11 November 2008

"I just want to celebrate" -- Rare Earth

On a rare, positive sorta-traffic-related note:

On our way home Sunday night, at the last toll booth of the day ($2 at the Baltimore tunnel), I stretched out my arm with the two dollars and saw an extraordinary sight: a tollbooth operator with a huge grin on her face. I don't know about you, but it's something of a game to see if I can get a tollbooth operator to be pleasant to me at all. Here, she was looking right at me and grinning from ear-to-ear!

Tollbooth operator: She paid for you.

Me: What? Who? Really!?

Someone, now long gone, had paid my toll as well as their own. Now we all had huge grins.

Tollbooth operator: So you can go.

Me: Here. Pay for the person behind me. Let's keep the good karma going.

It certainly was a wonderful surprise from a complete stranger that I couldn't even thank. I'd heard of this but I'd never experienced it. It had never occurred to me what effect it might have on a tollbooth operator. It really seemed to make her night!

And, so, in the interest of not being my usual hyper-critical Debbie Downer all the time, I'd like to show a little appreciation. Here is Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate", complete with lyrics so you can sing along.

I'm sure I'll be grousing about something tomorrow and, though our world is very flawed, it's not a bad idea to stop now and then and appreciate: there are wonderful small and large things that are within our power and they are happening all the time.

I Just Want to Celebrate

I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life
I put my faith in the people
But the people let me down
So I turned the other way
And I carry on, anyhow
That's why I'm telling you

I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
Another day of living,
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Had my hand on the dollar bill
And the dollar bill blew away
But the sun is shining down on me
And it's here to stay
That's why I'm telling you

I just want to celebrate, yeah, yeah
Another day of living, yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of living
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Don't let it all get you down,
Don't let it turn you around and around
And around and around

Well, I can't be bothered with sorrow
And I can't be bothered with hate, no, no
I'm using up my time by feeling fine, every day
That's why I'm telling you I just want to celebrate
Aw, yeah
I just want to celebrate yeah yeah
Another day of living, yeah yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of livin', yeah
I just want to celebrate another day of life

Don't let it all get you down, no, no
Don't let it turn you around and around,
And around and around, and around
Around round round
'round and around round round round
don't go 'round


Alexa said...

when i worked on mackinac island after college i always paid for the person behind me when i went over the mackinac bridge.

you costs you like what a dollar, and you feel pretty damn good.

Sean said...

This is very nice. Of course, I just use the SmartTag lane so I never talk to tollbooth operators anymore.

Kate said...

That makes me so happy! I LOVE it when people do something unexpected that makes a little part of our day better. Good for you for passing it along!

And I ALWAY try to be extra special pleasant to anyone sitting in a booth all day. I smile really big and greet them. Always. My sister from NYC thinks I'm being fake. I think I'm being nice.

Narm said...

Too late, Lacochran - you can't buy your way into heaven now. The big guy saw your college days.

Kidding - awesome gesture.

Matt said...

ah its the little things, isnt it?

Gilahi said...

This is one incredibly awesome song. Trivia: Rare Earth was the first white group to record on the Motown label. They were from Detroit and they were pretty funky-sounding, so it makes a lot of sense.

LBluca77 said...

Oh how nice that someone did that for you and then you did it in return.

Maybe I will do something nice for someone today.

I said maybe. Lets not get to carried away.

Herb of DC said...

I think everyone should do a good deed today and leave a comment (or two) on my blog.

Mike said...

You have to be careful of the 'no good deed goes unpunished' law. There was a guy in downtown St. Louis that would look for parking meters that were about ready to run out of time. He would drop a quarter in to give the person a little extra time to get back to their car. Nice eh? He was arrested for ... I can't remember what BS they made up. But he was cutting into the parking ticket profit for the city.

LiLu said...

How perfectly wonderful. And on a Monday no less! Someone out there truly is a saint.

For my good deed, I will NOT fart when someone races into my elevator at the last second and then gets off at a floor before mine. (I'm a wee bit impatient.)

f.B said...

be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the little things.

fiona said...

Loved the wee Karaoke!
Singing along here through the flu sounding kinda "raspy"
Whole post cheered me up, TY

rs27 said...

My dad paid for a toll for me once. Except he was a dollar short.


Kristin said...

I've always wanted to do that, but I never have. Maybe I will. Your story made me happy.

lacochran said...

Alexa: Cheap thrills can be great ones. :)

Sean: So you're the one whizzing by me all the time.

Kate: You ARE being nice. Those poor shmoes have to breathe exhaust all day.

Narm: Let's just keep the incriminating evidence on the down low, hm?

Matt: It is!

Gilahi: Can I call you Wiki?

Lbluca77: No pressure. It's all good.

Herb of DC: Um. Yeah. Okay.

Mike: Did you Snopes that? Sounds suspicious.

Lilu: You're a giver.

f.B: I am!

Fiona: My pleasure. Hope you're on the mend.

Rs27: 1/2 a good deed is better than none?

Kristin: Wonderful! :)