Friday, July 24, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

The kindness of strangers is amazing. A few weeks ago I locked my keys in my Ford pick-up at a gas station. This wasn't so bad except it was 95 degrees and my little dog, Abby, was inside. Abby is a Jack WaWa, a Jack Russell / Chihuahua mix, and weighs, on a good day, about ten pounds. She has many talents, but opening locked truck doors is not one of them. After calling several locksmiths who couldn't get to me for an hour or more I determined that there were at least ten other people in the area in the same situation. So, I decided to take more drastic measures.

I tried to force the back window open with no luck. Of course, a frantic woman scrambling around in the back of a pickup at a busy gas station draws attention, and several men wandered over. Two were truckers. One provided a coat hanger and the other moral support. Abby did her part by wagging her tail and barking, but I could also see that she was panting heavily and looked as worried as a Jack WaWa can possibly look.

After five minutes of unsuccessful coat-hanger wrangling I could see that the heat was getting to Abby. I had to get her out of there now! I had sent the truckers off in search of a hammer or a large rock so I could break a window when an old white Lincoln Continental pulled up in the bay next to me. An elderly gentleman eased himself out of the car and wandered over. After asking what the trouble was he calmly said he'd had the same thing happen to him a while back. Then he went back to his Lincoln, pulled his key out of the ignition and stuck it in the keyhole in my truck door.

I held my breath. He turned his wrist. Abby peered intently through the truck window. The truckers put their arms around my shoulders. . . . The lock clicked, the door opened and Abby fell into my arms.

Of course, I try to use every experience as a learning situation. So I now have a spare key hidden somewhere underneath the truck, and my back window will never be locked again. Does this leave me open to theft, both of the truck and its contents? Maybe. But I feel much safer knowing that I can get into my truck anytime day or night, anywhere, anyplace, whether my keys are in my ignition or in my hand. And I will never forget the kindness of strangers. Hopefully I will have th opportunity one day to help someone in similar circumstances.

1 comment:

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