I was driving to work the yesterday, in a bad mood. All sorts of reasons, and yet none at all really.
I was running a bit late (not that it matters really), the fuel warning light had come on minutes after I passed the last fuel stop on the way to work. Not that it matters, even though I had another 30 minutes of country driving, I know I can get to work (and home again) once the fuel warning light has come on.
Still, there it is, a little amber light, softly glowing on the dash. Not flashing, not red, not overly saying ‘Danger’, just gently reminding me that I should really have thought things through a bit better, should have planned ahead, should have stopped for fuel earlier. Its saying ‘I’m not saying its an emergency, but you might run out of fuel soon. Maybe in 20 kilometres, maybe in 50. Isn’t this fun? A bit of excitement and doubt in your life? Still, if you do run out, its not like I didn’t warn you…’
I’d forgotten my iphone, and I knew that there were several episodes of the Skeptoid Podcast to listen to rather than the radio.
Running late…low on fuel, nothing but crappy commercial radio to listen to. All on a Monday morning. Of course I was in a bad mood. Life can be pretty crappy at times.
As I pulled off the freeway I noticed a beat up old ute pulled up on the side of the road. It was up on jack, and a tyre was lying on the ground beside it. ‘Poor bugger’, I thought, ‘Glad that’s not me, that would be all I need!’.
I felt a twinge of guilt. It was the middle of no-where (well, near Seymour, which is worse really!). I should really stop. Hey, I think of myself as the kinda of bloke that stops. But I was late. And it was a crappy day already.
As I drove past, I looked in the rear vision mirror and saw that the driver was in a wheel chair.
Sheesh. Now I have to stop. He is definitely having a worse day than me. He’s in a wheel chair, and he’s got a flat tyre on a country road, and to top it off, I noticed he had shockingly bright red hair!
Yep, I really had to stop and help.
I pulled over and walked back to his car. As I got there I called out ‘Need a hand mate?’
He looked up, I could see that he was in the middle of doing up the nuts on his spare, but he still hadn’t put away the flat tyre. He gave me the broadest, most genuine grin and a wave. It was one of those grins that actually made me want to smile too.
‘Nah mate, I’ve got it sorted, I’m almost finished.’
So I gave him a wave and drove off. I could have stayed and helped him pack away his flat, but, you know, he was doing fine; he wasn’t having a crappy day.
In fact, compared to not having the use of your legs, having a flat tyre is pretty inconsequential. So are most things that go wrong day to day.
I ended up having a pretty good day myself, thanks to his cheerful grin