Hick had a story to tell me Saturday evening. He mentioned it before I even hinted at my good deed of buying a guy's whiskey and Pepsi on my own convenience store visit, so I know he wasn't making it up.
"After closing up my store, I went to get something to eat at Casey's. I had a soda and slice of pizza and some potato things. I noticed a guy watching me. Like he was afraid I was going to step up in his place and take his turn. He went to the register, and the lady said, 'This young man would like to pay for your purchase.'"
"That was nice of him. I guess I'm a disgrace because I only chipped in 33 cents for my guy."
"I told him, 'No, you don't have to.' He said, 'But I want to.' I told him, 'No, really, I can pay.' But he said, 'I want to pay it forward and buy your stuff.' I guess he had been looking at me to see what I had!"
"Yeah, to make sure you didn't have a large pizza and a case of beer."
"So I said, 'Well, you don't have to, but I'll let you do that. Thank you very much, young man. It's not often these days that I see your generation do stuff like that.' He was probably about Genius's age."
The Pony snorted.
"I don't know what YOU'RE snorting about! You wouldn't even help an old lady up off the floor that time she slipped in Walmart."
"She was a scammer!"
"We didn't know that until five minutes later! When her son started telling the manager that she slipped on water over by the bakery!"
"Still. She was a scammer. So I didn't get involved."
"Yeah, Pony. You'd never offer to buy anybody's stuff."
"Yet he'd give away 99 cents in change at the casino ticket-cashing machine in Norman. I saw him!"
"That goes to charity, Mother."
"You don't know that. It didn't specify. It just asked if you wanted to donate your change."
Hick said, "I know I have more money than that kid. Look at what I had in my pocket! (His Storage Unit Store kitty and the day's profits.) I didn't want him to have to pay. But I'll pay it forward.
If I thought somebody really needed something from my store, I wouldn't hesitate to give it to them. But now the other day, a guy came in trying to sell me tattooing equipment. He said he needed the money to get to his cancer treatments in the city. You know how you get a feeling about somebody. I told him, 'Buddy, you can go to the church store right up the street here, and if you need money to get to medical appointments, they'll give you a gas card. I see them do it all the time.' I hope that guy didn't really have cancer. But if he needed money to get to the doctor, I told him how to do that."
Heh, heh. I'm surprised Hick didn't just offer to drive him up there! He's got a clandestine medical transport service, you know.