In one of those great ironic moments of life, the used tire I put on my car to replace a tire everyone said was going to go bad at any moment blew up. That's right -- and only three days after I bought it.
Naturally, this happened at night, and it happened about 15 miles from home. Luckily, my son lives about four miles from the small town where the big bang happened, and he immediately responded to my distress call. Since he had to go pick up a niece at vacation bible school first, I knew it would be 20 minutes or so, which made me decide that sitting in the car in 90-degree weather wasn't too smart.
In the 1/8th mile walk from my car to the little restaurant with air conditioning, two people I knew stopped to ask me if they could help. One wanted to change the tire for me even after I explained that my son was on his way.
As it turned out, a nice young guy stopped to help when he saw my son at work. He insisted on taking over and gave our 11-year-old who'd come from a great piece of advice:
"If you date a boy and he won't stop to help someone," the guy said, "make him take you straight home and never go out with him again."
Isn't that great advice?
The end of the story should be that I drove home on the spare and all was well. Alas, my life doesn't work like that. The spare went flat ... blew out after we bought a tiny compressor and pumped it up ... and my wonderful son grabbed the jack from the trunk of the disabled car, drove back to my house (where we just happened to have spare car with matching rims) and removed a tire. Then it was back to the Blue Bomb to replace the dead spare and THEN on home.
This took about three hours. Yet through it all, my son never complained. In fact, he was quick to remind me that we were lucky it hadn't happened when I was 40 miles away from home instead of 15, and that we could grab a tire instead of leaving the car by the road all night.
It was nearly midnight before we were done and, believe it or not, both a tow truck driver and a police officer stopped as we finished up to see if they could help. ; the guy who stopped to help a stranger even So this is my shout out to quiet heroes -- the guy who helped though he was dressed up; the men who didn't let the midnight hour deter them from offering help if we needed it.
Most of all, though, here's to my Mark, who always helps when I call and who manages to smile all through it. He's proof that that old saying about a son being a son until he takes a wife isn't true in every case.