The parson made his way down the interstate, heading for the Quik Trip, America’s best gas and convenience store. About two miles from the exit he passed a RV camper of the vintage variety. It was from the early 1980s, the kind where a pickup was modified to accommodate the camper. It was towing an economy sedan from about the same year.
The parson quickly moved ahead and exited. He pulled into the Quik Trip and headed for the cappuccino dispensers. He no sooner had his cup filled than Eugene Jones entered the store. The two had agreed to meet here and ride to a meeting together. The parson waited for Eugene to get a cup of refreshment for himself and headed toward the cashier. Halfway there his attention was captured by someone walking in. The parson stared, knowing the man looked familiar. Then it hit him; he was the fellow driving the old camper.
The parson paid and he and Eugene departed to head toward their meeting. In the car, the parson asked, “Eugene, I need to run by the post office to mail some letters before we go.”
Eugene nodded as the parson pointed his car back toward the interstate. He crossed over on the bridge and headed toward the post office about a mile ahead. He made a quick trip around the parking lot and dropped the letters into the outside receptacle. Now the car was pointed back toward the interstate again. One hundred yards before the interstate, the parson saw the camper again.
It was parked in the parking lot of a defunct business, with the nose pointed toward the highway. The man stood outside beside the front left fender next to a hand painted sign which leaned against the wheel and read, “Stranded. Will work for food and/or gas.”
The parson pulled in, got out of the car and approached the man. Eugene followed.
“What happened?” the parson asked.
“Oh, thanks for stopping,” he said. “I’m heading home in Florida and I realized I have lost my wallet. I guess I lost it at my last stop up in Tennessee. So, I’m stranded here. This is a little embarrassing. Look do you know anywhere I could get some work for some gas and food?”
The parson was taking in the Quik Trip cup and sausage biscuit wrapping on the fender as the man spoke.
“Tell you what, partner,” said the parson. “I’ve got a Quik Trip gift card here. You know where the Quik Trip is?”
“Ah, I think so. Isn’t it on the other side of the expressway?”
“Right,” said the parson. “I’ll let you have it. You can get some gas and food there.”
“Thanks much,” said the man as he took the card from the parson.
Back in the car, Eugene let go on the parson. “Parson, are you out of your mind. You saw that guy come into the QT. There’s no way he had time to make that sign before we got to him here. He had that sign already made.”
“I know,” said the parson. “But I know a little about these scammers. He will move on now to a better another place. And, if he’s even a little bit down on his luck, I think there was just enough money on that card to get him to your county.”Graphic by subscription with Clip Art [dot] Com