Good Samaritans on Christmas Eve

I had the day off, but Mrs P was working until 3 pm. I left home after 2:30 to pick her up.

I’m driving along one of the main downtown streets and go into the turning lane to turn towards her building, about a block away.

Then I smelt a stinky oily electrical smell and thought “I hope that’s not my car.”

Just as I’m thinking that, there’s a “bang”, the red oil and battery lights come on, and the car stops dead at the edge of the intersection. This is not good.

I put on the flashers and pop the hood up, and start directing cars in the turning lane to go around me, since the turning lane will be blocked for the foreseeable future.

I call the CAA emergency road service, and get their standard first question: “Are you in a safe spot?” “No,” I reply. “I’m standing on the boulevard on one of the busiest downtown streets and traffic is heavy. My car has died and needs to be towed to the dealership.” “That makes it a priority,” says the perky CAA lady. “Truck will be there in 30 minutes, max,”

I call Mrs P and suggest she walk to the car. Keep directing traffic.

And then the Good Samaritans start popping up, even though it’s the late afternoon of Christmas Eve and they’ve got homes and families to get to:

• two young guys ask if I need a push. I say that CAA is coming and that I should be okay.

• various pedestrians look concerned, stop and ask “Do you need help?” I point to the phone and say CAA and they nod, reassured.

• a guy in a honking big black pickup pulls up beside me and volunteers to park behind the car,”Wouldn’t want you to get rear-ended!” I say I’m okay, CAA is coming. He says, “well, okay”, in a dubious tone, and drives away. But he only drives around the block and pulls up behind me anyway, turning on a major set of roof flashers and leaving 10 feet between the cars. “We can stay until CAA comes,” he says. His passenger nods.

• Mrs Piper arrives, takes in the situation and says “I’ll go get hot chocolates for those nice people.” Zips over to a nearby coffee shop and comes back with hot choccies.

• CAA truck arrives, just over 15 minutes since I called, and the CAA guy gets to work.

• black truck guy pulls around, says “You’re in good shape now. Merry Christmas! “ and drives off before I can thank him.

• as the CAA guy is working, I look back a damned if there isn’t another big black half-ton, parked 10 feet behind, with flashers on. I hadn’t seen him pull up. “Wouldn’t want you to get rear-ended,” the driver says. Mrs P gives him one of the hot choccies.

• CAA guy says he’s ready to go. I give him the key and he drives off to drop it at the dealership. I phone the dealership to let them know it’s coming, but they’ve already closed for Christmas.

• Second black truck guy pulls away, call out “Merry Christmas!” We wave back.

We catch a cab home. No idea how serious the car trouble will be, but tomorrow is another day.

Thank you, all the kind folks who provided help and offered assistance, on a late Christmas Eve afternoon.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Now, that’s a Canadian Christmas story!

Are you home yet? That sucks, having to get a cab.

There’s a prayer in our church, for the special nights like this, asking blessings on those whose work prevents them from being home or at services. It not only speaks of doctors, nurses, police and such, but taxi drivers and gas station attendants. Bless that cab driver.

Let us know when you are safe at home.

Oh, we got home safe and sound by cab. I like the idea of prayers for those who work on holidays.

Great story - reinforcing my long-held belief that many if not most people are good and want to do good, given the chance. Hope your repair bill isn’t too outrageous.

The hot chocolates were a nice touch; Mrs. Piper is a keeper.

Agreed. :slight_smile:

Let us not speak of that. :eek:

Already got the car back from the dealership. They worked hard to locate the new parts needed, starting Boxing Day morning, and I picked it up late this afternoon. When I showed the bill to Mrs P, she winced and said “gruel for January, then.”

Very much so. :slight_smile:

A lovely story. It is the small, crucial, quotidian like this that give one hope.