Those of you following on Twitter already know the abbreviated story from last night. But here’s a longer version.
The assault sedan burns some oil. Not a big deal, but we’ve got to keep close tabs on it. Since we would be driving right by the local AutoZone while we were out to deliver a holster to a local customer, we stopped to pick up some more and top it up. Just a quick in and out stop.
Hubby ran in to grab the oil while the WeeBot and I waited in the car. Haphazardly pulled up into the spaces to our right was a beat up minivan with a flat tire. A distraught man addressed me and asked if we were in a big hurry. I told him that we were not and he asked if we had a jack.
We do, of course. In fact, there are enough supplies in the back of that little sedan to terrify a certain anti that Weerd was just talking about yesterday. But the fact of the matter is, the jack for a Nissan Sentra is not exactly well suited to jacking up a Ford Windstar. But since the AutoZone didn’t have a loaner, it was better than nothing. So I dug the jack out from under the extra water and the blanket in the trunk.
We crawled on the ground looking for a jack point on the front of the van, but alas, there was none to be found. But we did find a sturdy enough support that would do the job. It wasn’t exactly accessible, but such is life. Hubby came out of the store and topped up the oil and offered his assistance in removing the lug nuts. During this ordeal, we learned that the guy had just picked up the van to use as a work vehicle. He didn’t realize when he bought it that it did not have the jack, but thankfully it did have a serviceable spare.
It’s not every day you see a stretch limo at AutoZone. Apparently, he needed a headlamp. The suited chauffeur watched us helping the guy for a bit. I explained that we were trying to make the jack from our Sentra work with his van. The chauffeur cocked his head and headed to the trunk of the limo. Sure enough, out came a much larger and more appropriate jack.
We chatted and soon got the guy’s van road worthy again. At one point, the chauffeur had shed his wool suit jacket and was right there on his knees helping to jack up the van. We talked about what we were up to and what plans we’d adjusted. The chauffeur was headed to the airport to pick some people up, but their flight wouldn’t be in for a little while longer. We told them that we were out delivering leather goods. That always raises some eyebrows so explanations were made and business cards distributed. The guy was just stunned that the 3 of us would interrupt our plans to help a complete stranger. He thanked us profusely before we headed on our way.
But what really struck me was what the chauffeur said to me as we were shaking hands and leaving, “You guys are an inspiration.”
An inspiration huh? How different is that from Mulligan changing our tire when we went to visit Christina? And Ambulance Driver following us all the way back to OKC from her north Texas home? (Okay, mostly followed us. We were still faster even on the emergency spare. But he tried anyway. And called to make sure we were fine.)
What Joan and her ilk fail to understand is that we don’t live in fear of our fellow man. We just want to be prepared for whatever situation presents itself. I’m sure she’d love to publish a headline stating that an armed man and woman entered the local AutoZone, but she can’t grasp that the only thing we did there is take care of our own business and help a stranger. And that this is normal, every day behavior for us. Too bad though. At least to that chauffeur, we’re an inspiration.