Traffic was heavy this after getting off of work. So, I decided, as usual, when traffic is as heavy or heavier, to cut through the city of Baltimore to make way way to I-70 in order to get on to I-695. I’m in west Baltimore when I catch a light and this lady taps on my window. I turn down my music, and hear her out, not something I normally do. She wasn’t homeless. Instead she was a well dress middle age white woman asking for help. I entertain her plea.
Her car is out of gas, on a street I was conveniently going to turn down (she did not know that). She needs money to for gas so she can get to her home in Bel Air. She is also a student, a single mom, and a mortgage broker. I asked for a business card, and she didn’t have any. The only ID she had was a Hartford Community College student ID, which I didn’t look at. Her name was Rebbecca, and she asked for $30 with the promise of paying me back. I didn’t learn this all at once.
I insist that I do not have that kind of cash, and I park my car and lock it. She is inside the gas station, waiting for me. I ask where the gas cans are. She doesn’t tell me while stopped at an ATM. A bystander directed me. I told her I could get a can of gas and drive you to your car since it is on my way. She insisted that that would not be enough. She insisted she needed more gas. I ask what kind of car she has. She described, in detail, a 1997 Japanese something, and detailed its exhaust system or something outside of make/model/year. Definitely rehearsed, but I went along. I asked how she planned on getting home: around the beltway or through the tunnel. She answered with the latter, a shorter distance. I am calculating fuel efficiency and believed she could get to Bel Air on 2.5 gallons.
But here, she refused. She would rather me get her a two liter bottle fill it with gasoline, take her to her car and give her enough money to fill her own tank. Obviously, I am not dumb enough to do that. I stated plainly I will not partake in using non-authorized cannisters for gas. She said something about how she did that when she was 17. I still refused. Now by this time, the same bystander who directed me to the gas cans chimed in. He watched me refuse her ridiculous proposal, with a slight grin. We both thought that 2.5 gallons was sufficient for her “45 mile” journey home. For those who do not know Maryland, Bel Air in a hike north east. The, also middle aged, black gentleman watching asked her a few questions, and she refused to answer based on privacy. Then he started talking to me and that’s when she said she’ll seek help from someone else. I chatted it up a few more minutes with the guy before continuing on my way, seeing Rebbecca trying to talk to more passing cars.
There are so many details from which she was definitely lying. Assuming she was in school at UMBC, which is in Catonsville, why would she be in West Baltimore on her way back to Bel Air, especially if she was taking the tunnel. Her rehearsed story doesn’t withstand scrutiny. Who both runs out of gas, after having passed multiple gas stations to get where she ran out, and forgets their wallet. That’s a double dose of stupidity. She had a purse; one would think women keep it in there, not their pockets. I could go on, but someone truly in need of help would have accepted a can of gas on me, a cost of which would have be at or below $20. There are no staving vegans.
The mind of these people is truly bizarre and broken. They’ve given up on trying to be a good person. Instead, they travel to the city to scam people for money. It didn’t seem like her first time doing this, given how rehearsed it seemed. Christmas season brings out the worst in people. Around this time of year, people steal more. Shoplifting is a feminine crime. And so to is compulsive lying. I recall Breaking Bad. Skylar White and her sister, Marie Schrader, were both devoted liars who manipulated those around them. And in front of me was a Skylar White. She goes to west Baltimore, a predominantly black part of town, to play the white woman trying to get out of the cold and shady neighborhood. She clearly looks like an outsider trying to get home, the only thing that withstood scrutiny. Only she was going to go home with someone else’s money. $30 here, $30 there, and after a few times she’s got herself some nice clothes or jewelry, something to make her forget, for a brief period of time, how broken she is. People like this need Jesus.
Jesus was asked “who is my neighbor?” and responded by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan. As a follower of Christ, I should be willing to help people. So I was willing to hear what Rebbecca had to say. Unfortunately, she was lying. People like her are the reason people are unwilling to help those actually in need.