picture this...

Let's say you're driving down the highway... on your way home from a day at the office. It's raining. A lot. And say you get a phone call from your husband where he tells you that your mother-in-law is stranded on the side of the highway because she ran out of gas. And coincidentally she is stranded on the same rainy highway you are driving on. Of course a good citizen would stop to see if they can assist in any way. And a good citizen I am indeed (not to mention a good daughter-in-law). So I stop. I pull up behind my mother-in-law's brand new GMC Acadia. And I must admit, even in the rain... on the side of the road... with the flashers on... this car looks good. I turn on my own emergency flashers, turn off the car and hop out into the rain and jump into the passenger seat of my mother-in-law's car.

Now she has already called On-Star and they are on their way with gas can in hand. I just figured I would wait with her. I didn't want her to be stranded on the side of the road all by her lonesome. So we sit and wait. We catch up a little... and we laugh about how she apparently ignored the little gas gage dial. (She claims that this new car of hers doesn't give her the appropriate "low fuel" warnings, therefore it is the vehichle's fault that she ran out of gas... duh)
So, the little On-Star man finally comes to the rescue. He strategically fills up her gas tank, being careful to cling to the side of the Acadia, lest he gets swiped by all the passing cars and trucks. Okay, car is fueled up. Success, right?

Not so fast. I walk back out in the rain over to my little Prius. I press the unlock button on my keys and noticed a really sad sound. Like my car had to put a lot of effort into the unlock function. Strange. I get in the car and don't think too much about it. That is, until I press the "start engine" button and all I hear is a small, pathetic wimper coming from the Prius. My battery died. Awesome.

I jump out of the car and flag down the little On-Star man (who only thinks his job here is done). I convince him to stick around and help me, the non-On-Star driver, out. He agrees to jump off my car. Only problem is, these hybrid vehichles are kind of testy. When you pop the hood of the Prius, it only looks like two giant battery packs are running the whole thing. So, little On-Star man flips through my owner's manual and eventually we figure out. This is after both of us have stood in the rain for at least 10 minutes. My shoes are soaked. I try to start me car. Nothing. Well, except for a really awesome error message that reads something like, "There is an error with your 'P' transmission. Park your car in a flat place and put the parking break on. Make sure your vehichle is in 'P'." My car is in a flat place. The parking break is on. My vehichle is in 'P'.

At this point a police officer has kindly parked behind our row of cars with his blue lights on. He is now out in the rain with me and little On-Star man. We are all trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my car. We are all getting soaked. I finally tell my mother-in-law to call a tow truck and I will just ride back with her. I am tired. I am wet. My shoes are squishy. But lo' and behold... little On-Star man tells me to try it just one more time. And it works. It sounds kind of funny. But it works. They tell me to go on just incase the Prius trys to sputter out. It drives home fine. No problems. Apparently, I was just destined to spend an hour standing in the rain last night... just because.

So... the moral of this story? You may not always be rewarded for your good deeds. Actually, you may even have to stand in the rain and get really wet.