He was only driving to town for a quick errand; some last-minute groceries for Thanksgiving – pecans for the pie, and green beans. Parking hastily, he dashed into the nearest corner store to pick them up. On his way out, glancing nervously at his watch, a scream rang out.
Looking around wildly, Nigel tried to spot the cause of the disturbance. It sounded serious – a life or death kind of scream, not just the normal whooping generally related to the holiday season. The scream sounded again, more keenly this time, and Nigel turned to face the small park behind the shops. Racing over, he saw a child struggling for air in the lake.
Without hesitating to store the ingredients that had brought him out there, Nigel dove straight in and swam over with sure, bold strokes. On the way back to land, he slowly became aware of a small crowd of people cheering and praising his bravery. The child was shivering and could hardly speak, but was soon swept up in the arms of nervous parents, who repeated their gratitude in a staccato of thanks.
Food forgotten, Nigel was distracted by a number of people trying to help, offering him jackets for warmth and admiration from all sides. It was impossible not to feel fairly heroic, with so many reiterating his daring deed. The parents promptly invited him over for a holiday feast and there even happened to be a reporter in the park, who had called the local TV station over to do a good news story on the event.
With superlative compliments ringing in his ears, Nigel ended up on the news that night, and many of his friends who saw rang him up to offer their awe. It was only on the way home from the studio that Nigel remembered his car, and returned to the side street to find a parking ticket waiting for him on the dashboard. Even heroes must pay attention to the mundane.