Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good deeds that warm the heart

The other day, my Ninja Webmaster and I were having coffee with our friend V at a Hollywood Bucks and noticed a meter reader giving out a ticket to a silver VW bug. We rolled our eyes and said,

Geez, that sucks, getting a ticket while you're shopping for Christmas presents.

But the guy remained. He wasn't just writing the ticket and moving on. Well, sure enough, in about five minutes, a tow truck arrived to take the VW away. It seems the car was parked in an anti-gridlock zone, one of those streets in LA where they post signs that say you can't park there during the morning or afternoon rush hours. An automatic tow.

Ouch! That's a hefty chunk of change at the holidays.

But to be somewhat fair to the City of LA, there are a TON of signs posted so it's kind of hard to feel too much sympathy. Right?

[Aside: While all of this is going on and the tow truck is backing up and hitching the VW to its rear, a second and then a third car pull up into the parking spot behind the VW, their drivers get out and start to put change in the meter and only stop when the tow truck driver alerts them to WHY he is towing this car. Then they glance furtively around them at the signs before getting back in their cars and driving away. Honestly, it's so hard to find a parking spot sometimes in Hollywood that you have to assume there's something amiss when you see a whole bunch of them in a row...]

So we're watching and thanking our lucky stars we walked to the Bucks and didn't drive when who should come up but the people who own the VW. Are they young and sprightly? Are they a family with kids? Are they a yuppie couple picking up Wii games at Best Buy?

No, they are an elderly couple, loaded down with toys from Target - and the man is carrying a cane. We gasped and said,

Oh no! What will they do? How will they get their car back?

Because once that ticket is written, once that tow truck has been hitched, game is over, my friend. None of it can be undone. Unless the tow truck driver has a heart of gold and is giving the old couple an early Christmas present.

Which he did, thank god. We cheered,

Yay, tow truck driver!

These are the kinds of true stories that really reflect the meaning of this time of year. Not the false sentiment of corporate giveaways or staged generosity but just things like a tow truck driver giving away a job.