yeah, well, you're probably sure of a lot of stupid things

We were grilling brats in Pittsburgh, and as is my wont, I sauteed about an order of magnitude more onions than necessary. Noticing that the middle-aged couple next to us also had brats on their grill, I offered them some onions. They gave us some truly lousy store-bought brownies in exchange.

Six hours later, they needed a favor. "Do you have jumper cables?" the man asked. And then Nelson and I dug out the cables and positioned the vehicle such that they could reach. While Nelson was performing a 17-point turn in his car, the man thanked me for helping.

"Thank you so much for doing this. Really. I'm very grateful. But I'm sure you're both Christians..."

What does that mean? That anyone exhibiting the slightest kindness must share the man's own spiritual beliefs? 'Cause that's what it sounded like. I resisted the impulse to pack up the cables and leave the couple stranded in the nearly empty parking lot. No. I would not do that. I was representing non-believers, and I would be a good witness.

"We are not," I said simply, leaving the man to his own ruminations. No more was said on the matter.

Using his bare, stadium-marinated hands, the man gave us two more truly lousy store-bought brownies for our troubles. As I hucked mine out the car window, I pointed out to Nelson that had he parked the way I'd told him to, the cars' batteries would have been right next to one another.