Monday, November 21, 2011

panic-induced laughter

On Friday, I left work on a high.  [Not a drug-induced high, mind you, just the feeling-high-on-life kind of high.]

I called my parents and told them how excited I was to see them in a few hours, texted Tim that I was on my way home, and got in my truck.  There was a major event going on in the area, so there were hundreds of cars packed into the tiny streets.

I took a deep breath and turned on some music.

Finally, a break.  Even if it is just for a couple of days, I thought.

I had driven for a couple of minutes when the music started cutting out.

Huh, that's weird.  Maybe the cd is skipping.  That's what I get for losing my iPod.

I tried to turn off the music but watched in confusion as the cd player lights kept flickering on and off.  I pulled up to a red left arrow and waited for the light to turn.  I watched the other side of the intersection turn from yellow to red and prepared to push the gas.  Suddenly all of the lights in the truck started flickering and it started making an odd noise.  Then the engine cut out.

The arrow turned green.  I frantically tried to start the car again, but to no avail.  The engine wouldn't even turn over.  My trembling fingers tried to turn on the hazard lights to let the [very long] line of cars behind me know that my car wasn't working.  They wouldn't work, either.  A car pulled up to my right and a very frustrated-looking man waved his arms at me.  I gave him an apologetic look and tried once again to start the car.

In my moment of panic, I had only two distinct thoughts.  The first was that I needed to call Tim.  And the second was that I couldn't stay in the truck anymore.  I practically fell out of the truck and stumbled onto the road directly in front of a car turning right.  I ran to the side of the road and tried to call Tim.  But my fingers were trembling so badly that nothing was working properly.

"Do you need help pushing your car?"

I realized the voice must be talking to me and turned.  A man on his bike looked at me inquisitively.

"Uh yes.  Yes I do."

Then another man and a policeman appeared and told me to put the truck in neutral.  I almost walked in front of another car as I walked back to the truck and attempted to follow instructions.  I couldn't get the column shift to move at all.  I told the men so, and the policeman instructed one of the men to try, since he couldn't fit behind the wheel with all of his gear.  Eventually, the man succeeded and I got behind the wheel as they waited for the light to turn green again.

Finally the light turned green [again] and we made it across the intersection and into the parking lot.  [The steering had suddenly become very difficult, but we made it notwithstanding.]

I [profusely] thanked the men for their help and called Tim.  He said he would come pick me up as soon as he could.

Here are a few moments of irony at this point in the story [at which I couldn't help but laugh]:

  • Tim had some customers come in right as the store was closing and insist that they stay open late.  [This rarely-to-never happens.]
  • As I was sitting in the truck waiting for Tim, a man backed into the space next to me and opened his door into the side of the truck.
  • I tried to figure out if I could keep the truck in the parking lot overnight, got transferred several times, and eventually was hung up on.
  • Tim set the alarm at his work before he left, went to check on a side door, which abruptly opened and set off the alarm, and had to reassure the alarm company and his boss that he was not a burglar and that no one was trying to break in.
Thankfully [with my parents' help] we got the truck towed the next day and have someone working on it now.  I don't really know what's wrong with it, and at this point, I'm not really sure I care.  I'm just grateful that I was safe, that we had so much help, and that I am not currently sitting at that intersection trying to get my car to start.

And I'm grateful for all the moments of irony that provided so much comic relief for me.

Does anyone else panic in situations like that [and then laugh like a crazy person afterward]?  Please tell me I'm not the only one.

1 comment:

Emma Frances said...

You're not the only one! Haha. That would be so stressful but thank goodness for the moments that made you laugh rather than just get more mad!