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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.
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