Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

Being asked for for a ride by a stanger

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Reader:
Stopped in a store to pick up cigarettes on my lunch break today.  Had a complete stranger that was buying a very large glass bottle of beer (slang term is a 40 in the US), turn to me while I am signing my card slip and ask me if I can give him ride up the hill.  Did not help that this guy was a complete stranger to me, did not smell particularly good, and was twice my size, and decided that it would be a good idea to take a step closer while asking.  So I got to use "I'm afraid that won't be possible today!"  Guy stepped back, I finished my transaction, and I was able to walk out the door without another word from him.  But in all that is holy why did he ever think that would be okay to ask?

Reason:
I'd have given him a ride, if it's just up the hill :) Of course I in order for him to be twice my size he would have to have been 530 lbs and probably wouldn't fit in my car.

That said, If I were you (a presume, a woman that is not used to handling carjackers or lunatics), I would have refused as well. I am not sure it was really rude of him to ask, because it doesn't seem to put you out much and most men don't see themselves as a possible psychopath. However, the very real possibility that he was at least unstable, makes your choice a wise one. It wasn't rude to refuse either.

jmarvellous:
I can't answer your question about why he thought it was OK to ask without knowing the guy, but I can say that most people in a decent state of mind would know it was a bit absurd in the situation as described!

A male friend had a very similar situation arise except it was after dark and the genders were switched (and he was about her size, if that matters). By the time they'd gone a block, she'd done cocaine off his dashboard, admitted she was avoiding her pimp and looking for her next client and offered her services to my friend in return for reimbursement for the alcohol she'd bought at the store.  I'm blurry on the exact cost of service ... it's been a while since I heard the tale.
At any rate, neither friend nor I nor anyone else who heard that story has been tempted to answer in the affirmative when asked for a ride by a drinking stranger since!

Reader:
I stand 5'7" and have a very petite frame.  So much some guy friends have told me I need a bodyguard/pseudo boyfriend when I go out just so no one will mess with me.  I barely came to this guy's shoulder and if I try to guess his weight I'd say it would be in the 200lb range. So if he had wanted to overpower me it would have been easy. I don't think his request was rude just strange.  Had he been a woman and my size I might have considered it if it wasn't too far out of my way. 

Outdoor Girl:
A friend of mine was driving from one location to another on a secondary highway for work.  She stopped to pick up a late teen/early 20's boy who was hitching.  She admitted later that it wasn't the smartest thing she'd ever done but it was broad daylight and people were expecting her.

So she pulls over to let him out where he'd asked her to and he turns to her and says, 'Wanna [fuddleduddle]?'  She was very quick thinking, glanced at her watch and said that she really didn't have time; she had to get to a meeting.  So the kid says OK, hops out of the car and she drives off.  Presumably the offer was in payment for the ride??

Reader, I don't blame you at all for turning the guy down.  I'm not sure it was rude to ask but it was certainly clueless.  As a fairly large guy, he should be aware that he presents a somewhat intimidating visage.

The city I used to live in had a woman who would jump into cars at stoplights and instruct the driver where to take her.  It happened to a friend of mine and he actually drove her because she wouldn't get out of the car!  Personally, I would have refused and not moved until she did get out, despite any line up piling up behind me when I didn't go through the light.  If I didn't have my phone handy, hopefully someone behind would have called the police and they could have sorted it out.

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