Pedro Maldonado, a Mexican American software engineer, was walking down the street when he was handed the keys to a Toyota Camry by a complete stranger. Maldonado was unaware if it was a random act of extraordinary generosity or if he had been mistaken for a valet because he’s Mexican.
Although Maldonado says he’s proud to be Mexican, he insisted he rarely gets a free car out of it. “I kept looking around for cameras. I thought I was going to be the subject of some viral video for a YouTube show where a stranger makes another stranger’s day. That or I was being entrapped by a police officer.” When police didn’t arrive and Maldonado figured he was simply a victim of racial profiling, he drove home in a new Toyota Camry.
Observers uniformly mentioned that the original owner of the vehicle appeared to be extremely confident for someone pulling up in a Toyota Camry. Witnesses claim they saw the man whip off his aviator glasses before tossing the keys to Maldonado and obnoxiously pointing a pair of finger guns in his direction. “It’s not like he was driving a corvette and it’s not like he was pulling up to a steakhouse. We were outside the Olive Garden. Honestly, you kind of have to respect the blind confidence,” one observer admired.
Patrons inside the Olive Garden noted that the ever-confident man, still unaware he would be walking home, got defensive when asked by the host if he was eating alone, insisting a “hot babe” was coming. When it became clear no one would be joining him, he continually insisted to neighboring tables that she was on her way.
The waitstaff corroborated these stories and also mentioned that the man endlessly summoned them to his table to demand endless breadsticks, a service freely offered, for him and his nonexistent date. When told it was offered to all Olive Garden customers, he shoved old receipts into the waiter’s face, claiming that he was an “Olive Garden Frequent Flyer”, a membership that Olive Garden does not offer. Maldonado noted that that kind of confidence should serve the man well when he rides the bus.