“Excuse me, Miss. Do you know what town this is?”
I glanced up at an elderly gentleman holding a crumpled up map—not MapQuest directions, not a Rand McNally Road Atlas—but a real honest to goodness fold-up map from AAA. I didn’t even know people still used those things.
I tried to stifle a giggle and replied, “You’re in Lancaster.”
He paused for a moment, scratched his head, and repeated it slowly, “Land-kas-ter.”
That’s when I knew he wasn’t from these parts!
“Can you tell me how I can get to that chocolate place?” he asked politely.
“Oh, you mean Hershey?” I said with a smile.
“Yep, that’s the place…Hershey. The wife and me is lost,” he said with a toothless grin.
I gave him the quickest and easiest directions to the “sweetest place on earth.” He scribbled some notes on the map with the pencil he had tucked behind his ear, while I pointed out “Hershey” on the map. He thanked me profusely and waved a hearty goodbye.
I felt like my afternoon standing in line at AC Moore (for half an hour to buy cardstock with a coupon that had already expired the week before) was not entirely in vain.
To think that I actually remembered the back way to Hershey and pointed someone in the right direction made me feel like I had actually accomplished something on Saturday afternoon.
At the stoplight, I happened to pull right behind their white Buick and noticed the license plate: “ASK4HLP.”
I broke out into tear-dipped laughter.
I don’t know about you, but I love reading license plates and mouthing the words until I stumble on the “hidden” meaning. I have to admit, some I never get until days later and then laugh out loud—usually at inappropriate times! But this “plate” was unmistakably perfect for this couple.
When in doubt, just “ASK FOR HELP." Not bad advice (for all of us!).