Monday, September 29, 2008

David Sedaris and the Kindness of Strangers

This weekend Boyfriend and I were standing outside his place when all of a sudden a car across the street broke down in the middle of the road. We had both been drinking a bit and were on foot so we watched expectantly hoping that another motorist would stop and assist the vehicle. After a few minutes it was clear that the situation was dangerous - car in the middle of an intersection - and no one had yet stopped to help. We ran over.

The woman had a car full of what it looked to be her extended family. It was an older car and was not turning over. From my limited knowledge of cars - stemming from several years of owning the World's Oldest Car - and Boyfriend's assessment we both came to the same conclusion; she was out of gas. We whispered this to each other because the woman swore up and down that she had just put gas it in and that she gasses up frequently since the meter was broken. She later clarified to say that she had put $20 of gas in yesterday. When she told us where she was driving home to, however, the mental arithemetic started going off in my head to confirm that in fact, the car had no gas.

Boyfriend and I pushed her car out of the intersection - family still inside - and pondered what to do next. Neither of us could drive to the gas station of course and the woman didn't seem to be pulling out her AAA card. Luckily another car finally stops and upon assessing the situation immediately goes to buy a gas tank and a gallon of gas. The woman didn't seem to have any money to repay this kindness and, given the situation, it was never even discussed. Sure enough a few minutes later the woman and her family were on their way.

I guess it is an unremarkable story of charity - one that happens every day to many stranded motorists. I am glad we stopped to help the woman, however, since a) it's the right thing to do; and b) the world decided to repay me in the form of a FREE DAVID SEDARIS TICKET.

Now I know, there is a big difference between needing gas to get home and wanting a ticket to see your favorite humorist. But what it boils down to is - when you help out another person, it makes that person happy and also it makes you feel pretty damn good about yourself. So do it!

Here's what happened:

1. My email to David Sedaris and his agent requesting a press ticket has not been answered.

2. I attempted to post a message to Freecycle but was told this violated the Terms of Service. Apparently extra tickets are not contributing to the landfill problem. Sigh.

3. I posted an ad on Craig's list stating that I really wanted to go but had no money. Wouldn't you know it I got a message from a woman who wanted to go but had no ride and no one to accompany her to the show. Boyfriend and I picked her up and off we went!

The show was great. So hilarious to hear him read in front of a crowd of people so the laughs seem that much bigger. I was pleasantly suprised to hear him read new material that has yet to be published. Afterwards he signed my book and I got to talk to him, albeit briefly. It was a pretty awesome night.

As for the woman with the free ticket. I bought her a glass of wine at the show ($4) lest she think I was a total cheapskate and she was grateful. It felt a little bit like a first date ("So where are you from?" etc.) but all in all I had an excellent time. It shows if you want something badly enough you'll find a way to get it. Sometimes for free!


paisley penguin said...

So very awesome! When you put it out there you get "repaid"!. Glad you got to go. :)

ldub said...

YAY! sounds like an excellent karma-filled weekend! so glad you got to see sedaris read - he's awesome. and so wee... like a pocket author!

Sallie's Niece said...

Yes he is tiny, I was suprised!

LP said...

What a great story! So glad you were able to go and enjoy the show. :)

Daizy said...

That is so great! I can't believe it worked out. I love stories like that.

Savings not Shoes said...

I LOVE when those sorts of things happen. My friends never understand how these types of things "always happen" to me, but it does take putting yourself out there. Good use of free noticeboards and of course stopping for woman+family in the street. I love your style! I hope he comes to London!!!!

Living Almost Large said...

what a great story.