Opinion

PRAK you

Miserable.

There were four letter words, but miserable most aptly described the foul mood of the driver.

Hunkered down in the driver seat and in the middle of a 2,800-kilometre trek from Prince Rupert to Arden, Manitoba, the miserable man sat fuming in the drive-thru of a popular Canadian restaurant.

All he wanted was a cup of coffee and to get on his freakin’ way. The vehicle smelled every bit of the long list of gas station coffee, fast food, beef jerky, the unwashed driver and a snoozing dog that had quickly started at the beginning of the trip synthesizing dog treats into methane gas.

“What the hell was taking the blue van so long,” the miserable man thought to himself. “Are they ordering meals for the entire town.”

He continued to stare at the Saskatchewan licence plate of the blue van in front of him as it sat parked next to the drive-thru speaker.

As he not-so-patiently-waited for the blue van to order everything on the menu, he punched at the radio searching in vain for a station that wasn’t playing Christmas music... after two days on the road, he’d heard all of them at least three times, and Christmas cheery songs were the farthest thing from his mind. The CD player in the truck had died somewhere around Burns Lake.

Finally, the blue van began to creep forward to the window.

The miserable man bellowed his coffee order into the scratchy sounding speaker  and watched as bag after bag, cup after cup was passed through the restaurant drive-thru window into the waiting hands of what appeared to be the female driver of the blue van. Almost as if a bandage had been slowly, tortuously ripped off an infected cut, the van finally rolled up its window and drove off.

The miserable man pulled up to the window clutching a toonie for a quick payment, grab the coffee and get back on the freakin’ road.

As he rolled down the window, the young lady at the drive-thru smiled.

“Merry Christmas,” she said. “Your coffee is no charge, the lady ahead of you paid for your coffee.”

“What?” the miserable man said in utter disbelief. “Who did?”

“Don’t know, all she said is  I’ll pay for the guy in the black truck. Wish him Merry Christmas.” the drive-thru attendant said.

The miserable man looked around but the blue van was long gone.

“Thanks. Merry Christmas,” the miserable man stammered as he holstered the hot cup of coffee and rolled up the window.

He pulled out to the edge of the highway and paused. He picked up the hot coffee and took a swig and then he smiled.

It was then that it hit me.

I wasn’t miserable anymore.

A simple random act of kindness utterly changed my entire day. It was as simple as a cup of coffee.

I’ve thought long and hard about that random act of kindness and how it effected me.

I hope you will join us in beginning the Prince Rupert Random Acts of Kindness (PRAK) campaign.

Again, PRAKing someone need not be costly or time-consuming.

Anonymously buy someone a coffee, leave the quarter in the shopping cart, send a thank you card to someone you admire or appreciate, pick up trash on a neighbour’s yard, the list of anonymous acts of kindness are only limited by your imagination.

PRAK someone today.

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