Wednesday, July 06, 2016

I Am Now Someone's Future Angel

The other day, I had my car, Roddy, inspected in Watertown. I’m happy to say he passed.

Roddy (and if your car doesn't have a name, one of you has no soul.)

After doing that, I decided to give myself a treat. It was 3:45. I’m usually due to work (as scorekeeper and statistician for a men's fast-pitch softball league) at 6:00 in South Boston, but I decided I’d drive there early and indulge myself with a couple of burgers at Sullivan’s (no relation) on Castle Island. Rather than arrive at my job tensed up from a bumper-to-bumper ride on the Massachusetts Turnpike during rush hour, I could relax, eat, and enjoy a nice walk around a lovely park in the sunshine.

 Sullivan's - great burgers! [Image from Universal Hub - great Boston news aggregator!]

I arrived at Sully’s a bit after 4pm. I got my burgers and walked around the park.

       Overhead of Castle Island. Sullivan's is just out of the picture, upper right by the parking lot.

I was relaxed and happy. I started back to my car at about 5:15. As I approached, I saw something troubling. Roddy's lights were on.

I couldn’t understand it. Roddy is one of those cars whose lights are always on while driving, but turn off automatically when the motor isn’t running. I tried to start Roddy. No go - dead battery. And then I discovered the problem. The mechanic who performed the inspection had turned Roddy's lights on and never turned them off. And now I was in the parking lot at Sullivan’s with a dead car, about forty minutes before work.

I thought I had jumper cables, so I checked Roddy's trunk. Nope. There was nothing to do but ask random burger-eating strangers if they had cables and could give me a jump.

The first ten or twelve folks I asked couldn’t help. They were kind enough, making sad burger-eating faces while giving me the bad news, but now I was getting desperate. I pictured myself walking a couple of miles to work, carrying my equipment (about fifteen pounds of bases, balls, gloves, catcher's masks and scorebooks, usually hauled in Roddy's trunk) and being late anyway. And then having to hope that someone there would be able to give me a jump before the park closed and motor access – in or out – became impossible.

I asked another fellow – climbing into his car with burgers, for he and his elderly mother – if he had cables. He did! And he wasted no time in trying to give me a jump.

I say “trying” because it didn’t take. Neither of us could figure why, other than maybe his cables were bad. I hoped so. If something else was wrong, I was up the creek. I thanked him for the effort and set off to find another kind soul.

As luck – or blessings – would have it, the next person I asked also had cables and he said he’d be glad to help. We hooked our batteries together. I turned the key. Vroooom! First try, and you would have been hard-pressed to find a bigger smile in all of Southie than was on my face at that moment.

As we unhooked the cables, I offered to buy my angel a couple of burgers and some fries. We were, after all, at one of the best places in Boston for them and he had just arrived when I asked him for help. He flatly refused. He said, “Praise God and pass it on.”

And so this is the first part of that. As for passing it on, the next stranger I meet in the outside world who asks me for a favor will get it, no questions asked.

I’m looking forward to being someone’s angel. In case I’m supposed to be the same sort of angel I got, I’ve purchased jumper cables.

(Roddy is also looking forward to passing along the favor. After all, I was just looking at being late for work, but he was brought back from the dead!)

Soon, with more better stuff.