I was at the Avondale Wawa yesterday morning to inflate two brand-new inner tubes for river fun this coming weekend. Next to the air pump was parked a white work truck with a completely flat (I mean, down to the rim) tire. There was nobody in the truck, so I pulled up on the other side of the pump and got to work.
Then a Mexican man came out of the Wawa, and it was his truck. I offered him the air hose -- he had been there first, after all -- and he smiled and shook his head. I got the sense that his flat tire was beyond repair (the opposite hubcap looked kind of shredded, too), and he was just waiting for somebody to pick him up.
He noticed I was having some trouble filling the second inner tube and came over. He looked at the stem, noticed a stray piece of metal impeding the flow, fetched a set of needle-nose pliers from his truck and fixed it. He then finished inflating the tube, gesturing for me to increase or lower the filling pressure on the pump as needed. Between his limited English and my even more limited Spanish, we got the job done.
I was so grateful that I took a $20 out of my wallet and offered it to him as a tip. No, no, he said, absolutely refusing. He wouldn't even take some money toward a sub (Hoagiefest!), a soda or a soft pretzel on the sweltering day.
This is a guy who could have stayed in the air-conditioned store or in his truck, and instead he helped me out. All I could do was shake his hand. Good people are the best.