You know, I haven’t been feeling too great about Americans over the past few years. I mean, hey, between the racism, police brutality, blind following of delusional leaders, road rage, active shooters and so forth and so on, AmSharing a storyerica has not been high on the travel list of myself and many outsiders. In fact, there has been a bit of an increase in emigration, particularly in the African American community.
And I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been something I’ve considered as of late. In fact, if not for family and money (or the lack thereof), I probably would have given Ghana, Africa some serious thought by now.
Anyway, earlier this evening my minivan broke down as I was exiting the highway, enroute to a shopping district for a dinner presentation. The van had been acting funny over the recent 24 hours and I had already contacted the automotive center to set up an appointment for the morning. It didn’t seem like anything major, and I was sure it would be fine until then.
First Rule of Automobile Illnesses: If you think something might be wrong, you’re wrong. It’s worse.
The vehicle dropped dead on me as I sat in the long line at the red light of the off ramp.
After multiple attempts to restart it, I quickly exited while asking my wife to get behind the wheel so I could push it to the side. I wasn’t happy about this because between my bad back, shoulder rotator cuff and torn calf muscle, I knew it was going to hurt (yeah, I’m just falling apart).
When I closed the door, I noticed that two cars had pulled in front of me and pulled over. The driver of the closer vehicle jumped out of his car and yelled, “What’s going on? You alright?”
After answering him, he motioned to the other vehicle to move on and ran to the back of the van to help me push the Space Shuttle to the narrow shoulder of the ramp. He then asked if he could take me somewhere. I smiled and told him that I needed to call for a tow truck and stay with the vehicle. Looking back, I probably should have taken him up on his offer, but I was just thankful for his initial help.
He wished me well and pulled away as I pulled up my Roadside Assistance app to put in a request. Soon after, I was called by the service center, who asked a few questions and told me the driver should be there within 20 minutes.
Two hours later.
My son and his girlfriend arrived to pick us up after we decided to call them. Since the car didn’t start, the rain and cold temperature made it very uncomfortable in the van for her. I was good to go to sleep, myself.
It was what happened during the wait that made my night…
Over the course of time, multiple vehicles had stopped to either offer a battery jump, a phone to use or a ride. One even offered a lift to someplace to get something to eat. Each time I respectfully reclined, thinking the wrecker would be there “any minute” as indicated by the follow-up calls from the service center.
One woman looked a bit nervous as I walked to her car but sat still and asked how she could help. I half expected her to speed away once I walked up. I had been told before that whenever I wear my hoodie, because of my size (and sometimes, ethnicity), I can appear intimidating, if not menacing. Particularly at night. I had my hands in my pouch to keep my hands warm, but later realized I might appear to be concealing something.
Sad, but true.
I know I could have accepted a ride from anyone, but we both felt it necessary to be with the car, considering the awkward spot at which we were stalled. Besides, we needed to make sure it got picked up and taken to the right place. We just didn’t expect such a lengthy wait.
But it didn’t matter. All I thought about as we rode home was the beautiful people who, for a short while, restored my faith in humanity, reminding me that the Good Samaritans still exist.
That kind-hearted citizens still exist.
They’re just a bit harder to find, amidst the buttholes.
And believe it or not, they still come out at night.
God bless America(ns).
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