Mom and Dad gave me one of these as a gift. You can jumpstart a car, inflate tires and stuff and charge a cell phone with it. I'd used it plenty of times to inflate tires and other things around the house, worked quite well.
Once a week Lori has lunch with me at work. If they're out of school, it's all of us having a nice family meal in the work cafeteria. Recently we decided at the last minute to meet some place for lunch instead of coming to the office. The kids were having a slightly rough time of it and Lori wasn't feeling like preparing lunches or trying to stop somewhere with them and pick up something. So we met at Wendy's instead.
While we were eating, we watched someone messing with a dead car two over from Lori's. After awhile, another car came. The dead car was a newer model Toyota sedan of decent size. The helper car was a tiny mid-80's I dunno... maybe a small Yugo or something. It was a tiny car. I just imagined them hooking up jumper cables, cranking over the Toyota and seeing the little car explode. After a while the small car left and the couple was still there with their dead car.
So when we came out, we were loading up the children and they asked if we had cables. We started to pull them out and then I thought that maybe I should bring my car around instead. No sense in having the little ones sit in the hot car. So said goodbye to the family, they left, I jogged a few rows over to my car. By the time I had gotten back around, the space next to them was now open. (They had pushed it out some to try to get the cables to stretch to the little car.)
So I pulled my car in close next to theirs, got out, released the hood and then couldn't figure out how to open it. I guess I've never opened the hood since I bought the car? Really? Anyhow, hood up, nice heavy duty rod in place holding it up. My last car had hydraulics to hold the hood up, but eventually they wore out and the hood wouldn't stay up anymore - and that was a stinking heavy hood. Fell on me and mechanics multiple times because the props we'd use would invariably pop free. Anyhow, yay, love my car.
So go around to the trunk to get the cables and discover the charger sitting there in the crate on top of the cables. Awesome. Until two weeks ago, it had been in my garage for a few months because I had been using it to inflate tires and not sure it had ever made it into this car.
So I was like "Yes! I've got something better than jumper cables!" I admitted that I'd never used it before, but we plugged it onto their battery and one of them noticed an on/off switch for the battery so flipped that to on, they got in, cranked the engine and it came to life.
They were happy and said they were sold - they were going to get one for their car. Unplugged the cables, turned it off and stowed it back in the trunk.
And off they went to her doctor's appointment. I hope they didn't get stuck in the doctor's parking lot. And I wish I had realized I'd had that and gone out their sooner.
But it was really nice being able to just help someone so quickly (and mess-free) like that.
Guess I should probably get one for Lori's car as well.