You know you live in Alberta when…
Boosting a car doesn’t mean stealing one you don’t own but getting one to start for someone you don’t know.
I was walking my daughter to school and saw a somewhat common thing in an Albertan winter, a car pulled over to the side of the road with it’s hood up.
We had to walk close to it so I asked a question I already knew the answer to:
“Need a boost?”
I love that Airdrie has a rural background because it may have shocked the man who was coming to work from Calgary, I don’t think he expected any help unless he had a credit card.
There have been many times I’ve been too tied up to help, outside of an emergency or when the weather was scary, but I had a flex morning and said I’d go get my truck. His response? “Really???”
I walked home and came back with Erin’s suburban and some booster cables and we got it running, but there was too much corrosion build-up on the battery posts and his little car wouldn’t stay running for more than a minute. I called myself an idiot for not grabbing everything the first time and ran home for a few wrenches and sandpaper. A little while later we were in business.
Having been around the block a few times I figured we might as well start chatting rather than just trying to get the whole thing over with, and found I had done some similar work in the past. I’m normally the weird guy who says Hi! and starts a conversation with anyone remotely friendly, and it surprises me how many people are too shocked to respond with anything other than a grunt or two.
One thing lead to another and we realized the battery was shot so I decided to follow him to someplace with a battery so he wouldn’t waste an entire day.
I truly am a good Samaritan. Haha. That’s not really the point.
I’ve got to say the entire saga lasted only an hour, but if I knew it would take a whole hour I wonder if I would have kept walking? The initial convo took 30 seconds, which lead to a fifteen minute boost, which lead to a twenty five minute trip and another boost, and a drive down the road. Oh and one more boost once we got there.
The thing is we’re all a bit selfish. I had a head full of things that needed doing today and had to answer a worried phone call from Erin asking where I went with her truck (“Just boosting some guy on 8th babe”, which she took with her normal aplomb) because that’s what guys do in Alberta winters. But I’m glad I walked a few extra steps to meet someone I’d never met.
I found out he hadn’t been to church since he was a kid but was thinking about getting back into it. He was surprised I was a pastor (and he didn’t even see my tattoos). I learned that his dad was making some changes in his life is spite of a rough past, and all this in the time we were working together. Did I invite him to Venue? Of course I did because he’d love it! And maybe it would help him sort some things out.
But it’s hard to care if you don’t even hear the story.
It’s hard to hear the story if you don’t ask the first question.
“Hey, you need a boost?”