Something Nice

18 Aug

I read a happy story today in the Stockport Express: a seventy-year old waiter was given a car by a customer.  The paper ran the headline, What a tip*; but it wasn’t given as a tip:

Carlos Alarcon, who works at Piccolino in Bramhall, had his Nissan Sunny stolen from outside his house in Didsbury.  The 70-year-old was struggling to get to work – having to catch two buses each way. But when regular customer Tony Howard heard about his plight, he decided he had to help.  So he gave Mr Alarcon a second-hand Mitsubishi car for free – because he thought the waiter was ‘a nice guy’.

 HUGE THANKS... Tony Howard hands over the keys to Carlos Alarcon

Tony Howard was being a really nice guy himself.  You can read the whole story here.

I admire a man still working past retirement age; but hope it isn’t because he has to.  Mr Alarcon’s age isn’t relevant to the story, but the papers almost always include a subject’s age; and if they don’t, readers always wonder what it is.  I suppose it gives us context.

I was reminded of an episode of Bread, a British comedy series from the Eighties, about a loveable bunch of benefit scroungers.  They wouldn’t be loveable now, of course, because Britain’s hard-pressed tax payers are fed up with benefit scroungers.

Adrian Boswell, redundant and humiliated to find himself having to sign on, doesn’t want to tell his age and rambles about why newspapers always include ages: Mr So-and-So, seventy-three, was run down by a horse, concluding…and they never tell you the age of the horse.  He makes a fair point – why don’t they tell you the age of the horse?

The most telling part of the exchange, however, comes towards the end:

Adrian: Why does it matter how old I am?

Martina: Because how old you are, is how long you live.  And how long you live, is how long we pay you.  And how long we pay you, Mr Boswell…matters.

I suspect that if Bread was made now, almost thirty years on, all sympathy would lie with the Benefits Agency, not the Boswell family.


*Fancy that – a newspaper which stretches the truth; whoever heard of such a thing?

39 Responses to “Something Nice”

  1. beckysefton August 18, 2011 at 11:19 #

    What a lovely story. There’s still good in this world after all!


  2. vivienne Blake August 18, 2011 at 11:27 #

    A wonderful story, warms the cockles…

    I think we always were on the side of Martina! Joey drove a Jag and the rest weren’t short of a bob or two.


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 11:30 #

      It was great tv in the early days; but it went on too long.


  3. theonlycin August 18, 2011 at 11:33 #

    How old is the car?


  4. barb19 August 18, 2011 at 12:02 #

    There is still some good people around.
    I remember Bread, it was a hilarious show, I loved it!


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 13:03 #

      I did, too; my FIL used to tape it and send it to us.


  5. misswhiplash August 18, 2011 at 12:11 #

    I remember Bread very well .It was one of our favourite programmes.
    Joey was my favourite,

    And you are right nowadays it would not be so popular… very much like Til Death us do Part and Alf Garnett.

    They don’t make ’em like that anymore


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 13:03 #

      Most British comedy is rubbish these days 😦


      • vivienne Blake August 18, 2011 at 16:07 #

        Not my idea of funny. The only one I like is Outnumbered with those ultra-clever children.


  6. countingducks August 18, 2011 at 12:46 #

    Lovely story


  7. mairedubhtx August 18, 2011 at 12:55 #

    What a wonderful story! And I too wonder why the age of people is always given in a story.


  8. the island traveler August 18, 2011 at 13:39 #

    I admire people who work hard even at their old age. It respect them for trying to be of help to our country. I see a lot of younger people who prefer not to work just because the govt doles out money to them. Why sweat when you can get free kind of people. The man in this story deserves the blessing from the good hearted man. Their story should be an inspiration to all. Love the post.


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 15:52 #

      It;s good to read about kindness instead of greed and me-me-me people.


  9. Big Al August 18, 2011 at 14:27 #

    This gives one hope that the good in this world will always prevail. Now if we could only find the bloke who stole the car. Bamboo shoots up the fingernails would be a good starting point for his punishment.


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 15:53 #

      An old car to a car thief; a lifeline to the owner. It’s just wicked.


  10. Janie Jones August 18, 2011 at 15:12 #

    Wow! Cool story.


  11. slpmartin August 18, 2011 at 15:56 #

    Loved the story…brightened my day.


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 15:57 #

      That was the hope 🙂 There’s too much misery in the world.


  12. granny1947 August 18, 2011 at 18:21 #

    Granny is off to find a job as a waitress!!!


  13. sufilight August 18, 2011 at 18:32 #

    This pulled at my heart strings, and it’s stories like these that keeps my hope with mankind. Thanks for sharing! Have shared your entry in Twitter!


  14. kateshrewsday August 18, 2011 at 19:14 #

    As cub retorters we were taught : NAOA: Name, Address, Occupation, Age. Four things you never left out of your report.

    I never thought to ask, why the age? I suppose it can change a news story. If the car was given to a youngster would the story have the same pull?

    Nice gift, Tilly 🙂


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 08:51 #

      I think it would; it’s the generosity that’s so heartwarming, especially after last week’s greed frenzy.


  15. Pseu August 18, 2011 at 21:42 #

    ‘I like this story,’ said Pseu, who lives in Oxfordshire, and is a part time nurse, wife, mother, and among other things a writer. She is aged 50, and would very much love to give such a generous gift. See Cindy’s blog 🙂


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 08:52 #

      I love that you said ‘give’ and not ‘get’ 🙂


  16. Caroline August 18, 2011 at 22:19 #

    Warms the heart – especially these days.


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 08:53 #

      Lovely, isn’t it? And the number of people saying so proves to me that good news would sell papers as well.


  17. eof737 August 18, 2011 at 23:06 #

    What a thoughtful act and a happy story… See, this is why I love the positive; it cheers up both the cynical and the happy types.
    Phew… glad I’m finally catching up on posts I missed… I’ve been battling pneumonia and household changes as my children go off to college; I am grateful for God’s grace and the love/support in my life. 🙂 TY Tilly!


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 08:54 #

      I’m sorry to hear that, Elizabeth. Hope you’re feeling much better.


  18. bluebee August 18, 2011 at 23:41 #

    Love this, Tilly – there are many good people around – we just don’t hear about them that often – Thanks 🙂


  19. nrhatch August 19, 2011 at 01:27 #

    Wonderful story. Thanks, TillyB.


  20. Perfecting Motherhood August 20, 2011 at 06:37 #

    That’s the best story I’ve heard all week, thanks for sharing. Should we ask what the mileage is on the car?


    • Tilly Bud August 20, 2011 at 08:56 #

      It was quite a few years old but it was still better than the car that was stolen, apparently.


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: