In the midst of my mundane routine, I often find myself in the weirdest situations. I have no idea how or why but inevitably, it always happens. I even started a hashtag on Twitter #FailingWithJordan, they are so frequent. Here is the latest of those situations.
One way homeless people find work is to sell newspapers at intersections all over the city. Having just bought a new car (with WORKING windows) I was happy and somewhat excited to be able to help out. I pulled up to the intersection (with inappropriately long red lights) smiled and waved, holding some cash to indicate my intentions. The transaction absolutely did not go as planned.
The man selling papers walked up to my car and leaned heavily against the door. Instantly, I smelled the liquor on his breath and wanted to get this over with. What I said very clearly through the four inch opening of my window was, "Hi, I don't want a paper but here's a donation to use as you need it. Have a great night." What the man heard was something that led him to believe I was looking for a new pal. When I ignored his suggestions on "fun places where we could dance" he took matters into his own hands and proceeded to SIT on the HOOD of my BRAND NEW used car. Obviously, I did the only thing I could think of which was panic and repeat the word 'why' over and over out loud. To make matters more fun, cars around me TOOK PICTURES and honked their horns. A gesture, while I'm sure heartfelt, was just not at all helpful. I thought if I drove forward very slowly, the man would get off and end his protest. Unfortunately, he did not until I had inched all the way through the red light and he spotted a police officer. As he slid off and ran away I was being pulled over for running a red light. (What happened to chivalry?)
The officer came up to my car and asked if I knew the light was red. My exact reply was, "Yes, Sir, I did know. I'm very sorry I ran that light....but there was a homeless man on my hood and I didn't know what else to do." The officer stopped, looked at me very sternly, and asked me to step out of my vehicle. I'm pretty sure he thought I had hit this man with my car. I explained the situation, and he told me to stay put. After he inspected my car for evidence of vehicular homicide, ran my license, he gave me a well spoken lecture about making up nonsense just to get out of a ticket. Thankfully as he was writing out an incredibly expensive ticket for my "outlandish excuses" one of the cars that had witnessed the whole thing pulled up and showed the police officer the photo on his cell phone, (after first asking for immunity for having his cell phone out while driving). Thankfully the police officer had a sense of humor, and let me go ticket free with an apology through laughing tears while wiping the grease mark left by the homeless man's clothes off my hood. The homeless man was pursued for public intoxication. Probably a good idea.