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Good Samaritans

Well, this was supposed to be a wrap up of some of the familial Christmas festivities with photos, and I was going to do it up real good which required a replenishment of smokes. But it’s freezing outside, it snowed a couple of inches today, and it turns out the roads are pure ice. And I’m about 500 feet up the side of the hills from the ville.

I can handle snow and ice. I grew up in it and learned to drive in it early. But not everybody is so able, though many ’round these parts are. I took the long way down, as it’s not as steep. Doing fine, then I come to one of the steeper areas and in front of me in a small SUV nose into the ditch, blocking the road. When on ice, it’s important not to do anything sudden, whether with the brakes or steering.  Not possible. There was little space to get around, which with ice made it a too risky proposition. Couldn’t stop quickly. Tried, but then began to slide. I took the ditch without a second thought about it. I stopped. No damage. Luckily, it was a shallow ditch, wide enough that I had a foot of clearance between the right side of the X5 and the hillside. Enough to chain up, but just barely so (what a task on that right rear, let me tell you!). Turns out the very nice gentleman, wife in tow, is a permanent resident and had already called AAA. Good. Thanks to Bea, my card’s current. In the meantime, I attempted to extricate myself once I had the chains secure. No luck with a moderate try. No sense trying very hard and risking breaking something with a tow on the way.

Now the risk is other cars coming down the hill, and though I had boots on with a good tread, it was like standing on an ice rink at a 20 degree slope. Flashers on cars were activated, naturally, and that was good as it alerted drivers on their way down to proceed with caution. Nice 20-something folks from a cabin right out front came to our aid, and we were were able to get everyone around the obstruction without incident, even though we had to physically slide some of them into the hard shoulder traction on the opposite side of the road from the ditch (even a big Ford F-150). Then a guy in a Ford F-350 4X4 with studded snows shows up, and he has a tow rope. Both cars were out of the ditch inside of 10 minutes, no damage to either.

After it was over I shook his hand and palmed him a 20. I gave him my address and told him he’s welcome anytime and I’ll be happy to get him drunk. The other folks (20-sumthins) were just wonderful too. They managed the towing operations and knew what they were talking about. You have no idea what a sucker I am for people who just get shit! Do you know what I mean? It’s really at the root of so many of my problems with this culture. I swear: I hardly know a guy, apart from my dad and bros, who can even change a tire or oil, anymore. File down and gap points and plugs on an older car? Adjust the timing? Shit.

So I proceeded to my purchase and made my way back up the hill. There’s an even steeper grade right before the final stretch to home and I took it no problem. Right at the top I spot a man and woman with suitcases and bags of groceries, hiking it. There’s just no way I’m not stopping. They had had to park it at the bottom of the hill and were even quite farther up than my house, but I loaded ’em in and were were off. Without incident.

What a wonderful chance to pay it forward, right there. Tonight I get to revel in revived faith in humanity. Maybe it’ll last for a few days.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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