A couple of weeks ago I took my old car (1990 Prizm) to my mechanic because the engine was running very hot. Turned out that it needed over $1000 worth of repairs. There was more than one thing wrong. The mechanics kept the car overnight to complete the work.
I took the bus back to the shop the following afternoon, feeling pretty shell shocked at the amount of money I was about to charge to my credit card. (On a day-to-day level, my finances are such that I precede any expenditures over 20 dollars with careful consideration.) T
The bus dumped me off at SE 82nd Avenue and Duke Street, which is a somewhat seedy and gritty urban intersection. I walked to the corner where three young road workers in bright orange vests – two young men and one woman – were standing about, apparently on a short break from whatever they’d been doing. There was a dormant cement truck in the road on Duke Street, and apparently some concrete excavation had been happening. Cars were still filtering by on the narrowed road; it was a congested, noisy little scene.
Before I could push a crosswalk button for myself, one of the orange-vested young men politely asked me which way I was going, his hand poised to press the button for me. “Actually, I need to cross both ways,” I chuckled, pointing diagonally across the avenue.
“Oh,” he said, and briskly pressed the crosswalk buttons for both directions.
“Thanks,” I murmured absently, still ruminating on that $1K+ car repair.
I think we all – the three young road workers and me – must have stood there quietly then for at least an entire minute until I actually got a WALK sign to cross 82nd.
I got about a quarter of the way across the street when I heard a sharp, emphatic voice behind me, proclaiming in a thick spot-on Scottish brogue: “MAY FORTUNE SMILE UPON YOUR QUEST, SIR! “
I turned around and all three road workers were facing me, standing ramrod straight, lips solemnly sealed, saluting me.
I flashed back a grin and continued on my way, a little song in my heart for the rest of the day.