I flew back from Florida to Midway Airport on Sunday June 22, 2008, and took the bus back to downtown Peoria, arriving at 11:00 pm. As a good new urbanist, I was walking the 1/2 mile from downtown to my home, wearing shorts and carrying a large bag and sweat shirt.
A young man rode up to me on his bike. I figured he was panhandling, and would have given him a few bucks, but I was wrong. He asked me where he might safely park his bike while he drank a beer. I pointed out a local watering hole, and noted that he could watch his bike out the front window while he drank his beverage.
"Great idea", he said. "Brilliant". "Thanks", he said, and rode off into the night. Then he returned.
Now he wants a few bucks, thought I. Wrong again.
"Are you OK?" he asked? "Yes", I replied.
"Do you need a few bucks", he asked? "No, I am ok", said I.
We parted on friendly terms.
1. Is this a great country, or what? Young man on a bike thinks I am down on my luck, and offers to help.
2. I should dress a little better.
3. And I should have said, "Of course I could use a few bucks- who couldn't? "