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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One of my great uncles, who died back in 1955, used to drive through Harlem on his way to and from work.  He learned to keep his doors locked because somebody would smear a dirty rag across his windshield, and then yank open the door and demand to be paid for cleaning the window.  They would threaten him if he refused.  He couldn't do much about the 'window cleaning', but locking all the doors meant nobody got his doors opened!  The need to be careful in certain neighborhoods goes back much further than that, I'm sure.

When my father was a kid in the '30s, his uncle (a doctor) was shot to death in the hospital by a deranged patient.

One day when he was hitchhiking - a normal way to get around town in those days - it turned out that the driver was the psychiatrist who had cleared the patient as safe. Dad said it was a very silent and awkward drive after they each figured out who the other wase.


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