It's Friday morning and the path to work is littered with time-eating delays.
A couple of long phone conversations, a solicitor at the door and a passing motorist with a newspaper question (true) hails me as my hand touches the car door handle.
Since the clock had already won, we allow another five minutes to stop at a bakery for a roll.
"Do you by chance have a set of jumper cables?" a man asks as we hustle past on a Vermont Street sidewalk. "I have a van full of bread, and I've got to get it to Topeka."
I tell the man, "Sorry, no cables."
"Thanks anyway," he said, anxiously lighting a cigarette.
I have a set of jumper cables in the back of my car parked two spaces from the bread man. Never been used.
I bought them in Cameron, Mo., in April 1999, six years ago.
I decided I needed them after being rescued on a dark, rainy evening at a Missouri rest stop off I-35. My savior was Jude Gillahan.
Ours were the only cars in the rest stop parking lot. His would start, mine wouldn't.
I was back on the road headed to an Iowa meeting in minutes but not before Jude was telling me about his niece, the Lawrence dentist Susan Hall.
I even wrote a piece about the "St. Jude" incident that included the kind soul in an O'Reilly Auto Parts store who cleaned my battery terminal and wouldn't accept payment. I told myself I'd return the favor someday.
Back in my car, I figured the clock would have to wait another minute or two.
I pulled alongside the bread man's car.
He hooked the cables to his battery, and we were both back on the road in less than a minute.
Friday morning was suddenly good.