Last week, my son had a hockey game in a small town in the middle of nowhere. As we were leaving town, we got a flat tire.
Getting a flat is never a happy occasion. Thankfully, I worked at an auto shop many years ago and changed many tires in my time. So, I at least knew what to do and was confident in my abilities. But, because some jerk named Murphy made a law, there are a few inevitabilities that arise when you are stuck on the side of the road.
The first truth about getting a flat tire: it will always be cold, rainy and dark when it happens. It just will, and there’s nothing you can do about it. This conspires to make a miserable situation even worse.
The second: no matter how competent you are in the repair, you are useless if you don’t have the necessary tools.
This is the situation I found myself in the other night. I went to the back, pulled out the spare tire, wrench, jack crank…only to find no jack. I wasn’t going to change the tire if I couldn’t lift the car off the ground.
It’s at this point I would like to thank the couple that lived nearby. I interrupted their quiet evening and they let me borrow the jack from their car (amazingly, they owned the same make and model as me). They even brought out a flashlight and a headlamp to give me a hand.
If they were not as accommodating as they were, it would have been an awful night. Instead, I now have a story about human kindness.
And that brings me to the last truth: people are willing to aid a stranger in trouble. When in need, humbly ask for help. Despite the news headlines, people still care about their fellow man.
Now, run out to your car and make sure all the emergency equipment is there.