The first occurrence was actually due to a bit of lucky timing, as I happened to be walking to my car at the precise time I was being written up for having expired tags. I plead that in Iowa we get a month, not a measly fifteen days. And it works. He actually shreds the ticket, which I thought was a stunt strictly for movies. My meter man hero saves me $90 and tells me to go straight to the DMV, which I do. But before I glorify his act of kindness too much, I should point out he was driving around neighborhood streets looking for expired tags on the day of expiration.
The second unexpected gesture happened just the other day as I was walking a block or so from my car to Fedex, wrangling two heavy boxes that were tall enough that I had to lean around them to see. Most passer-byers looked at me amusingly, as if they were reminded of the fat mouse Gus Gus carrying his leaning tower of corn kernels. But just as disaster was about to strike- me precariously balancing the boxes on one propped up knee as I tried to pull open the heavy double doors- a meter man comes jogging up to help me. I was glad of his assistance, and he even insisted on opening the second set of doors. But then things got a little awkward as he unintentionally followed me into the store and soon realized he was out of his natural element, no expired meters in sight. He nervously backed out through both sets of doors and disappeared around the corner, off to ruin the days of countless citizens.
And here's a clip from Cindrillion. Mice + French Singing = Adorable.