Saving the bacon

I live in a two-horse family with three riders. So, often I’m the odd man out. Which seems appropriate since I’m the only man of the house, including my pooch Igor.

With that being expressed, I often take the bus, something I truly don’t mind at all.

The Anchor office is on the bus line and my drop-off point is slightly more than one-half mile from home. It is much easier going home than heading to work.

That half-mile stretch is mostly down-hill going home, and consequently up-hill catching the public chariot to work. I’d much rather stroll downhill than plod through an ascent. You get the picture.

But a few times a week, I am allotted a vehicle to get to and from work. This morning was one of those occasions. And that gave me the opportunity to be reminded of how the little things in life can make one’s day.

There’s a young man in my neighborhood who rides the bus pretty much every day. He works at a restaurant in a nearby town, and public transportation is his lifeblood.

I learned this by talking to him on the bus.

This morning, I left for work at nearly 6:30 a.m. I made the turn to drive up the hill, which is much easier when you have a couple of hundred horsepower doing the work for you.

Anyway, at the bottom of the hill, I saw the young man making haste to catch the bus — a bus that leaves at 6:30 a.m.

I glanced at the clock and the digital green display screamed “6:29!” There was no way, despite his youth, this guy was going to catch that bus.

I pulled over and told him to hop in, telling him I hope we make it on time. He hoped so too.

We both saw that the chariot was still there and I stepped on the gas to make sure it wouldn’t leave without its usual cargo.

The young man looked at me as we were still hauling up the hill and he said, “Thanks man. You saved my bacon today.”

I think I saved others’ bacon today as well, since the man would more than likely be serving the delicacy to “the usuals” at his place of employment.

It wasn’t a big thing, but after I dropped him off, I felt pretty good, and it’s a feeling that’s stayed with me through the day. Something as little as my stopping to give someone a half-mile ride wasn’t so little to the young man.

I’ve missed my share of buses in my lifetime — from high school up to the present.

I’ve seen the black smoke plume from more than one bus exhaust pipe as I stood there, with shoulders drooped, heart racing, and sweat beading on my forehead.

A mere 30 seconds more and I wouldn’t have been inhaling diesel exhaust instead of just being exhausted.

If you’ve never missed a bus, or a plane, or any kind of designated ride, count your blessings. It’s a very frustrating feeling.

So I appreciate having saved my neighbor from that annoyance more, because I’ve been there.

And I’ve been on the other side of “little gestures,” and I know they’re not so little to me.

It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day, and when you do, it can make you feel great — like eating a plateful of crispy bacon.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts