May 01, 2004

Stealing from the Elderly, Again

The weather was damp and cold when the van pulled up into Miss Violet’s drive. She watched from the window, hungry and just a little light-headed as the driver, a young man, opened the side door, took a sealed aluminum container from the back and headed for her door.

When he knocked, she made her way down the dark hallway and opened the door.

“Violet Freeman?” the man asked, looking at the clipboard that lay across the top of the container.

“Yes, young man. I’m Mrs. Freeman. Where’s Charles? Charles has brought my supper to me ever day for months. Is Charles okay?”

“Ma’am, I don’t know Charles. I’m your driver today. I just needed to make sure I was at the right house.” As he said this, he looked out at the other once proud little homes on the street. Other frail little faces peered at him from behind sheer curtains or through storm doors. “It would be easy to go to the wrong house on your street.”

“Oh. Well, maybe Charles will be back tomorrow. I’ll just hold on to his envelope until he comes back… if that’s alright with you, young man?”

“That would be fine with me, Mrs. Freeman.” He handed the warm container to the little woman. He noticed that she hadn’t taken her eyes off it since he walked up to the door with it.

“Uh, Mrs. Freeman, that envelope for Charles? May I ask what’s in it? I mean, so I can tell him it’s here if I see him?” He felt bad having to lie to her, knowing that Charles wouldn’t be back. Everyone on this route had asked him about Charles’ return and the envelopes they had for him.

The food smelled so good to her she almost swooned. “Why, it’s my bill, young man. Charles said never give my envelope to anyone else who might be covering for him on his route. I’ll just keep it here. Maybe he’ll be back tomorrow.”

She hadn’t eaten since the meal that Charles had brought her yesterday from the Senior Citizens Counseling & Delivery Service. They were such nice folks, bringing her meals every day, and they only charged a little bit. And Charles always made sure she got a nice heavy container. He had told her so himself.

“Mrs. Freeman, you won’t need to do that. I’m with the Urban League and we’ve taken this route over for them. They were just so, uh, busy, you see.” It was just a little lie. He didn’t want to concern her. “You remember the Urban League, don’t you Mrs. Freeman?”

“Oh yes.” She started ever so slowly to back away from the door with her meal. “Good people in the Urban League.

“Well, we’ll be bring your meal from now on. And you take your envelope for Charles and you keep it.”

“Should I start saving the supper money for you now, young man?”

“No, Ma’am. Your bill’s already been paid Ma’am. Uh, something about meals they still owed you from when you overpaid." This one wasn't really a lie, he thought. "Just don’t you worry about it. I’ll be back tomorrow. Hope I’m not as late as today, and I’m sorry about that. I know where you are now. You have a nice day, Mrs. Freeman.”

He turned and stepped down off the front porch as she closed the door. His eyes scanned the windows and doors of the other little houses along the street, and he decided he needed to send one of those Social Service people out here to see if he needed to start making a few more deliveries on this little street.

Note: Maybe I'm just an old cynic, but I have to wonder what the politics of those running the program at the Senior Citizens Counseling & Delivery Service happens to be.

Posted by Mamamontezz at May 1, 2004 09:40 AM

You're far more generous that I, my dear. Strung up by their privates is too good, IMHO. Grrr.

Lovely presentation of this story.

Posted by: Emma at May 1, 2004 04:28 PM

Yeah, I agree, that's definitely a "Grrrr" moment. I'm just trying to culture that "nice, respectable, little old lady blogger" image, which is not easy for me, believe me. Otherwise I'd have ripped them new ones with a nailfile and a Bic Lighter.

(Between you and me, I'd prefer the nailfile and Bic treatment for this.)

Posted by: Mamamontezz at May 1, 2004 05:53 PM

Sadly this happens all too often with some of our so called "Charitable" oganizations. Some are on the take or they're too lax when monitoring they're help. Some of the "help" are there because they are blackballed by employers for their nefarious activities. These slimeballs are given preferential treatment by our justice system ensuring their return to the street where they can ply their trade all over again. Yes, I believe justice is blind.

Posted by: Jack at May 2, 2004 10:42 AM

poker me up

Posted by: poker me up at December 30, 2004 02:20 PM

Cum summam patrimoni insculpere saxo!

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