Sometimes good deeds lead to ugly fallouts.
Years ago I was working in the hardware department at a Kmart. I received an in-coming customer call. The caller said "I need a favor. I'm a disabled war veteran. Could you buy me a doorknob and deliver it personally tonight? I'll pay gas money." I put him on hold and reminded myself I faced an opportunity to perform a good deed for a DISABLED VETERAN. Only an asshole would say no? I asked my friend Dustin if he sought an adventure after punching-out at 10pm. He did. When I returned to the phone the caller said "First, you need to stop at my friend's place for the gas money. I live at the end of an unlit driveway in Trout Run (deep into no-man's-land). My house has no electricity. Look for a Meet The Parents movie poster in my window."
I told him we'd be there by quarter 'til 11.
We followed the caller's directions to his buddy's house. An envelope was taped to the door. "MATT-GAS MONEY" was written on it. I defeated Dustin in "paper, rock, scissors" so he scampered onto the porch and snatched the envelope.
We followed lonely Route 14 North to Trout Run. We passed the one gas station to where a driveway split the hemlock trees. I recall the gravel popping under the tires. Then there it was—a Meet The Parents poster in the window of a house with peeling paint and sagging gutters.
After knocking, the door creaked open revealing a man clothed in full military regalia, a bandana atop bushy white hair, and Rawlings batting gloves. If Ted Kaczynski and GI Joe were mixed in a blender, this guy would pour out. Furthermore, he appeared fully physically capable despite his handicap assertion. Behind him the kitchen was lit only by the moonlight. Everything was in boxes. Then, he closed the door behind us and LOOKED THE DOORKNOB.
Finally, he spoke, "want to meet my daughter?" I expected him to open one of the boxes. Instead he turned a flashlight to a scrapbook and read aloud a newspaper article about a young lady who owned a pizza shop. "She's a good girl," he said. After that, he pointed the flashlight toward Dustin. "Wanna' see what's in my trunk?" Wide-eyed, Dustin followed him to a trunk in the kitchen's corner. I waited by the window, preparing to smash the glass and run. "Go ahead; open it." When Dustin reached down, the man grabbed a large wrench and slowly raised it above his head. "That's an Andy Gibbs guitar. He played it in concert."
At this point it occurred to me this wacko assumed I would show up alone at his house, where he planned to crush my skull with that wrench and likely stuff me in the trunk alongside his precious Andy Gibbs guitar.
Apparently reconsidering his murderous ambitions, realizing he was outnumbered, he lowered the wrench and proceeded to unlock the front door and bid us good-bye, but not before asking about Kmart's return policy.
The next day the "disabled war veteran" appeared in Kmart with his doorknob, seeking a refund. I said no. Then he stood nose-to-nose with me and cocked his fist, yelling "I gave you gas money. I showed you my daughter. I showed you my Andy Gibbs guitar. And you refuse me?"
Another good deed that didn't go unpunished.