Monday, January 04, 2010

Behind the Wheel of A Large Automobile

There was a giant WHAM SLAM noise and then the front wheel, on the driver's side of my car, hung precariously over the side of what appeared to be a SERIOUS cliff.

At the end of my two hour stint as the appointed ADULT IN CHARGE at our local house of jumpy things, I was victoriously hurling a booster seat out the window at my friend Gail.

The Rooster, determined NEVER to go to a friend's house on a play date without my accompaniment suddenly announced that she was willing to go home with her friend Hazel, Gail's daughter.

Oh, the triumphant exaltation!

The Mayor had already invited himself over to his friend Noah's house, leaving me the possibility of the much cherished... ALONE TIME!!!

[But no! I opted for driving over a parking lot cliff so that all the other parents could snicker at my sheer stupidity.]

Gail, whose car I was basically blocking (with her daughter and The Rooster in the back seat), jumped out of her car to identify the source of the loud WHAM SLAM noise.

It was so loud she thought I had hit another car.

My car's underbelly was resting on a concrete ridge that perhaps once formed one wall of a loading dock.

The two front wheels hung over the edge like a small child's feet dangling off a pier.

While the left front tire dangled high above solid ground, the right front tire was able to almost kiss the cheek of the pavement - though only lightly.

At first I thought I'd simply drive the rest of the way over this cliff, but alas, when your car has front wheel drive the two front wheels have to actually touch the pavement to gain enough traction to propel the car forwards, backwards or otherwise.

There was no such traction to be had.

Oh, the spinning of my wheels!


I called my husband.

"I need you to come to the jumpy place parking lot right away," I said. "I've done something REALLY dumb."

"Well... uh... can you explain it to me?" K asked.


"It's just that, I'm about 45 minutes away," he said.

"Uh... I've driven the car over a... I'm stuck on a... I'll call you back."

Gail called her husband and I called our friend David.

[Oh, the feminists!]

David pulled into the parking lot first.

I had a clear view of his face as he located my car... and burst out laughing.

Similarly, when Gail's husband Doug arrived, he too saw the car and openly laughed.

"I should call a tow truck," I started.

Doug parked his car, circled mine with an analytical look and said, "If we jack it up, we can build a ramp under this wheel and back it up onto the pavement... If only I had some two by fours..."

Before anyone could respond, Doug strode off into a field adjacent to the parking lot.

"Where is he going?" his wife wondered aloud.

Doug disappeared over a small hill and shortly thereafter we heard a series of loud crashing noises.

"I should just call a tow truck," I repeated.

Just then, Doug reappeared with a giant wooden pallet.

He brought the giant wooden item over to my car and began maneuvering it around the dangling wheel.

"I have some pieces of lumber at home that might work better," David offered, "I'll just go and get them!"

As David sped away, Doug asked me for our car's jack.

I opened the trunk and found myself looking in vacantly.

Doug found what he needed, but I felt sorry for him because the tire iron was encrusted in ice.

It was the coldest day we've experienced so far this winter and Doug didn't have any gloves.

Regardless, the man was DETERMINED.

He jacked up the car and David returned with bricks and various pieces of wood.

The two of them began an elaborate exercise in ramp engineering and this attracted the attention of other men.

First, an impossibly tiny, but extremely generous man approached to ask us if we needed any help.

He took his gloves out of his pocket and started slapping them into the palm of his free hand.

Doug and David eyed the small, confident fellow, considered his offer of help and how it might factor into their solution building mission.

The next father to exit the jumpy place and notice us was a large, husky man in a bright orange hunting jacket.

He inched towards my car trying to get a better look at the situation.

I noticed him.

He noticed me noticing.

"You totally want in on this action, don't you?" I said.

Taking that as an open invitation, he took four quick, confident strides forward and said,

"You know, if we put the car in neutral, we four men could lift up the front of the car and roll it back up off that curb."

He tucked his thumb into the waist band of his pants and rolled his shoulders back one at a time so that his chest stood out to its fullest advantage.

Doug sized him up and concluded,

"He's probably right."

I put the car in neutral and do you know what those four problem solving, manly men did?

They lifted up the front end of my car, rolled the car backwards and set it down on solid ground!


As I was driving away, I felt incredibly relieved and immensely grateful.

I found myself both humbled and extraordinarily lucky to have friends who would help me overcome my own extreme idiocy on such a freezing cold evening.

But soon I returned to feeling the way I do most of the time...

Like a complete and total DORK.


WILLIAM said...

You tell a good story.


NotAMeanGirl said...

Dorks of the world, UNTIE! Errr something like that! LOL

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that does schizz like this!

furiousBall said...

be proud of your dorkitudeness

jess said...

Just look at it this way: you were thoughtfully providing those men with more fun than they have on any given day. Like a late Christmas present!

This reminds me of a family reunion with a jeep and a steep driveway. All of the male relatives stood around gleefully for at least half-an-hour trying to figure out how to unstuck the jeep. I think it was the best part of the vacation for them. Afterwards my 2-yr-old nephew reenacted the whole thing in the dirt with his toy cars. It was hilarious.

Leah said...

What no picture? I would have loved to see that.

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

Oh, the dudes.

And yes, you DO tell a good story!

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Oh Lord!

Denguy said...

Yup. That's zackly what I'da done.

How cold does it get down there?
Up here, it was -11 today (that's 12 in your degrees).

Minnie said...

Saw a girl do that one night, continue to hit the gas and get her car stuck, in the air (though only a few inches not a tire on the ground.)
Don't feel bad, we all have our moments.

Anonymous said...

Hope nothing got cracked underneath the car. Check it out. Love, Grandma Seattle.

Not Hannah said...

I totally did the same thing in my husband's truck one day while leaving work. I thought he was going to be really mad, but instead was thrilled to have a project that he and the other dads could mull over in the parking lot.

Nanny Lou said...

I did something very similar to what you are describing with my very own first car. A Plymouth Duster. However, my car was NOT front-wheel drive and I drove over the concrete barrier (my head was in the clouds because the guy I had been seriously flirting with for a week finally seemed interested in me). I seriously damaged the frame but rode that car that way for years. When it finally became hazardous to drive that way (i.e.; I had given birth to someone I needed to protect more than myself) I tried to get if fixed. The auto repair place called to tell me that once they took it apart they were never getting it back together and if my husband didn't believe me he could just come damned down and see for himself!

Dorks of the world unite!

this new place said...

I love men. "let's put it in neutral and the four of us lift the car"....

The family said...

i was totally waiting to see the picture! I love your blog! Super cute!