Good Samaritan in the compact foreign car, be advised that Children's Hospital is $25 richer because you stopped to help a forgetful female whose initials are P.R. With her check she enclosed a note that said:

"En route to work this morning, I drove through the snow that the radio said was not falling, and even if it did fall later would not accumulate.

"To make sure other drivers could see me, I turned on my lights. But I forgot to put my gloves on the dash or hang something on the rear-view mirror as a reminder that my lights were on in the daytime. You can guess the rest of the story. I didn't turn off my lights when I parked, so my battery was dead when I returned to the car at the end of the day.

"A friend at work gave me a jump start and I went merrily on my way through the four inches of snow that had by that time accumulated, or had not accumulated, depending on whom you want to believe.

"Unfortunately, the engine stalled when I had to stop on an icy hill on Arlington Boulevard, and I didn't have enough juice in the battery to get started again.

"I was embarrassed to be impeding traffic, and asked several passing motorists for a jump start, but none of them had cables. It wasn't until a man in a small foreign car came along that I was saved. He didn't have cables, either, but he pushed me up the hill until I could pop the clutch and get rolling again. We had no chance to exchange names, so the only way I can thank him is by sending you this check for Children's Hospital."

Thank you. I'll add it to the others that tickle in between campaigns.

I hope that hereafter you will remember to leave those gloves (or something else) on the dash as a reminder that your lights are on in the daytime. I would not recommend hanging anything from your rear-view mirror. That's too distracting.

And while we're on the subject, why don't you carry cables in your own car? It's hard enough to find somebody who is willing to stop and offer help these days without adding the additional requirement that the Good Samaritan be someone who provided himself with special equipment a stranger might need.

The lady at our house and I always carry jump cables in our cars. During snow season, she carries some kitty litter (it's very effective on snow and ice) and I carry a small shovel. Laugh if you like, but we don't hold up traffic.