Sunday, February 16, 2014

Good Samaritans

Yesterday my faith in human kindness was restored.  I foolishly pulled into a spot covered in slush in the middle of a parking area next to Radio Shack.  There was a car in front of me and in order to get out of the spot I had to back up over a lot of mush past two other spots.  Of course I got stuck.  First I put a beach blanket and my scarf - not my best one - under the wheels and tried rocking the car back and forth - no way was I going anywhere!  What to do?
I started looking for able bodied boys to ask for a push.  I spied two young men and hailed them, trying to look helpless, which was not difficult, no acting required.  They were reluctant but willing enough.  It was extremely slushy and there was no way to push the car except to get your feet really wet.  They pushed, I tried to gun the car but it simply would not move.  I thanked them and they left as they had to catch the train.  By this time the snow was coming down pretty heavily.  I got out of the car so I could be sure no one parked in back of me because it was pretty obvious the guy in front of me was not going anywhere and there was a pile of snow about three feet high on either side of the parking spaces.  
Someone did pull in back of me and I asked him not to park there as I would then be trapped for sure.  He said he would only be a minute and would help me get out when he returned.  That sounded good to me, as I had no idea what to do next.  I did not even have my phone.

He did return in a few minutes and asked if he could try my car.  He introduced himself as Jamie.  He tried and was unable to move it either.  At this point I spied 5 young men and hailed them across the street with cries of help.  As I get older I find I am much more able to ask for help.  I think when I was younger I would have simply dissolved into tears.   They came over and suggested the largest of them could certainly move the car.  He was a handsome, Lil Abner type, willing and strong.  He and my steadfast helper Jamie tried pushing with me at the wheel - still no dice.  Jamie got behind the wheel and all the boys pushed.  They managed to move the care backward but it still got stuck before it was out.  Lil Abner found a shovel somewhere and one of the other boys canvassed the area trying to find the owner of the car in front of me.  Digging and general good natured trying continued for about 45 minutes.  Two women stopped to ask if they could help.  One offered to sit on the trunk to make it heavier.  Nothing budged.  Jamie used his phone to call Triple A, and while he was talking two men came over to the car.  One had a cigarette dangling from his lips, the other jumped in the car and said,  "I will get you out of here".  I thought it was somewhat ludicrous to think that a guy could move the car while smoking when several young men could not, but was not in a position to complain.  The guy with the cigarette started pushing the car.  The guy in the car managed to move the car backwards and forwards very fast as it had not moved before.  Jamie started pushing with the cigarette guy and low and behold the car moved out of the slush and onto the street with hoots of joy from all.  In all 10 people stopped in the middle of a snow storm to help a perfect stranger.  Now that’s heart warming.