.

So after the woman was safely in her seat, we got a simple thank you from the daughter (neither the old man or woman said anything through the entire ordeal) and assumed she could take it from there.  When Mom, Dad and I got back to our own car, we started talking about the situation and asking each other the questions that we would never be able to answer:  "What the hell had just happened?", "How long was the woman laying there?", "Would the daughter have asked us for help if we hadn't volunteered?"  The list went on and on, each question adding more incredulity to the situation.

But I also left that situation with a clear answer to an unasked question:  my parents are genuinely nice people who want to help when they see someone in need.  While I would have been completely content just walking by and not getting involved, Mom and Dad saw that something wasn't right and offered to help in any way.  This is but one of the millions of reasons that my parents are my heroes.  They have always given what they could to help whomever they could.  And in this situation, they knew exactly when to leave just in case someone might have been embarrassed by the situation, including one of us.  I was proud of them and even felt better about myself for helping out.

But I still made them buy me a Peanut Buster Parfait at the Dairy Queen on the ride home.