"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Magic Truck and the Good Samaritan

I have a magical truck that has a way of forcing me into getting what I want, in a way I didn't expect. And teaching me about selfless service at the same time. You may recall my post Be Careful What You Wish For / How to Get All the Boys. I wanted to go on a walk since the weather was so perfect, but I knew I probably wouldn't get around to it, and then my truck broke down about a mile away from home and I had to walk the rest of the way. So I got my walk in after all! Just not under the circumstances I expected. 

Well, today at the end of rehearsal someone asked me what I was going to do tonight. I responded that I was going to go home, eat leftover spaghetti, make lemon cupcakes, and watch Drop Dead Diva on Netflix. And I fully intended to. But despite my practical side telling me leftovers should be on the menu for tonight, I was really craving Subway, and have been for a couple days now; and I was really hoping for some more interesting Friday night plans than watching TV alone in the basement. Aaaand cue the magic wish-granting truck...

All I had eaten all day was a half slice of bread, like 7 fresh strawberries, half of a blueberry crisp Clif bar, and like 3 crackers, and I had finished eating all that by about 1:30, and our 4-hour Swan Lake rehearsal didn't end until 8:30, and I was SOOO HUNGRY! Like that weak starving empty low blood sugar type of hungry where you just don't even know if you can keep standing much longer without passing out or something. Some food needed to happen soon! So I packed up fast and headed out to my truck to drive home fast and get some food back in me!

But first I noticed one of my tires was going pretty flat. I knew it was going to be time to replace it soon, so I debated dropping it off at a tire place before heading home, but decided against it because I was just waaay too hungry. Instead of taking the highway home (the faster route) I chose the longer route. In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure why. But it was definitely a good move. Less than 2 miles later I could hear my tire making a weird tapping noise. I pulled over and looked at it to find this!

Bad news! This tire situation was more serious than I thought! And you can't see it in the photo, but there was a crack about 3/4 inch running down one side of the hole. Good thing I didn't take the high way or my tire very well may have blown out before I had anywhere to pull over!

I called my uncle and he said there was a spare, so to just change it. Easy fix! ...Except not...I've never changed a tire in my life. Plus I was wearing shorts and my ballet stuff, and getting down on the ground in your tights is really not a good idea. So I called up my cousin, who happened to be free. All the while I was getting hungrier and hungrier and wilting more and more...and there was a Subway just a couple blocks away taunting me! I could see it from where I was parked! I debated just walking there and back while I waited for my cousin to show up, but I was just so weak I didn't know if I could do it. Plus I'd have to run across 4 lanes of traffic. Twice. So I decided to brave my nearly-blown-out tire and drive to Subway! And so I did! Just like I wanted! And I made it safely, and I bought myself a nice $5 footlong (oven-roasted chicken on toasted Italian with lettuce, tomato, peppers, onion, and honeymustard :), and I was just 2 glorious bites into it my cousin pulled up.

Unfortunately, changing the tire proved to be far more of a challenge than any of us anticipated. We couldn't figure out how to get the spare to drop from the bottom of the truck bed, and were in the middle of trying to figure it out when another car pulled up. A man and his wife, also heading to Subway for dinner. I never asked for help from them. I didn't have to. The man just popped open his trunk and brought over a tool kit, lug nut thing (I think?), LED flashlights, and set to work on my truck. It took awhile, but he got that tire free. And then he got this thing out of his car to pump it up some more. And then he went over to the dumpster and got out a collapsed cardboard box to lay on, and started jacking up my truck and changing my tire. It was incredible. And I felt so useless just standing there while he was grunting and sweating and swearing and doing exactly what needed to be done. I don't know how we would have done it without him.

Then once the spare tire was finally on and all the stuff was put away, the hood wouldn't latch all the way. I thought it was probably good enough, but he said he had been driving the same model and make once and the hood did the same thing, and it flew up and shattered the windshield and completely obstructed his view, and he refused to leave until he had fixed it for me. He willingly spent an hour and a half of his personal time to help a complete stranger without being asked, and went far above and beyond the call of duty. And went home with grimy dirty clothes and hands, and was so busy helping me that he almost didn't make it inside Subway to order before they closed. I couldn't believe it. I don't even know his name.

Me and my cousin both thanked him profusely during and after his huge act of service, but the man simply shrugged it off and said he just did what he hopes someone else would do if the girl in trouble were his sister or his mom. And then he asked us to pass it along. He said right now he was going through the hardest times of his life, and his father told him to help other people. So for the past week he had been looking for opportunities to hold doors, help people carry groceries, and whatever he could, and that it has really been making all the difference in his life.

Well it made a difference in my life too! And I can't wait to pass it along!! I want to be more like him. I just think it is so cool that he was so willing to drop everything and put all that he had into helping me and making my situation better. It wasn't easy either, and it took a sizeable chunk of time. And I guess part of what makes it even more poignant for me is that he wasn't some nice clean-cut Mormon guy like you would expect. You could tell he was pretty rough around the edges. If it weren't for our car encounter and instead I had just seen him and his wife in line behind me ordering at Subway, I honestly probably would have written them off as kind of white trash. And yet, he was so completely Christ-like. The moral of this part of the story: don't judge others.  I've been learning an arrangement of A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief on the piano, so the words have been more fresh in my mind this week than normal. Especially those last 2 lines, "These deeds shall thy memorial be; Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

So anyways, now that the motivational, learning, inspiring part of my story is done, here's the humorous shorter version of the rest of the story...

Brief recap followed by the story: I was starving and wanted Subway, and my tire broke and I coincidentally ended up in a Subway parking lot! This was around 8:30 p.m. Then I waited for my cousin to come help my change my tire, and a random stranger helped us. I wasn't a ton of help because I know nothing about cars (or trucks in this case) and I was wearing my ballet tights so I couldn't really get down and dirty. It took forever, and was confusing and hard work, but we finally got it changed in the end. And then the hood wouldn't latch. Finally like an hour and a half later, it was fixed and the tire was changed, but the spare tire was kind of flat. So I drove to a gas station to pump it up and my cousin followed. We pumped it up only to find that there was an air leak in the spare even worse than in the first tire. Soooo I drove it and parked it by someone's house. It looked like it was doing ok though, so I decided to try to make it home to deal with the next day. Maybe a mile or two further I could hear this wump wump wump wump, and knew I was done for. So I parked by a random person's house, and left my poor little truck. Ben was the rescue car and started driving me home when his car started to break down. There was this awful burning smell almost like tupperware melting on a stove, and the car kept lurching and bucking. He drove the rest of the way to his apartment in first gear, and then we called my uncle to come pick me up and drop me off at home. I didn't walk in the door until after 11:00. Apparently I'm bad luck for cars. But all's well that ends well right? And now I'm home safe and sound and I'm falling asleep as we speak/read, so I'm off to bed!

1 comment:

  1. Whew! What a story!! Glad you made it back alright :)