Never Underestimate the Kindness of Strangers

I crashed into their cars but their empathy never waned

Sherry McGuinn
7 min readNov 5, 2022


Image by kygp/Flickr.Com

Wednesday was a gorgeous day here in the Chicago area. Thus far, Autumn has been grand, just like it’s supposed to be, but often isn’t. The temperatures have been balmy, the colors, glorious and for once, all felt right with the world.

Until I got into a car accident and even now, I’m not quite sure what transpired, or how long it lasted. It could have been ten seconds, or twenty. I don’t know. Extreme shock will do that to a person.

With the glow of a rare good mood upon me, I climbed into my Fiat to run some errands. My last stop was to be at a Fresh Market for some shrimp.

Now, this particular market is about three minutes from our house and I shop there frequently.

Let me segue for a moment and share an experience I had with my car, last winter, I believe it was.

Once again, I was shopping for groceries and was pulling out of my parking space at Jewel/Osco when my car accelerated on its own and literally zoomed out of the space. Luckily, I was able to stop and no cars were behind me. It scared the living shit out of me, though. I must stress that there was no ice or snow on the ground, so I didn’t “skid.”

This happened a couple of times before I realized that it wasn’t my error, i.e., I didn’t hit the wrong pedal, and that my car had somehow turned on me.

My first thought was that there was an issue with the gas pedal, that perhaps it was sticking, so I brought my “Chocolate Kiss” into the shop where my husband and I have trusted our cars for years.

They couldn’t find anything wrong with it and unfortunately, I didn’t request any further exploration.

So, I put it out of my mind, as one does when one would rather believe that the shit isn’t going to hit the fan at a later date.

But it did, friends. Boy, did it ever.

As much as I’m trying to avoid it, I need to get to the “incident.”

I pulled into the Fresh Market parking lot and spied a space next to the cart caddy, which is curbed on both sides.



Sherry McGuinn

Long-time writer and big-time dreamer. Screenwriter. Cat mama. Red lip aficionado.