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Old 8th Nov 2008, 1:33   #11
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

Originally Posted by JunkMonkey View Post
Maybe I'm lucky living in a small community* where Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity are almost a commonplace**

I think you're right about this JM. I live in a large city (and my episode above happened in an even larger city) so these occurences are rare. But my sister, who lives in a small town, would probably describe what happened to me as normal, and just "what you do" when someone is having a bit of trouble.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 2:10   #12
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

It IS just what you do; she's right. People are more suspicious in the cities. I remember once, while I was living in LA, a car broke down right in front of me. I was waiting at a bus stop at an intersection*. There was a gas station the other side of the cross road. The car was full of VERY BIG women. I, and another guy waiting at the stop, helped push the car across the road to the garage. None of the VERY BIG women made any attempt to get out of the car while we pushed - or thank us when we stopped. This was the middle of the day, there were lots of people around. I really felt they just didn't want to notice us. I don't think it was a race thing either, though I was the only white guy involved. I think it was a rich people / poor people thing: they were in a car, whilst we were waiting for a BUS????)

Anyway, later on, on the bus, I got talking to the guy who had pushed with me (I'd never met him before) it turned out he was homeless and he told me a story about begging in the early hours outside the same 7/11 where we had just dumped the carload of huge women. It had been Oscar Night and as he was standing there Steven Spielberg stopped on his way back from winning something and gave him 50 dollars. My panhandler then claimed he went into the store bought 50 dollars worth of sandwiches ate one and walked down Wilshire Blvd. handing out the rest to his pals. I have no idea if his story was true, but it was a good story told with great conviction and got five dollars out of me.

No idea what this has to do with anything.

*Wilshire and Barrington.
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Old 10th Nov 2008, 10:34   #13
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Default Re: Unexpected Instances of Heartwarming Generosity

My story of heartwarming generosity also happened in LA. I was travelling home after a month or so of travelling up and down the west coast of the US with some Uni buddies. They were carrying on east but I had to head home to work so I caught the Greyhound bus from Vegas to LA.

The greyhound bus from Vegas to LA does not drop you off anywhere that could be described as a 'useful transit location'. The stop was in the middle of suburban nowhere. Everyone else, of course, had their cars parked there and they all zoomed off! The bus driver was singularly unhelpful and he drove off too leaving me, looking as green and foreign and young-white-femaleish as it's possible to look!

Anyhoo, my savior was an LAPD cop who'd been on the bus with me and had been gambling all weekend. He saw me looking lost and bewildered and asked if he could help. I said I needed to get to LAX. While all the other people I had asked had basically laughed at me and said they didn't know if I didn't have a car my LAPD angel got on a bus with me (located a block or so away from the greyhound stop) going down town, walked me and my huge backpack around wherever we got dropped in town to another bus stop (I would never have found these stops), flashed his badge at the driver and made him promise to take me safely and without harrassment to the correct terminal of LAX!

That last bus was going to the airport so that last admonisment was somewhat unnecessary, but boy the busdriver was civil and pleasant to me and I think fondly of the LAPD from that day to this.

Where I grew up, small village syndrome rules very much as Junkmonkey describes it.
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