Friday, 20 November 2009

White van man: They're not all psycho axe murderers

I'd made it to the top of the hill, only a few minutes into my commute to work. It was the bit where the buildings stop and the road to the train station continues through the Belton Hills nature reserve. This was probably a cliff centuries ago but is now a steep hill with a lot of meadow and a few trees. The wind whipping off the estuary can be ferocious to say the least. Add a sheet of rain or two and you've got a refreshing November walk.

This is usually a fairly uneventful journey, especially at 6.30am. So when the white van beeped its horn, my first thoughts were that I might have dropped something. The driver was making some sort of signal, pointing down the hill. In my early morning fug, I just stared at him blankly. 'Great, I thought, now I've got to give him directions.'

Then he leaned over, opened his door, and said: "Are you going to the station? Jump in, I'll give you a lift."

Now in this day and age the only people who pull up and offer you a lift are serial killers. Actually that's not entirely accurate. Serial killers and psycho one-off axe murderers. This bloke must drive round looking for commuters to pick off with offers of a lift. He would asphyxiate me with a rag and take me off somewhere to carve me up. So I jumped in.

You know what? He didn't kill me. He actually gave me a lift to the station. Turns out he was delivering papers for the newsagent. What I experienced was nothing more than a good deed by a nice person.

I reflected on this as I waited on the platform. Thanks to that good deed I had a ten minute wait for the train. I wondered how many people would have turned down that lift. Most of them I reckon, because that's the world we live in - no one hears about the nice things that happen, just the gory stuff conducted by psychopaths. But nice people who just want to help out do exist.

Sometimes they even drive white vans.

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