Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
about halfway home from work, there was a loud bang like something had
hit the side of the car. “What was that noise? “ Then the car began
to drive funny and was hard to control. By the time we got to the right
lane, it was obvious we had problems. The tire had blown out and we were
riding on the rim of the wheel, barely able to get off the road.
The tire was in shreds. So much for “drive flat” tires.
Here it was about 988 degrees and we were sitting on the side of the
Interstate with a flat tire. I called AAA for emergency roadside
assistance. “Are you safe?” They asked. I guess that’s a routine
question. “About as safe as you can be stranded on an interstate
highway.” At least we were off the
AAA would make us a priority, they said. Somebody would be there in 90
minutes. 90 minutes? Good grief. That's priority? If it takes that long
in a populated area, I wondered how long it would take if we broke down
in a remote location.
Nothing to do but wait.
We left the motor running so the air conditioner would work and watched
the $4 per gallon gas slowly drain away. We put on the emergency
blinkers. Cars roared by us at a deafening 70 mph, and we hoped no one
would swerve into us.
The police flew by and pulled over a speeder up the road, but didn't
come back to check on us. Not that they could have done anything but
call a tow truck anyhow, which we had already done.
Then a car pulled up behind us. He said he worked in the automotive
field and offered to change the tire. He found the jack under the back
seat, got the tire from under the car and jacked it up and changed the
We were soon out of the heat and on our way.
I called AAA back to cancel the tow and I told them a Good Samaritan
changed it. Do you know why people who do kindnesses for strangers are
called Good Samaritans? It comes from a parable, about a man who was
attacked by thieves and left by the side of the road. Others passed him
by without stopping, but a man from Samaria stopped and helped him.
Anyhow, I had planned to go get a haircut that evening, so I went on to
the beauty shop after the incident was over. While I was waiting,
another lady was there trying to get a haircut and take care of two
little kids who were wriggling and crying. “Where's her husband?” He
should be babysitting the
When finished, the lady tried to pay with a check, but the shop wouldn't
accept checks. After she left to go to the bank for money, another
customer who had seen the problem paid her bill as well as his own.
That’s weird! Another Good Samaritan? Two in a row?
Then I realized that I had messed up. Guess I wasn't paying attention
when that last urban legend was forwarded by email. Someone did a random
act of kindness for me. This was my opportunity for payback and I let
someone else do the paying.
In the legends, someone helps you and then you are given an opportunity
to help someone back unknowingly. Undoubtedly, that was the stranger's
wife and kids who didn’t have the money to pay for a haircut. In the
legend, I was supposed to pay her bill and then find out the reason she
was there with the kids was because her husband was late due to helping
someone with a flat tire on
I never was good at urban legends. I guess that’s why they are called
urban legends instead of urban realities. In reality, things just don't
happen that way.
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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