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What Can Be Done In 30 Seconds

'What can be done in thirty seconds' became an incident punchline yesterday. 

I was on an drive yesterday outside Ashland in a sort of remote area. Actually, I was a bit lost. I like exploring areas where I usually don't go, and it was nice weather, so there I was. The question was, where was I? As I reached a split in the road and looked for signs about which way to go (there were no signs) (and chuckling about it being a metaphor for life), I saw a car on the gravel shoulder about thirty yards away.  Hood up and door open, a thirty something slender woman stood beside it.

Reflecting that I could be jumping to conclusions, I thought the scenario displayed the classic stranded motorist symptoms. As I contemplated the stopped car and my directions, a second car pulled over beside her.  Words were exchanged and the second car drove off as I began driving away.

I watched my mirror. The second car turned the other way. There was something strange about the exchange so I turned around and pulled up beside the parked car and made the usual inquiries about needing help. 

There was a long story involving hiking and photographing with the bottom line being, yes, she needed help, she'd left her lights on and her battery was dead. No problem, I had cables. 

She was very grateful. "I've been here thirty minutes. I was just about to start walking. One other car went by right after I got to my car, before I realized what an idiot I was, leaving my lights on, boy, my boyfriend will love that, and then nothing until that woman -- " She gestured like she was tossing something disgusting aside. "And now you. Thanks for stopping."  

Her agitation rose. "Can you believe this? That woman who stopped before you? Did you see her? She stopped and asked if I was alright. I told her my car was dead and I couldn't get a phone signal." She waved her phone around. "No bars at all. She said, 'Oh, I could help you but then I would be late for work.' And she drove away. Can you believe it? I couldn't believe it. I was, like, why did you stop? What did you think you could do in thirty seconds?"

It does seem strange. I guess the woman stopped and confirmed the other was okay. Maybe that was her intention but it seemed peculiar.  

The woman's car started without issue. She was heading home to Talent, not far away, back toward more populated areas and neither of us were worried. Her battery was in good shape. The last thing she said before giving me another thank you was, "I'm going to get a new phone service first thing Monday. Coverage everywhere, what bull."