It’s funny how quickly your attitude about strangers can do a 180.
It was the middle of the afternoon, just a few days ago. My wife and I were in our car, heading east on 29th Avenue. We were just past the shopping center with the Super 1 and the STCU branch.
There was some sort of commotion up ahead. It looked like a motorist had backed from a driveway right onto 29th in front of oncoming traffic.
Not only that. It appeared that, rather than cranking the car around so as to be prepared to start heading east, the driver had backed straight out. Now that vehicle was just stopped there, partially blocking one of Spokane’s busiest streets.
Brilliant, I thought. This is just great. What sort of genius …
A red SUV between us and the offending vehicle limited my view. But my wife, sounding mystified, said the silver pickup that had imprudently backed onto 29th appeared to be unoccupied.
A 20-something guy emerged from the red SUV and went to the porch of the house next to the driveway. I got out of our car and walked to the pickup. A gray-haired guy in a green T-shirt joined us.
A couple of annoyed drivers zooming by honked at the inexplicable scene. That’s always so helpful.
Apparently no one was home at the house. So we pushed the old Datsun with a camper shell back up into the driveway. We found some bricks and used them as chocks behind the rear tires.
The pickup must have slipped out of gear and rolled back. Or perhaps a worn-out emergency brake lost its grip.
In any case, the little truck was now out of the road and secured in place.
The three of us headed back to our cars, exchanging a few friendly words as we went.
A couple of minutes before, I had been immersed in skeptical thoughts about humanity and strangers in particular. But suddenly, in that moment, I felt like those two guys and I could accomplish just about anything.
“Thanks for stopping,” said the gray-haired fellow in the green T-shirt.
“You too,” I said as I patted the 20-something guy on the back.
Today’s Slice question: What did you learn about your child during a visit to an animal shelter?