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Relationships People who need people; or, why can't we all just get along?

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
Gravdigr
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Today, You...Tomorrow, Me

I'm posting this in 'Relationships' cuz , we (the world) are all in a relationship, with each other.

I was at Ernie's House Of Whoop Ass, and from there I got to NedHardy.

There, I read this:

Quote:
Just about every time I see someone I stop. I kind of got out of the habit in the last couple of years, moved to a big city and all that, my girlfriend wasn’t too stoked on the practice. Then some shit happened to me that changed me and I am back to offering rides habitually. If you would indulge me, it is long story and has almost nothing to do with hitch hiking other than happening on a road.

This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of gas situation. All of them were while driving other people’s cars which, for some reason, makes it worse on an emotional level. It makes it worse on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and extra fuses in my car, and know enough not to park, facing downhill, on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.

Anyway, each of these times this shit happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show. The 4 gas stations I asked for a gas can at told me that they couldn’t loan them out “for my safety” but I could buy a really shitty 1-gallon one with no cap for $15. It was enough, each time, to make you say shit like “this country is going to hell in a handbasket.”

But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.

He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of 6 in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice. Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks english. He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it. He produces a saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top, and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones and I wasn’t careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off. Fuck.

No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very happy man. We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man’s hand but he wouldn’t take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for being so awesome. She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home. She asks if I have had lunch and when I told her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best fucking tamale I have ever had.

So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…

But we aren’t done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My fucking $20 bill! I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won’t take it. All I can think to say is “Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor” with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:

“Today you…. tomorrow me.”

Rolled up his window, drove away, his daughter waving to me in the rear view. I sat in my car eating the best fucking tamale of all time and I just cried. Like a little girl. It has been a rough year and nothing has broke my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn’t deal.

In the 5 months since I have changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and, once, went 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won’t accept money. Every time I tell them the same thing when we are through:

“Today you…. tomorrow me.”
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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That's the best thing I've read in a while.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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I agree.

Been there, done that, have the scrapes and dirty fingernails to prove it. I have been on *both* sides of that little melodrama, and while breaking down isn't fun, I don't worry because I know there are people out there, just exactly like you and me, that pay it forward. Call it karma, call it pollyanna, it doesn't matter. Good is out there, all around us, you just got to have eyes to see. And if you can't see it, try jacking up somebody else's car, it might be under there. It's totally worth it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Fucking socialists.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #5
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1.) This was awesome, thanks Gravdigr.

2.) I feel guilty because, as a not-incredibly-ugly woman, I have never, ever had a problem hailing help when I needed it. Once my car ran out of gas, and in the literally 10 minutes that it took for my husband to go from his office to the gas station and then come to me--during which time I simply sat patiently in the car with the windows rolled up, no indication of distress at all--no fewer than 4 men stopped to ask if I was okay.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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Clod-those guys were serial killers.





I jest! I jest!

This was a great read this morning. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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I liked the part where he opened his tamale and found the 20 he had tried to sneak to the wife.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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You know, this has reminded me of a story Grandmadigr used to tell:

In the early '40s, she was a third shift waitress (second job, mind you) at a truck stop in NC, when these four guys came in real late (3 or 4 in the morning, I'm guessing) drunker than shit. She waited on them dreading the next hour of catering to these drunk fuckers. She said they were just about the most irritating customers. Stuff like "This ain't right; Send this back; Bring more of this/that". Just wearing her out at the worst time on her shift, and for what? At best a nickle or dime tip, if she got a tip. Anyway, one of them paid off the tab, and they finally left. She checked the table, no tip. She got pissed, and went to smoke a cig before clearing the table.

When she cleared the table, she picked up a water glass, and there was a quarter under it. Under the salt & pepper shakers, quarters. Ketchup, quarter. Everything on that table, plates, glasses, napkins, everything had a quarter under it. She wound with almost a five dollar tip. Her tip was more than their bill. 1940s, remember.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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Great story, grav!
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhianne View Post
Fucking socialists.
most haggis
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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Grav, made me think of Kathleen Madigan
Start at 1 minute
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
1.) This was awesome, thanks Gravdigr.

2.) I feel guilty because, as a not-incredibly-ugly woman, I have never, ever had a problem hailing help when I needed it. Once my car ran out of gas, and in the literally 10 minutes that it took for my husband to go from his office to the gas station and then come to me--during which time I simply sat patiently in the car with the windows rolled up, no indication of distress at all--no fewer than 4 men stopped to ask if I was okay.
Clod, they have to be proper hobos, and baiting them is illegal.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:35 PM   #13
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People: Please watch the first minute of Feet's vid, also. Fucking hilarious.

I really like Kathleen Madigan.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:35 PM   #14
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Shit dawg, ALL of Kathleens Madigan's videos are hilarious
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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wow grav, thanks for posting that great read. ..or should I say, great deed.
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