Bad Traffic, Good Samaritan

Quote of the day: Traffic’s thy god; and thy god confound thee! — Shakespeare

004As I was driving in hot, heavy Santa Fe traffic last week, I stopped at an intersection and noticed a pair of headphones on the rear hood of the car in front of me. How lucky for the driver the phones hadn’t fallen off.

At just that moment, I decided to do it – get out of my car, grab the phones, run up to the driver, hand the headphones over, and dash back before the light turned green. I could just hear the driver’s thanks now, something like, “Did I leave them on my hood? You’re the greatest,” or “Hey, dude – thanks a lot, man!” or, “What, you trying to sell me my own headphones back, Jack?” (I preferred to dream the former remarks).

I put my plan in full speed operation. With phones in hand, I knocked on his tinted window. The silhouette of a head turned slowly toward me, then looked away. What? He’s looking away? Then – flash – the man drove off. I’d been totally dissed. I was Wile E. Coyote run over by a Mack truck in the desert, except I was still standing.

Then I got “the eye” from drivers behind me. Those that honked were probably thinking I was foolish being a Good Samaritan helping a brain-dead idiot stupid enough to leave headphones on his car in the first place.

Later down the road, I glanced at the headphones on my passenger seat cushion. Upon closer inspection, I saw one of the little speakers had been ripped out of its casing. All that risk and humiliation over something that was broken anyway.

Yet, as the day wore on, the better I felt about what I did.

In fact, the spirit behind my act, however aborted, buoyed my spirits for several days. I hadn’t felt that good in weeks.

Broken head phones. Mended heart.

“Meep meep,” the smiling Road Runner would have said.

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