Monday, November 3, 2008

The Kindness of Mad Town People

I am overdue to talk about Madison, and I must point out some things that occurred just last week. I am overwhelmed with topics to talk about, including the latest movies I have seen, canvassing for Obama, and the Halloween festivities, but I think it is important to come back to the nature of the locals.

After the key to my car broke, and could no longer attach to my key chain, I had a copy made. (Actually, my dad had it done for me. - Thanks, Dad). He saw how I always had to shuffle through my purse for the stray key, that could no longer stay in a group with my other keys. It was all alone, and it was a pain. I tested the key in the car door, and it worked. A few days later, when I finally got in my car to get groceries (did I mention I hardly drive my car any more? I haven't filled it up with gas in almost three weeks!), it wouldn't start. After attempting to jump start it, I had it towed to Parman's on Monroe Street, only to find out the key was the problem. Parman's wouldn't charge me for their observation, and when I came to pick it up, solo, with a friend's car, they offered to follow me wherever I had to go, in my car, while I drove my friend's car. As we are driving back to Parman's, Mr.Parman is saying, "I am so glad that's all it was." I said to him, "Why are you glad? You didn't make a penny off of me!" These nice guys went out of their way. I highly recommend them.

Parman's recommended a place called Hansen's to have my "Check Engine Soon" light turned off. I went over to Hansen's. He told me the cover to my gas (what's that called?) was probably just loose, and turned the light off. As I followed him in to pay, he said, "Free!" So, now I am recommending Hansen's, as well.

The same day, I was looking for a good knife to carve some pumpkins open, for my famous, "Soup in a Pumpkin." I wanted something fast, so I walked across the street, to the little grocery store. Their knives did not look promising, so I walked into the hardware store around the corner, True Value Hardware. I went into the back, and found some kitchen knives. I asked the cashier if he thought they would work, and he said for about twelve dollars less, he would "make" a knife for me out of some hardware tool, used for something I have never heard of (shocker). As he did that, I dug around a bin near the counter, and picked up some sharp looking tool. He looked up, and said, "That will work, and that's only $2.00. Why don't you get that?" I went to pay, and saw I only had $1.36 in cash, and he decided to give me a discount, knocking off some money from the $2.00, but the total was somewhere a little over the $1.36 I brought in with me, so he said, "We'll split it", and he threw in some of his money.

Is this not the nicest, friendliest city? Yes, it's homogeneous and small, but it sure is a helpful place.

Even though I try to keep things semi-anonymous, I am recommending the following:

Dorn True Value Hardware (no website)
Parman's Service Station (no website)
Hansen's Auto Service Center (no website)

Why no websites? Probably because they are typical Madison, local institutions that thrive on word of mouth referrals.

Also, in case you were wondering, my auto insurance in Madison is almost half of what it was in Ohio, and I paid for roadside assistance, therefore, the pointless tow was also free.

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