Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Double Whammy

Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I walk home from work. Between my work, which is located in a mildly dodgy area, and my home, located in a fairly pleasant area, is brief stretch of medium-to-high dodginess. As evidence, there are two things I often come across in the sketchy section of the walk:

1. passed out bums
2. used condoms (yeah, GROSS.)

Yesterday was a special sort of day, because for the first time ever, I found a passed out dude and used condom on the same walk home. (no, they weren't near each other.)

While we're on the topic , I have an etiquette question. What is the proper way to react to finding an intoxicated man passed out on the sidewalk? Here are some options:

A. Try to wake him up. Seems like the kindest thing to do...a gentle, "excuse me mister, you probably shouldn't sleep here, somebody might steal the rest of your bottle of Cossack vodka." However, I'm always afraid that the guy will turn out to be some crackhead who will go nutso and try to attack me. Especially because the areas where I often find passed out dudes tend to be fairly deserted.

B. Do nothing. Hey, he'll probably wake up in a couple of hours and be fine. But what if he has alcohol poisoning and dies? What if he's not actually an intoxicated bum, but some man that had a heart attack or something? (I usually look to make sure they are still breathing, and then examine the surroundings for alcohol bottles.)

C. Call an ambulance. But what if the guy is just some poor drunk who ends up getting arrested because I called it in? Or ends up saddled with some huge emergency room bill when he would have been perfectly fine if he had just been left alone?

D. Steal the rest of their booze and make a run for it! (Just kidding)

I never know what to do. Usually I stop to make sure that they're breathing. Once, I did call 911 because it was an old man, face down on the sidewalk. Earlier this summer, I actually found a passed out guy on the front steps of my apartment, and I tried to wake him up. I was unsuccessful, but someone must have already called because a police car and ambulance arrived moments later. Yesterday's find was a guy sitting Indian style, totally passed out, with his glasses, a cell phone, and an empty liquor bottle all on the sidewalk in front of him. I just let him be.


jay said...

Umm Eileen, I believe its called Native American style, not Indian style...
But seriously, I give you credit for stopping, I ususally just keep walking...

Mike said...

Someday, you are going to see a passed out guy on the sidewalk with a motorcycle nearby. That's the moment that you are looking for! Steal that motorcycle! It will be the beginning of your motorcycle thievery!