Life in Progress: A weblog by Heidi Price
9/13/2006

On this day

On my way to a doctor's appointment in Squirrel Hill Monday morning, my car ran out of gas on the four-lane NASCAR raceway known to locals as the Parkway East.

As I was driving, I was talking on my cell phone to my friend-who-works-in-a-bank when my car started to sputter. I know this sputter. I could tell by the way the car was chugging that it was out of fuel.

"I think I'm running out of gas," I told my friend.

"Well, those things tend to happen when you have a stack of cds obscuring your gas gauge," he said. Then he said he had to go.

I got out of my car and walked to my doctor's appointment. It wasn't very far. After my appointment, I stopped at the BP.

"Do you need a ride?" a man who was pumping gas asked me. He had heard me begging the BP gas attendant to lend me the gas can instead of making me buy it. I didn't want to buy another gas can. Not another. I had two already.

"No," I told the man at the gas pump. "I'm okay."

I made it back to my car and as I was sitting on the side of the road trying to assemble the spout, the man at the gas pump pulled up behind me.

"You need a funnel," he told me. I was a little creeped that he had come when I told him not to, but I remembered we were on the side of a congested highway. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people were driving past every minute. Surely he wouldn't try anything dodgy here.

He didn't. He helped me assemble the spout, lent me his funnel, and waited until I filled my car with gas and started it again. He wasn't a creep. Most people aren't.

I thanked him. He got a very serious look on his face.

"Mam," he said "on this day of all days Americans should be nice to each other."

Then I remembered what day it was.

2 Comments:

Paul said...

A random act of kindness...

12:46 AM  
Greg Tarr said...

it reminds me of a time when a guy ran out of gas about 1 foot short of having the nozzle reach his gas tank at a gas station. he was trying to push his truck by himself and i asked if he needed help. he snapped back at me "What are you going to do?" i said i could help push the last foot. stupid me helped him anyway and we moved the truck in about 2 seconds. jerk never said thank you or sorry for snapping.

2:42 PM  

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