Sunday, September 28, 2008


“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!).


Anonymous said...


I still use the AAA maps to get from point A to point B, the only thing I use MapQuest for is my finale destination point, like from a major # road into a development, or some place in the boondocks. Nothing like an old trusty map.

Have a great day, and "My Prayers" are with you and Mark.

God Bless,


Connie Pombo said...

The truth is I don't use AAA maps becuase I can't read them; I need a magnifying glass. :)

You must have EXCELLENT eyesight!

Keep hanging on to those maps!

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Oh that's toooo funny. He really lived up to his license plate! Love it and that you could give accurate directions? You go girl!

We love to play a game in the car sometimes and make up sayings for the intials on someone's liscense plate. For instance, my husband's starts with FBS - I've deemed it Fast Boy Skitt - speaking of his little racing engine in his Pontiac Vibe!

Greg C said...

I want to get one that says "I can't spel" Sometimes I try to read into some of the ones I see and finally realize there is no hidden meaning.

Connie Pombo said...

I know, I actually surprised myself...the lost one gives directions to the lost folks!

Too funny all the way around!

Connie Pombo said...


I'm thinking why bother if there's no hidden meaning; it takes all the fun out of driving!

I'm going to check into a personalized license plate, but I can't make up my mind what I want to say yet; it changes daily.