I drove onto the rockery’s automobile scale so the staff could weigh my car before I added some flagstone pavers for my new garden paths. I carefully picked out 30 foot-sized flat stones so I could tend my plants when it’s muddy.
When I drove back onto the scale, a woman staffer looked at my car and said, “I’m taking it all in.” At first I didn’t know what she was talking about, but then realized she was looking at the red plastic “save the rhino” horn I’ve had on the front of my car since my 2014 visit to South Africa. I’ve added a tail out the trunk, and two black ears on either side of the windshield. I forget that this can be quite a sight. I told her I’ve made my car into the rhino-mobile to bring attention to the thousand rhinos killed each year by poachers. She nodded.
She looked in the trunk to see what I was buying and said, “Is that it?” I nodded. She said, “It’s less than 100 lbs. I’m not going to charge you for 100 lbs. Come into the office while I talk to my colleague.”
She and her co-worker inspected my load. He told her to reduce my bill: “Take off 60 lbs.” I said, “Would you take 60 lbs off me, too?” He smiled. (I could tell by the crinkles at his eyes above his mask.) She held up one of the puny stones, “We call this scrap. I’m not going to charge you anything. You’re doing good things in the world.”
I’ve no idea how much 100 — or even 40 — lbs. of flagstone pavers would cost. But I’m grateful that her interest in the rhinos coupled with my small pavers convinced her to give me a gift today. She was my rock star!