Here's Johnny - Good deeds & column: 'Done!'
I did my good deeds for the month Sunday. Actually, they might cover me all spring, because I do such things only sparingly and usually under duress. The morning began with a trip to Lexington to pick up The Hatchling (aka my daughter, Anna, who's not been mentioned on page two for awhile) and her mother and a friend to take them to Bluegrass Airport for a flight to Florida. After that, the plan was to go to the gym and then to The Sun to fetch my recorder so I could work on a couple of stories while watching The Masters. In the middle of such things, I came upon a woman in need whose plight allowed me to perform my second, and presumably final, good deed for April. I was in a store after going to the gym when a lady walked up to me with a problem. (I'm accustomed to that, in part because it's often me who's caused their problems.) Anyway, the plastic fob of her car key had broken, and she wondered whether I thought Crazy Glue might work better than it had with Humpty Dumpty. I looked down to see if I was wearing one of my 35 Crazy Glue t-shirts. I wasn't. Maybe I looked like a person who'd know the answers to such things, though I'm not. Anyway, I told Irene that all she had to lose was the cost of the Crazy Glue and thought no more of it. Minutes later, I joined her in line, where she'd already cracked open the package of Crazy Glue and applied it to the plastic portion of her key. Without the fob, she said, she wasn't strong enough to turn the key in the ignition. I wished her well, paid for my stuff, and walked to my car, which, through no fault of my own, was near hers. I walked over to see if she was successful. After viewing the fob, I wasn't optimistic - a piece of it was missing, and I doubted whether even the craziest of glues would hold it together. I offered to try to start the car for her, and after sliding the seat back far enough to fit my foot-taller frame, I turned the ignition and was proven right: the fob broke apart. As is often the case when I'm proven right, I wished I'd been wrong. I figured that surely I'd be strong enough to turn the fobless-key, and I was, but only after putting on a glove to protect my now Crazy-Glued thumb and index finger. The car turned over and over and over, but wouldn't start. Irene, 20 years my senior, declared she'd walk to her home on Duell Drive and get her spare key. I told her I had to go to The Sun anyway and would be glad to take her to her house if, in return, she'd remind me to stop and pick up my recorder, because Johnny forgets stuff sometimes. It was a deal. On the way, she told me she'd just had the alternator replaced and that the car only had 24,000 miles on it. She also said that her son had told her she should get a cell phone for emergencies and that she shouldn't get in a car with strangers. I told her that was pretty good advice, especially the part about not getting into a car with strangers. Irene hustled into her house, taking time to call the mechanic who'd replaced her alternator. Turns out he does that kind of work regularly, and had performed a roadside switch of my alternator just a few years before. On the way back, she suggested I turn right onto Montgomery Avenue, thus forgetting the part of the deal about her reminding me to stop at work, but I didn't make her get out and walk. We stopped at The Sun and I picked up my recorder and notebook and drove back to the lot. There, next to her Toyota, Doug the Traveling Mechanic and an assistant were waiting. She thanked me, I told her I was glad to help, and I left her with my business card. Giving Irene a lift only took 20 minutes or so, and I figure the Crazy Glue will wash off after a few showers, which I probably would have taken anyway at some point. The point of all this is not to leave Dear Readers with the false impression that I am Dudley Do-Right. My friends and loved ones and co-workers know better. I can be a selfish sod. Rather, the point is that it didn't kill me to help The Hatchling and her crew and Irene and that I was done with that and my good deeds for the month and maybe the season by 4:49 p.m. that very afternoon. Also, I sort of needed a column idea.