Monday, April 16, 2007

Just a sign of our times? Or have we lost trust?

Bit off topic from SEO tonight...

I was driving the wife home this evening around 06-50pm and on the side of the road we both spotted what looked to be an elderly gentleman collapsed on the ground by a bus shelter.

I could not believe the 6 cars in front that just drove past and did not stop. I drove up the road a little more and then pulled over to a safe parking spot and ran back to check - though with a warning from the wife to "be careful"...

Another driver had also spotted this gentleman on the ground and pulled over right alongside on what is a busy road. Both of us stated to each other how amazed we were that on the edge of rush hour and in clear sight, tens if not hundreds of drivers must have passed this man who appeared to have collapsed on the pavement.

On closer inspection I noticed a can of "Ace" - a cheap alcoholic beverage - which made me wary, but the guy looked reasonable clean and tidy so I thought well it may not be his so gave him the benefit of the doubt.

The other driver knelt down and prodded the guy to see if we got a response. We did as he opened his eyes and we asked if he wanted an ambulance. He refused and then sat up but he was quite clearly drunk as a skunk. Again we both asked if he wanted an ambulance which he then said he was trying to get the bus (the reason for being in a bus shelter) as he had to see his "efffin Mum" (his words not mine).

He then asked us if either one of us was going to Cricklade and then I began to suspect he had pretended to be collapsed to get the attention of someone, seeing as the bus wasn't due for another hour.... when prodded he opened his eyes way too quickly which made me suscipicious about him and then I realised he had propped his arm under his head like a pillow which someone who had collapsed was unlikely to have done.

I refused to take him (even though I was heading towards Cricklade) and so did the other driver... but it got me thinking that on one side some people at least still care to check on a fellow human being even when it what turns out to be some stupid drunk's way of getting a free ride to the next town? But what about the others who did not stop... have we so little time and trust for others we would just drive home past some old guy lying out on the street who appeared at best unconscious, or at worst dead?

Food for thought....