A white Ford F-150–a.k.a. the bane of my existence–took the "bah" out of my "humbug" this past Christmas–forcing me to rethink my long-held belief that giant white pick-up trucks are evil incarnate.
Now before all you cowpokes get your spurs a jingle-jannglin' let me explain. As a driver on the roads of Phoenix, Arizona, there are tens of thousands of ridiculously over-sized white pick-up trucks–usually utility vehicles; cable/telecom service trucks, government vehicles and construction guys heading to work or to the bar.
And NONE of them gives a damn about common courtesy on the road.
It's true. I have had more near-miss accidents and more incidents of jamming on my breaks because some yahoo–ALWAYS in a giant white pick-up–cuts me off, won't merge considerably or drives in more than one lane. Clearly directional signals are not standard issue in these rolling behemoths since I have yet to EVER see one of these things signal anyone about anything.
The scenario: Christmas Eve Day. I needed to run out and grab some last-minute ingredients for a very elaborate holiday cake I was baking. While out I figured "... hey, I haven't eaten today–I'll hit a Wendy's drive-through, grab a chicken sandwich (A favorite of mine!) and show those hunger pangs who's the boss of me." And lo, what should be in line in the drive-through before me?
You guessed it, a giant white Ford F-150 with all the trimmings. Side metal tool box fittings, the metal rack for carrying extra constructo-stuff and just for added holiday fun; it was bellowing thick plumes of bluish smoke from it's exhausts–right into my grill.
The gift: As I pull up to the window, the giant white beast thunders away in a haze of acrid, lung-burning exhaust. As I pull forward, ready to hand over my money to pay for my order, the young woman at the window utters the most unexpected words I think I have ever heard in a Wendy's drive through; "You're all set sir, the guy in front paid for your meal."
How can this be? Those vehicles are piloted by modern-day Orcs, all tear-assing down the freeway on their way to Mordor. This was... baffling. I was stunned. Befuddled. Bewildered. My grinch-like perception of white pick-up truck drivers was shattered. My scrooge-y opinion of all things pick-up dashed forever. I turn to the lady in the window… "uh, ok. Umm… should I–? I would like to pay for the car behind me."
As luck would have it, The car behind me had a $15 order (vs my $7 sandwich combo) but I was still too stunned to care.
The verdict: I don't know that I now have a great swelling of new-found affinity for ALL pick-ups now, but this RAoK (Random Act of Kindness) made me re-think that "maybe… just maybe, Christmas means, just a little bit more" (than hating on all giant white pick-ups). And it also means that the phrase "the guy in front paid for your meal" could very well be the most heart-warming holiday line I've ever heard.
And it came from a giant white pick-up truck.
(sigh) My world will NEVER be the same again.