Saturday, October 31, 2009

A funny thing happened on a BC ferry ~

Okay, maybe it wasn't so funny at the time. In fact, at first it seemed like a minor disaster, but the way things unfolded, it actually became an event that confirmed my faith in humankind.

Returning to my car after travelling to Victoria on a BC ferry, my dear friend and I noticed that one of the tires on my car had become flat during the the crossing. Feeling panicky, we asked a BC ferry employee if they had any kind of a pump on board that we could use to inflate the tire enough for us to at least drive off the ferry and find a service station. The ferry worker couldn't help us, the ferry was docking and he was in charge of that. We returned to my car to stare, forlornly, at the flat tire. Out of the blue a motorcyclist appeared at my side. In hindsight I realize he must have overheard our discussion with the ferry employee and he wanted to help. He said that if we could drive off of the ferry and pull to the side of the highway, he'd assist us in changing our tire.

For a brief moment I swear I saw a halo floating above this man's head. You see, the sad truth is, I've never had to change a tire. My dear friend felt she could muddle her way through the procedure, but it wouldn't be easy.

Sure enough, we followed the motorcyclist down the highway until he pulled over. He had my tire changed in just minutes, despite the huge semi's zooming past, practically sucking us under the wheels of their rigs. We asked this wonderful angel of a man if we could buy him lunch in Victoria, anything to repay him, but he wouldn't hear of it, just asked us to be kind to a stranger in the near future. I wanted to hug him, but, well, he was a stranger. We settled on a handshake. The poor man. His hand was covered in grease from changing my tire.

My spare tire is a pathetic thing. It looks more like a bicycle tire. The good Samaritan motorcyclist suggested we get the tire fixed much sooner than later so we stopped at the nearest garage. A wonderful mechanic agreed to fix it and put it back on the car. In the meantime, he suggested, we might want to join the crowd gathered at the corner and watch as the Olympic torch was being exchanged right there, only a short time after our arrival. We did, and it was quite the spectacle. I've never seen so many RCMP officers in one place. We decided there had to be over 100 of them.

The new torch was lit, the crowd cheered, the 100+ RCMP moved on and I collected my car from the mechanic.

"How much do I owe you?" I asked.

"It's on the house," he said.

I'm sure I did a double-take. What could have been a really difficult situation for me had turned out so beautifully. Two good Samaritans to the rescue, and stumbling across the Olympic torch relay at the same time, well, that was just a bonus.

The world is full of generous souls. I have been blessed.