Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Samaritan

We're getting snowed on tonight. The snowfall started around 3:00 PM as a fine, powdery, harmless looking snowfall. By 6:00 PM people had concluded that it really was snowing and perhaps tonight would not be a good evening to get a quick beer and a bump and maybe another before going home to enjoy TV and whatever big mama has burned for dinner. At 5:00 PM I had dinner with the Centenarian. Both of us are eclectic epicureans and so enjoyed a dinner of Limburger cheese, King Oscar sardines, smoked oysters, rye bread and sliced apple. One of my favorite culinary delights is a sandwich made of Limburger cheese, a small slice of onion and a very tiny dollop of ketchup on cocktail rye bread. Delicious!

The Centenarian is somewhat lonesome and has no one to eat Limburger cheese with except yours truly and Excellent Rachmaninoff, who, to give him credit, is a good listener and has a fine appetite but is generally incapable of directly contributing to a spirited discussion on politics or religion. It therefore falls to me to provide a certain level of companionship and company, for which I am compensated by slices of superb Limburger cheese. On my way home I stopped and took Excellent Rachmaninoff for a walk, and he made it clear to me that he wanted to eat some harmless woman who was minding her own business in her own driveway. I rebuked him and ordered him to walk quietly past the danger zone, which he then did without fault. I suppose he's learning.

While driving home down Flanders Road I saw the car ahead of me get run off the road by a full size pickup truck with a snowplow on the front. Likely the driver was talking on his cell phone or something. Anyway, the section of the road along this stretch has a small drainage ditch, and the driver put his compact something or other right into it, then wedged it in trying to get out. I drove past him and parked with my four ways on, then I went back to help him out. He didn't look to be wedged in too tightly, and he had a shovel on the trunk which he used in its primary office, moving some of the white stuff to a more useful location. Meantime I flagged down a full size pickup that was carefully passing us and explained to the driver, a large young man, that the man in the ditch was stuck through no fault of his own, and I thought we had a decent chance to push the car out. The driver allowed as how he'd help, and parked his pickup off to the side.

Well, I noted that the car in the ditch had Virginia plates on it, but I failed to connect the dots. Sure enough, we got the car rolling right away and the driver managed to put it even further off the road. Just how he managed this, I don't really know, but he did. I took a look at the new situation and concluded that it could still be pushed out, but - I didn't voice the thought aloud - someone used to driving in the snow would have to get behind the wheel. The man in the pickup opined that the car was well and truly stuck, but he had a tow chain at home and would go and get it.

Now, at this point I didn't really expect him to come back. It's past dinner time, the weather is crap and getting worse, and this guy doesn't know either one of us. I was just going to suggest AAA when the pickup returned with the tow chain. The driver knew what he was doing, too, and about the time he got the truck connected to the car in the ditch a lady driving a minivan stopped to offer her assistance and to see if everyone was okay. I thanked her and asked her to wait with her four way flashers on as I was afraid of getting hit in the rear.

The pickup pulled the car out of the ditch with no strain at all, which surprised me a little until the owner told us that the truck was rated for about 30,000 pounds, making a compact car in a ditch no challenge at all.

The driver in the car thanked all of us sincerely and we all took off. The man in the pickup truck impressed me with his generosity. Stopping to help push, okay, that makes him a regular guy. Towing the car, okay, you must be a close friend or relative. Going home to get the tow chain and then coming back - that's a real Samaritan. 

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