Landing in DTW last night I was just ready to get back to my apartment, but I was unhappily thwarted by my car not starting in the long-term parking lot. Stupid dead battery! I dialed AAA, set up a jump start from a towing company, and went to the entry gate of the parking company to let them know to expect a tow truck in 45 minutes.
"Or we could just give you a jump ourselves. Can you cancel AAA?"
I have to say, I was floored. I guess being cynical and spending my formative years in NYC has made me skeptical that anyone would do a stranger a solid, but the guy drove one of those big yellow buses over to my car, gave me a jump, and I was back home in A2 a lot earlier than I planned.
This isn't to say that people in SF or NYC or DC wouldn't have done the same. But when I had to leave a cab on Fifth Avenue not four hours earlier because the driver "forgot" to tell me that his credit card machine wasn't working or a subway operator yelled at me for trying to get my foot in the door, saying "This is why the trains are late!", it's easy to feel warm and fuzzy towards Midwestern Nice. And now I'll never park at another company's long-term lot again.