The setting: The parking lot of a metro grocery store on a cold rainy November evening. I found myself sitting in my car and the battery had gone dead. I just love it when that happens. I exited my car and proceeded to remove the jumper cables from my trunk (I had two pairs? Dad, do I owe you a set?). So now all I have to do is find someone with a running car in a crowded grocery store parking. That should be easy, shouldn’t it?
The rain started to pummel my face. I was located at the front of the store parking, adjacent to the handy capped space, the remaining 3 spaces to my right, rear right and rear left are unoccupied.
Suddenly my savior pulls in right beside me (or so I thought) in the form of a white Volkswagen Jetta. The man steps out and I’m waiting. “Excuse me,” I said, “Do you think you could give me a boost?”
The man without missing a beat, “No call a cab.”
After the initial shock of what he said, which was only about a few seconds, I said, “Are you serious?” He kept walking and gave me a half turn, “it’s under plastic and I uhh…” His voice faded away.
“No, that’s okay, I’ll find someone else,” I shouted. He walked a few steps towards me making an attempt to convince me that it’s easier to call a cab rather than use the jumper cables I have in my hands. I interrupt him again, “No that’s alright! I’ll just wait for a decent person to come along.” He turned and slumped his mediocre self away. I didn’t get his name but I did get his license plate number. Would you like it?
I then saw a guy across from me walking to his truck. I walked a few steps towards him, “Excuse me, can you give me a boost? “ “Nah,” said the hurried guy, “It’s not my truck. “ What the hell does that mean? Iguess if it’s his buddy’s truck he’s not allowed to help people while using it.
Another lady exits the store and I hear the sound of an alarm being deactivated behind me. Fantastic, I thought. Not only is this women already done her shopping, but her car is parked behind me and my car’s battery is located in the trunk (Yes, I know it’s weird, but it actually works out a lot. It wasn’t my choice, but there’s no room in the front for the battery compartment. Anyway…) She walks up to her car that’s unlocked and I ask her the question and she promptly answers with, “No, I have to go pick up my kids.” Man these people are racking up all kinds of bad karma for themselves!
I try a few more cars, but when I approach people in their cars I guess they expect I’m some kind of begger and they refuse to even acknowledge that I was asking for help. They turned their heads away and ignored me. One guy locked his doors and turned on the radio until I walked away. Wow! Nowi know what someone with infectious syphilis feels like.
I can remember several times when I actually drove someone to a gas station to fill a jerry can (gas can) and drove them back to their cars! I guess it’s because my father usually stops for people in distress. I’ve seen him drive someone to a Canadian tire, buy a fan belt, then drive back and help them install it, taking over an hour for the whole process. And I can’t even get someone to give me a boost when I’m holding the friggin’ jumper cables myself! (completely flabber ghasted!)
So out of the corner of my eye I see a women getting into the handy capped space to my left rear. I figured I would not ask her because, well, she has enough problems, I think. She pulls into the space behind me previously occupied by the ‘busy mother.’ She opens her door and smiles brightly and says, “Do you need a boost?” My soaking wet expression of anger and frustration dissipates and I give her hearty thumbs up.
“I heard some of those others,” she said, “What jerks!” We share a laugh.
After I pack the jumper cables back into the trunk, I shake her hand and ask her, her name. “My name’s fay,” she says.
Thanks Fay… You made my day.