Ike Israel (email@example.com)
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 07:58:59 -0600
I have snipped the following and sent
it to two lists just because...
(The descriptions will be it's pass
To: Dogbert's New Ruling Class (DNRC) From: Scott Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: December 1999
******* Special Holiday Edition ********
Special Holiday Story
In the tradition of the Dilbert Newsletter, I give you a
special holiday story with no humor content whatsoever.
It was one of those cold winter nights in the Haight district
of San Francisco, the kind where the rain hurts, and your
breath forms huge cotton balls that bounce on the pavement. I
was driving an eyesore that could only be referred to as a
"car" by someone who was either a shameless liar or a good
friend. Technically, the vehicle was totalled when I bought
it from an unscrupulous neighbor, because it needed an engine
overhaul that would have cost more than the car itself. I
added a quart of oil before every journey. Most of it would
leak out along the way. I tried to imagine I was driving a
huge magical snail; that way I didn't mind the slow speeds
and the slime trail it left.
The car's outer paint had transformed into a hideous mixture
of rust and
"something brown." The engine sounded like a lawnmower with tuberculosis. If anyone ever wondered what the inside of an automobile seat looked like, my car had the answers.
It was a difficult car to drive because you had to keep your
fingers and toes crossed to keep the engine running. That
night I must have uncrossed my fingers to scratch something.
The car died in the middle of a four-lane stretch of Oak
Street. I coasted as far as I could, hoping for a place to
turn off, but the street was lined with parked cars and the
nearest intersection was beyond coasting distance. There I
sat, in busy evening traffic, no lights, no locomotion, as
tons of steel and plastic screamed by.
In my rearview mirror I saw a pair of headlights pull up and
stop behind me. I knew what was coming. Soon the horn would
start and someone would be cursing at me. In San Francisco,
if you dawdle too long after a light turns green, you get the
horn. If you dare to come to a full stop at a stop sign, you
get the horn from the car behind you. I figured I was begging
But I was wrong.
A stranger got out of the car and came to my window. He
shouted, "Do you want a push?" I was stunned but must have
nodded in the affirmative. He waived to his car and two teens
piled out to apply themselves to my bumper. When I was safely
delivered to a side street, they hopped back into their car
and rejoined the sea of anonymous traffic. I didn't get to
Over the years I've realized something about the stranger who
stopped to help. I've noticed that every time I'm in trouble,
he appears. He never looks the same. Sometimes he's a woman.
His age and ethnicity vary. But he's always there. I've
started to understand he's the best part of what makes us
human beings. The one true thing in this world is an unasked
kindness provided by a stranger. It's the invisible cord that
binds us all together and makes life worthwhile.
This year, when you find yourself immersed in the clutter and
bustle of the holiday season, annoyed by the long lines,
baffled about how you'll get everything done, remember this:
One of the people in that crowd is the stranger. Today, maybe
Have a great holiday season, everyone.
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