Senior moments

Sept. 4, 2008

Someone has to pay

With gas prices as high as they are, getting stuck in a traffic jam can be expensive. So when Carol Greenberg of Perrysburg, Ohio, got stuck in a work-zone backup in Michigan, she sent the state a bill.

Someone has to pay

With gas prices as high as they are, getting stuck in a traffic jam can be expensive. So when Carol Greenberg of Perrysburg, Ohio, got stuck in a work-zone backup in Michigan, she sent the state a bill.

Greenberg was bringing her cat home from a specialty veterinarian outside of Detroit. Heading south on I-75, she got stuck idling for nearly an hour in a construction zone where workers were repairing a culvert. She says there were no signs warning of the work area and that the experience was particularly unpleasant for her cat, Sammy, who howled through the entire delay in his pet carrier in the backseat.

When Greenberg finally got home, she figured that she had wasted about 4 gal of gas while idling in the work zone. First she sent an e-mail to the Michigan DOT complaining about the incident and then followed that up with a bill for $16 to pay for her wasted gas, complete with a 30-day pay period and late fee stipulation.

Not surprisingly, MDOT declined to reimburse Greenberg, but she said the bill was largely a symbolic gesture anyway.

“It’s more about principle than money,” Greenberg said, “and I think I did get a rise out of them.”

For all you do, this Bud’s for you

Proper hydration is key during the dog days of summer. That’s why 74-year-old Lynne Rice decided to use the drive-through at Joe’s Food Mart in Norwalk, Calif., this past June.

Only problem was, Joe’s has no drive-through.

That didn’t matter to Rice, though. She just crashed her 1988 Cadillac through the front window of the convenience store, causing $8,000 in damages.

After plowing through half the store, Rice calmly got out of her car, walked over to the cooler, pulled out a six-pack of Budweiser and made her way to the counter to pay.

The cashier refused to sell to her, instead calling 9-1-1. Not about to be disrespected after her complimentary store renovation, Rice allegedly began pushing the cashier.

Police arrived minutes later, and Rice was arrested on the (strong) suspicion of DUI.

When asked why she didn’t just use the front door, Rice explained, “When I was your age, they brought the beer to your car. Now these whippersnappers want me to park and walk. To hell with that.”

Super great-grandma

Bernie Garcia may be an 83-year-old great-grandmother, but that doesn’t mean she’s a pushover.

Twenty-year-old Angelo Trujillo found this out the hard way when he approached Garcia to ask for money while she was pumping gas at a supermarket in Santa Fe, N.M. When she told him that she had spent all her spare change on gas, he tried to snatch her purse instead.

Fortunately Garcia had the purse straps wrapped twice around her wrist and was able to hold on. Realizing she had the fuel pump in her other hand, she fought back by spraying her assailant with gas.

Trujillo still refused to let go and pulled Garcia to the ground, dragging her a short distance on the pavement until another store customer intervened. He demanded, “Turn her loose, you something-something,” Garcia recalled.

Realizing that he was in a losing battle, Trujillo scurried off to a waiting car and sped away. Thanks to eyewitness accounts, it only took police three minutes to find and arrest him.

Garcia suffered some scrapes and bruises, but no broken bones. She admitted that she was lucky not to have sustained any serious injuries, but is still glad she stood her ground. “My son said, ‘Why didn’t you just give [the purse] up?’” Garcia said. “I told him, ‘Hell no.’ That was my purse.”

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