Saturday, 28 November 2009

Too Good Samaritan

It's late in the afternoon and I'm driving along a dual carriageway on the outskirts of Nottingham on my way to deliver a Citreon C2 to a dealership in Derby.

As I go around a busy island there is another plater standing at the exit, trying to hitch a ride, holding a sign saying 'Derby'.

There is a car close behind me and no shoulder to pull over onto, so I have to keep going. However, there is a signpost indicating that there is a lay-by a quarter of a mile further up so I decide to stop there and go back for him.

But by the time I get to the lay-by it seems further than this and as I pull in I find myself wondering if it is beyond the call of duty for me to go stumbling back along the grass verge in the dark. If anyone did that for me my gratitude would be tinged with suspicion - there is some solidarity amongst platers, but not usually that much, and it isn't as if the guy is stuck in the middle of nowhere.

But since I've taken the trouble to pull over I decide that I might as well follow through with the plan. The roaring traffic and the lumpy overgrown grass makes the distance back seem even longer, and my actions feel even stranger.

He has his back to me and can't see me approaching. I'm almost close enough to call out to him when a car pulls over next to him and within five seconds he is inside and on his way, without even noticing me there.

I guess I ought to feel unhappy about the wasted effort, but more than anything I feel relieved as I turn round to trudge back to the car.

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