Gordon Pryor, of Mangawhai, New Zealand, woke just before dawn on Dec. 29 to make an alarming discovery: A complete stranger was passed out on his sofa. But rather than toss the man out or call the police, Pryor, 60, let the man sleep.
He turned out to be a university student who’d gotten lost at night after attending a local music festival. With nowhere to go he stumbled upon the Pryor residence and decided he’d stay the night.
“I’ve traveled the world a bit and you know a few things, and you know your capabilities if you have to deal with somebody and if you need assistance,” Pryor told the New Zealand Herald, “I wasn’t unduly concerned.”
If anything, Pryor was curious to hear more of the young man’s story. The music festival he’d been attending, the Northern Bass Festival, was in Kaiwaka a little more than 8 miles away.
The student had been trying to get back to where he was staying in Waipu, which is 15 miles north, but boarded the wrong shuttle bus.
“I don’t know where he got dropped off and he doesn’t know either,” Pryor said.
The young man decided he’d try to walk the rest of the way. He then “cut through farms and tracks and then thought, ‘There’s a house, I’ll just go and crash in that.’ … To get to our place, you have to cover a fair bit of mileage to get through the farms,” said Pryor.
He says the young man, an engineering student at the University of Canterbury, was “more tired than drunk,” and Pryor eventually woke him to offer him a cup of coffee and some toast.
“He said, ‘That’d be good, cheers,’ so I said to him, ‘There’s the f***en jug, you get over there and sort it out because you’ve had a free night’s kip and I’m not making you coffee. You get up there and help yourself,’” Pryor recalls.
Before he woke the man, he shared photos of his unexpected guest snoozing on the couch to social media.
The reactions were mostly positive, with one woman writing: “Lol I’ve done the same thing in mangawhai years ago I got a hell of a fright wen I wokeup and some lady had put a blanket on me haaha was very awkward next morning….”.
Despite having a laugh over the whole situation, Pryor made it clear to the young man that what he’d done still wasn’t right. “I just slowly wound him up and teased him a bit and made it quite clearly known that what he’d done was not exactly acceptable, but at the end of the day it was seen as a harmless thing to do,” says Pryor.
Despite the awkward first meeting, Pryor describes the young man as apologetic and “really humble, a helluva nice kid.”
Before parting ways, the two took a selfie together (shown above).
Pryor is apparently not the only one with late night visitors. After his post, two similar ones cropped up on the Mangawhai Locals Facebook group, including one person who found a stranger sleeping on the backyard trampoline and another who found two strangers asleep in the bed of his truck.
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