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A little less than a happy high
Choose your own adventure
You have returned to your car to discover that through an unfortunate oversight you left your lights on a full twelve hours. Of course, now you are faced with a dead battery. Because you are prepared for just such an eventuality, you have jumper cables with you, but now must find a kind soul who will take a moment to assist you. You approach two men, one of whom will take a moment to help you, the other who will offer an unsolicited explanation as to why he cannot.

Poll #237560 The Good Samaritan

Which man do you choose?

The middle aged white collar professional who drives an Audi A4
The barrel-chested workman who drives a Dodge Ram truck

What excuse do you think that the person you did not choose would offer as to why he could not help?

BONUS: Do you think the response would be different based on the sex of the motorist in need of aid?


The two men were not together in this story. The professional was walking by my car just as I discovered that no amount of coaxing could convince my engine to turn over. When I asked if he would be kind enough to give me a boost, he asked if I had cables. When I said I did, he looked disappointed and then glanced at his (very expensive) watch. I was fully prepared at that point to say, "Don’t let me hold you up..." but before I could, he offered, "Well, I’m running really late." Once again, as I began to provide him with a graceful out, he interrupted me with, "I was really hoping to get home before my son went to bed. Could you ask the next guy? Ok?"

For posterity’s sake, I want to be on record as saying, "What an effin’ weenie."

The "next guy" was the workman. He also looked a little uncomfortable when I asked for a boost, but once I confirmed I had cables, he said sure. We hooked up machines, and a scant minute later the Golf was fired up and I was thanking him.

I was tempted to ask, "That thing got a Hemi?" but thought it might be too much.
8 comments or Leave a comment
alisonwndrlnd From: alisonwndrlnd Date: January 23rd, 2004 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
DAMN IT! I thought that audi snob guy would snub everyone and help ya! :( (my first instinct was that he wouldn't help you, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I know several people with audi's who I would hope would help you)
From: angelajenessa Date: January 23rd, 2004 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought that too. You are not alone.
komos From: komos Date: January 23rd, 2004 10:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't make any initial assumptions because I was just interested in getting out of there and joining people for tapas and sangria. As soon as he flashed his very expensive watch, I realized that I had no hope with him. The worst thing about it was that in his hemming and hawing because he a) wouldn't let me give him the graceful out and b) wouldn't admit that he couldn't be bothered, the conversation was actually much longer than it needed to be. I actually missed several other people I could have asked while he made sure that I was ok with his snubbing me.
alisonwndrlnd From: alisonwndrlnd Date: January 23rd, 2004 10:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I would have loved for him that typical person to not be so cookie cutter, and help someone else out for once.

I just wish he would've...that would have made it easier to put some faith into those type of people.
komos From: komos Date: January 23rd, 2004 11:09 am (UTC) (Link)
If you deny people neighborly connections long enough, it starts to show. We can have anything we want outside of a real sense of community.
From: angelajenessa Date: January 23rd, 2004 08:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn it. I went with the not-obvious answer.
Of course the dude with the Audi could not be bothered. I was just trying to think that the stereotype of rich old men was not true.

How predictable.
But, yes, I think if it were me with the broken down car that that man would help. I am nearly without a doubt on that one. I never really have any trouble. Of course I am young and a cute girl. And I do a really good pathetic face.

Glad someone helped you!
komos From: komos Date: January 23rd, 2004 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
It's really a matter of entitlement. Here is a man who could very well have taken the thirty seconds necessary to help someone with a simple request, but the prospect of inconvenience had him glancing at his Rolex. He was polite enough, but really his reasoning rested on his not seeing any immediate benefit for himself.

Extrapolating wildly, my concern is that the face that he presented is the same face the rest of the world sees when they think of the US.
riverbank From: riverbank Date: January 23rd, 2004 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
weird. i swear i did not peek before i did the quiz.

i'm super biased since one time when i asked for help from a business type guy and he put starter fluid in my oil tank, instead of admitting he didn't know. then promptly left when it didn't fix the problem.

then another time i was starting the van up at the farmers market. a maintanance guy (there to clean the toilets) saw my distress and even climbed under the van to re-attach my starter.
8 comments or Leave a comment