Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Apropos of Nothing, A Show of Human Kindness

Warning: this post has nothing whatsoever to do with weddings or Italy, so feel free to ignore it if that’s all you care about.

Very clearly, though, it’s not all everyone cares about, and we were awakened from our own navel-gazing and hand-wringing over our wedding plans with a jolt this last weekend, when a very kind gentleman helped us out of tight spot just because he felt like it.

Our car was dead and wouldn’t be resurrected in spite of applying jump leads and high voltage, so we headed down to PepBoys Auto to see what could be done. Knowing the sum total of bugger all about cars between us, we were inquiring about a battery-powered jump-starting kit we’d seen on the internet, when another customer — a stocky guy with gold front teeth — suggested a way we could check to see if the battery was at the root of the problem, or if it was something more sinister. Moreover, when we told him that there was little chance of us being able to successfully perform said test, he told us that was no problem, he’d come and do it for us.

Pulling out a socket-set and a pair of gloves, Claude, for that was his name, set about testing our battery, and confirmed that it, and not the alternator, was at fault. He then told us we should buy a new one and he’d wait there and fit it for us when we returned with it.

Staggered by this selfless show of kindness, we at once felt hugely grateful and rather embarrassed that we had to rely on the charity of a total stranger to help us out. It did, however, confirm our belief in the innate good of humankind, especially when, as we thanked him profusely, Claude told us he was happy to help, saying, “If I wasn’t doing this, I’d just be at home arguing with my wife.”

So, thank you again, Claude. You were a real gentleman and a great help to us. We wish we could thank you properly but we’re sure you’ll get your just reward one day.

Another upshot of this situation was that we both know how to change a car battery now. So, it seems good things happen to good people, right? Right...?

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