Thursday, February 8, 2007

Wordnerd's Armpit

There has been much talk lately of the perils of winter driving. Especially since we got a serious dose of winter recently. Now, I do my best to drive responsibly and professionally at all times, and avoid getting or giving the bird or rude names (do NOT fail to click those links, unless you're a limp wristed pusillanimous pansy). I've been driving well more than half my life, and have made a living of it at times. My early driving record was fairly atrocious, but I've recovered nicely and am the darling of insurance agencies everywhere. In fact, I was once interviewed by a gecko. But, that's another story. Today at lunchtime, I was tooling about the countryside in my trusty Jeep, munching pretzels and enjoying the swirling, glittering snow - bright and shining like millions of stars in the sunlight. I traveled down a dirt road in very rural farm country, twisting and turning with ease and confidence. We were in 4-wheel-drive, my Jeep and me, and life was good. Snow drifted across the road in a few places, and I plowed through like a daggone car commercial. I half expected an elephant to be dropped onto the luggage rack from the sky, to make a a point about the excessive strength of my vehicle. The time came to return to work, so I swung around in an intersection and continued from whence I came. The clouds thickened and the snow became grayer. I plowed through another weak little drift, and felt my wheels pull to the right. I countered left and added some gas, trusting my fourby to pull us out, but I continued traveling right. Suddenly, I found myself leaning into my passenger seat and slowing quickly. I stopped a few feet short of a scrubby little tree, and about 3 inches from a bobwahr fence. Yep, I was ditched. Irrevocably. Houston didn't have problems like this (probably because it doesn't snow there). Rocking it just made matters worse, and I sunk slightly into the tundra. To add spice to my predicament, I had no idea where I was, street name wise. And, I left my AAA card at home. Brilliant. There was a farm house 1/4 mile in front of me, and another one 1/4 mile behind. I called Jason at the office, to see if he'd be in my neighborhood (with the plow truck and a tow strap) any time soon. Then he asked the dreaded question: "Where are you?" Crap. Crap crap crappity. I told him I'd call back, and decided to run for it. Grabbing my gloves... then another layer of gloves, and another sweater... I climbed down out of the driver's side door and headed for the nearest faraway house. The wind was biting and harsh, but it wasn't a terribly long walk. The driveways, however, were interminable. Rather than spend another 4 minutes in the cold to find out a house was unoccupied, I hazarded a peek in a mailbox, hoping the homeowner didn't keep a salt-filled shotgun by the kitchen window to ward off mailbox raiders. Nothing. I walked a little way more and scored a freshly-filled mailbox, sporting an envelope with an address on it. I called Jason back and he Mapquested me, saying he'd be along shortly. I climbed back in Jeepers (I'm really starting to think it needs a name, any suggestions?) to wait for my eventual rescue. I pondered my plight, and the plethora of vehicular problems which permeated my past. I've been fairly fortunate, this being only my 3rd time in a ditch. No serious accidents to speak of, only a few minor crunches (other than the time I was hit by a car while riding a bike, and another time I hit a car while riding a bike - I'm sensing a pattern here, but I might be getting overly parenthetical). This isn't so bad, except for the utter helplessness of it. I'm ok, there is no known damage, and I didn't hit any frozen cows. Still not a bad day. Eventually, Jason and his truck and chain arrived, we shoveled out a little hollow hooked it up. Within 60 yards we had tugged it out backwards. The upside? It was a 2 hour lunch, and I got to prove again that I am an idiot. Any adventures you'd care to share?

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