Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers (2): Magic or Madness?

Late one afternoon, I received a phone call from my daughter. She had a flat tire and had pulled over on the side of the road, and would I come help her.

I drove to where she was, which was only two or three miles from my home. I parked my car in front of hers and opened the trunk of her car to remove the spare tire and the jack. I also found the triangular reflecting emergency stand I had bought at a yard-sale for a dollar, and set it up. I took out the tire, then I began trying to remove the jack, but it was wedged beneath a cross-over bar that held it in place. It was getting dark as I pulled, and tried twisting or lifting, the jack, but it would not come out from beneath the cross-over bar. It was stuck. A car pulled up behind me and red and blue lights started flashing. It was a police car, giving me some added protection. I returned to trying to remove the jack, getting more and more frustrated, feeling like a fool. My daughter and her friend stood off on the side of the road watching me, waiting.

A car pulled up beside me. In the near darkness I could see a man with a woman passenger. The man got out of the car and walked up and asked, "Can I help?" I said, "Well I can't get this jack out." He reached down, picked the jack up, and handed it to me. "Anything else I can help you with?" I managed to stammer a "How did you do that?" He didn't answer. I said, "No, that's it." He walked back to his car, got inside, and drove away as I stood there dumbly holding the jack in my hand.


Jon said...

I can strongly relate to this. Similar things have happened to me numerous times. Fortunately, our guardian angels manifest themselves in wonderful ways!
(thank goodness for kind people).

Julie Luek said...

One time, as a young college student (long, long, and long again, time ago)three girlfriends and I drove from Indiana to Illinois for a holiday. It was dark and raining and we got a flat. Ill-prepared to handle such things, we were fortunate that a man stopped, in the rain, and changed it for us. I remember gripping the tire iron though, just in case he turned out to be a predator in disguise. Fortunately, he was the heavenly sort of angel instead.

Richard Hughes said...

Julie, I have a story somewhat like yours to share at some point in time, only from a different perspective.

Michael Offutt, "Johnny on the Spot" said...

I don't buy a new car often. But the two times that I have done so I did the following the very first day of nice weather.

1) Parked the car.
2) Got the jack out.
3) Took one tire off and put it back on again.

That's so I could have practice if the need ever arose for me to do so.

And it did. One time I got a flat on the interstate. But I knew what I needed to do. Got the tire changed asap and was up and running in 25 minutes.

Julia Hones said...

Another good story, Richard. Now I'd like to learn how to do it myself.

Tanya Reimer said...

Magical story. Love it. Guess you just didn't have the touch, eh?

Helene Titsch said...

I so thoroughly enjoyed this post! Many years ago we had experienced heavy rain storms and my office sent us home. On the way I had to drive through some deep water however the water level at the center of the road was much shallower. I waited my turn and drove through at the middle of the lanes but a truck much higher than my car decided he couldn't wait and plowed through. Needless to say, the wave he caused covered my car and it died right in the middle of this river crossing the road. I probably sat there praying for 5 minutes while cars just drove around me. Suddenly there was a knock on my window and a stranger said to put it in neutral, take my foot off the brake and he would get me to dry land. In the thunder and lightning I protested but he just proceeded to move my car. When I got to dry road, the car turned over without a hitch and he was gone. I had no opportunity to thank him but I sure hope he heard my thanks in my prayers. Richard, thanks for reminding me of this!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Thanks for this amazing post, Richard.

Jeff Hargett said...

I thought you knew, Richard. Madness *is* magical. :)