This is my morning coffee post. I just steeped a cup and a half in the French press. After a few days of using the drip machine, it tastes especially robust.
Some strangers have gone above and beyond to help me out recently, and I want to return the favor. I don’t want to make it sound like I’m a jerk and that I don’t do nice things for people. I’ll open doors, offer help when I should, etc. It’s just that these three people did things that were especially nice, and I want to go above and beyond my baseline agreeableness to spread the love.
Last month, I was driving down to Albuquerque for that Better Call Saul shoot. It was later in the evening, after 9 pm, and my car was almost out of gas. I stopped at the first station I saw in Colorado Springs. It ends up, the station I stopped at was “Members Only”, and you have to scan your membership card for the pump to activate. I’d never heard of anything like that before, but apparently it’s a thing. It was dark, I didn’t see any other stations on the horizon (not that I would have been able to drive that far anyway), and nobody was around to sell memberships. A car drove past. I caught the driver’s eye and he looped around alongside me. “Not a member?” he asked. I offered to pay for a top off for him if he’d scan his card, but he just scanned the card and drove away.
The night Spandy died, we wanted candy. It didn’t have to be good. Just sugary and fatty. It was the start of Halloween season, so the store had buckets of chocolate lying around. We picked up a bit, no more than a dollar’s worth. When we went to check out, the register wouldn’t scan the candy’s price. The checkout man tried a couple of times and then handed me the candy. “Free,” he said.
Then last Friday, I was going to a friend’s house later, so I’d shaved and put on nice clothes. Until it came time to head out, I was looking for used books. I’ve decided to write a book myself, and I figured I should do some inexpensive research. I was going to hit up all the thrift stores within 3-4 miles of my house. The first thrift shop was a Catholic-run secondhand store. They had a big book selection, but not a lot to choose from of the type of book I was looking for. I found one, which would’ve run about $0.75. I went to pay, but the cashier couldn’t make change for the bill I had. I offered to put it back or make a donation, but she just gave it to me.
All told, these three people probably gave me less than 2 minutes of their time and $1.50 worth of goods. But each of them stuck with me. The stranger at the membership gas station didn’t have to stop, but he helped me make it to my job with an hour to spare. The cashier who gave the candy on the night that Spandy died couldn’t have known how much it meant. And the cashier who gave me the book had no idea that this was the first book I was picking up to use as research for my own.
So these stuck with me, and I want to return the favor somehow. Ideas?