Man's humanity to man.


Categories: Personal

For some reason, you don’t get to read about it as much when people are nice to each other. Maybe it’s less exciting.

While we were at Animazement, our car’s clutch failed. We found out Saturday morning. Our original plan had been to leave Sunday afternoon, but there was no place in town that would fix the car soon enough; Sunday is a day of rest in North Carolina, and Monday was Memorial Day. So, we put up a sign in our booth. “Help! Car broke down 1,300 miles from home.”

People helped. You don’t really expect this to happen, but it does. We got a couple of people who made rude remarks about our “gimmick”, but they were soundly out-voted by the people who threw a bit of money in the little bucket we had, or who told the artists to “keep the change” on purchases.

But the best is yet to come. On top of the \$800 or so we had to pay for the car, there was the small issue of staying in a hotel for two or three more days. Worse, the con was at a hotel in a strange little arcology, of wide open spaces and restaurants, with no grocery stores in sight, and nothing within walking distance of anything else… So, we had to budget for another \$300 or so just to sleep and eat until the car was ready.

Until Linda came along. Linda said she worked at a nearby hotel, and might be able to get us a room at employee rates. Sure enough, she could. By happy coincidence, not only was her hotel short walking distance from a grocery store, it was about a five minute walk from the service station our car was at.

Fireball’s friend Howell also helped us immensely, ferrying us back and forth with boxes of stuff to get us moved from the hotel we were in for the convention, to the new hotel room we’d been gotten. He also brought us medicine (did I mention that three of the four people in our little studio were a little sicker than they normally allow dogs to get?), and brought us a couple of meals during the convention, when we couldn’t go get them ourselves.

The net result of this help, and the financial support of all the people at the convention, is that a disaster which could have cost us well over a thousand dollars, and been a source of abject misery, became a cost of \$470 or so and some mild inconvenience. The convention people paid a great deal of the cost of the car. We could cook in the new hotel, since it had a stove. Laundry was free at the new hotel. (If you ever have a chance to try a Candlewood Suites, I have to recommend them; it was one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed.) And, just to cap everything off, it turns out Linda didn’t just get us the employee rate; she also paid for our room.

So… Rest assured, folks. Decent people are out there. The world still contains people who, when they see others in a bad situation, try to help. And they do help. Maybe some people don’t bother because they don’t think it matters, but believe me, it does.

Comments [archived]

From: linsee
Date: 2004-06-07 13:17:06 -0500

People do help. In my family we used to call it “the favor bucket” and whenever the chance came to throw something in the favor bucket you did that, so that when you needed a favor you didn’t have to feel guilty about asking for one.

I was at a meeting last week and ran into difficulties because I had to walk much further than I thought and I couldn’t manage it alone (I’m tootling about with a walker at present). A very nice man whom I stopped at the parking kiosk made sure I got to my interview on time, fetched my breakfast, and when we were done walked back blocks and blocks to the parking garage and brought my car around. Way more than politeness demanded.

He turned out to be someone worth writing a column about, too, but not for that reason.


–seebs’ mom

From: dave
Date: 2004-06-08 10:02:51 -0500

I always like being able to say “Don’t worry about it; I owe it to my karmic balance”.

It’s funny how it’s so easy to help people out compared to how useful it is when you need help… the world is a much better place for not being zero-sum.

From: Emily
Date: 2004-06-16 09:13:48 -0500

Dude, Seebs, you were at Animazement?

I used to go to Animazement when I lived in Raleigh. I’ve just moved back, and I barely missed Animazement, but some friends of mine were there. I sort of wish I could have met you. ;-)

Animazement brings me another story of human kindness, on a much smaller scale. A group of friends and I were in full costume, complete with wooden shoes, when my friend’s shoes started to come apart. A complete stranger took us out to his truck and pulled out a tool kit to screw the shoes back together.

-(Arikereba at, and a fan of your wife’s comic)

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