McGee: Stranger’s kindness met with caution

Grant McGee

Too many campfire tales, scary movies and news stories have taken a toll on how I respond to helpful strangers. I realized this on our recent trip to the American Southland.

If you remember we arrived at my brother’s house in south Florida.

While he and his wife were out of town they let us stay there. I was sure they had a pool for The Lady of the House to enjoy. He didn’t.

I was still trying to live that down when on the second night of our stay, about 11:15, a chime rang throughout the house.

We were tucked in for the night. We looked at each other when we heard the melodious noise.

“Is that a clock?” asked The Lady of the House.

“I don’t think so,” I said. “If it was we would’ve heard it before.”

It went off again.

“It’s the doorbell,” I said. I got up.

“It’s 11:15 at night,” said The Lady of the House. “You don’t answer doors at 11:15 at night. That might be the way they rob

people around here. Someone might be just outside the door waiting with baseball bats.”

“It’s a gated community, there’s a guard,” I said.

“That doesn’t mean criminals can’t climb over walls.”

“Watch this,” I said. I walked out in the hall, channeled my biggest, booming, voice-of-Moses-comin’-down-from-the-mountaintop voice and said, “WHO IS IT!? WHAT DO YOU WANT!?”

There was a wee bit of silence then a stuttering voice: “It’s, it’s your neighbor. Y-y-you left your lights on inside your car.”

“Oh, okay…THANK YOU.”

I waited a few moments, slowly opened the front door and went out to the car.

The lights were on. I turned them off and went back inside the house.

“Make a new friend?” asked The Lady of the House.

“Well, I never saw the guy,” I said. “But I’m sure my brother will get an earful when he gets back.”