“Hey man, know where I can score some weed?” he asked from his car.
It was 2 a.m. and the bars in town were closing. Business at the all night gas station always picked up at this time. It was the only 24-hour station in town. From 1 – 3 a.m. a sporadic stream of drunks (partial or fully) wove their cars in and out of the pumps and sometimes made odd requests.
“Got any rolling papers? Do you know where I can get some? Are there any prostitutes in this town?”
As the lone attendant, it was unsettling at times. You just never knew who would stop and request another strange item. This guy wanted drugs. I never used them. Never saw the attraction or need. I didn’t even drink.
I looked at the driver. His bleary eyes watered and the aroma from his car was heavy with the smell of beer.
“Sure,” I told him. “Go straight for three lights and turn right. Go two blocks and stop. The building you want is a large stone one with wide steps leading up to the front door.”
“Three lights?” he asked.
“Yes. This is your first light, right here at this intersection. Go straight two more, turn right and go two blocks.” I repeated.
“Thanks buddy. You’re cool.” he smiled at me.
As he drove off, I made a phone call.
“Springfield Police Department, Officer Janson speaking.” the desk sergeant answered.
“Hi. This is the attendant at the 24-hour station. I just gave directions to a customer looking for drugs. He’s pretty drunk too and probably shouldn’t be driving. He should be coming up to the station steps in a few minutes.”
A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.