thrill ride

11 Dec

I don’t even know who you all are anymore now that my readership has grown from my 3 closest friends and my parents to a readership on some days of as many as 122. (That was in October.  Big things were happening.  Starts with a D?  rhymes with “of course”?)  If any of you were gathering information to bring about my downfall, I would like to think that you have read the vignettes carefully enough to see that I am living in a constant state of chaos and demise, and you will no longer need to take any action to throw me off-kilter.  I have done all that for you.

We have had such a big day here at chez brightenthecorner.  Actually we weren’t here.  We had gone out to breakfast.  Mr. Junior had fixed the Friday BMW and the children and I were joyriding on Houston-Harte before the older two went off for a full day of Nutcracker rehearsals.  As we listened to Billy Joel sing “slow down, you crazy child, and take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while,” we exited the highway and the car just lost power altogether.  Talk about a thrill!

We were able to coast down the ramp onto a triangular median on the access road.  As the children started asking questions impossible to answer: “what are are we doing?  why are we stopping in the middle of the street?  What is happening to us?” I looked around for my telephone, but no dice.  In an effort to unplug and pay more attention my actual friends and less to my virtual relationships, I had left the phone at home.  We took the phone of the hook and disappeared for a while.  After all, we were just going out for breakfast.

I don’t want to scare anyone, but we were not in the nicest part of town.  Freeways rarely are.  We were just north of downtown San Angelo.  By the bridge under which the homeless people live, across the street from the alternative school (aka disciplinary campus), and surrounded on all sides by fast-moving traffic.  I locked Anna and Henry in the car and helped Wade cross the busy street to a house where we saw some activity.  I instructed him to ask to use their phone and call 911.  I could see him the whole time.  He came back – “they don’t have a phone.”  I put him in the car and stood outside the car trying to stare down all the drivers.  I couldn’t believe how uninterested most people were.  I suppose I could have sat the children on the trunk of the car and told them to look pitiful, but they were in the late stages of antsy, and one of them would surely have been bumped off into the road.

A city bus driver stopped and brought me his telephone.  I called the police to report myself as a stranded motorist.  They must have been very busy because it took at least 20 minutes for an officer to arrive.  The worst part was enduring the backseat whining: “when are they coming?  why aren’t they here yet?  what’s taking so long?”  and I couldn’t even check my facebook status, which is what I usually do when they start driving me crazy.  As I reflect, posting my status to facebook might have resulted in quicker service, but as previously mentioned, I, um, didn’t bring my phone.

When Officer Bylsma showed up, I was overjoyed.  He was in CID (cop talk for criminal investigations division) for years and we always worked together well.  He laughed at me and our predicament, but otherwise was very helpful.  He gave me his phone so I could call my former mother-in-law, and she said she would be right there to pick us up.  She didn’t tell me that she wasn’t yet dressed, so it did take another 20 minutes when she only lives 5 minutes away, but the important thing is that she came and rescued us.  We dropped Wade off at Nutcracker and the rest of us came home.  We locked the bmw (materia non grata, at this point) and left it there.

I called AAA from my house, and they sent a tow truck to pick up the car that I want so to love, but continually disappoints me.  Junior met us here and waited for the disobedient car to arrive.  he and the tow-truck driver observed that the belt that was installed earlier this week had snapped and just wasn’t there anymore.

My mom wants that car G-O-N-E.  Sold.  Out of here.  My dad and I are more sentimental than she is, and we really like the car.  It’s comfortable, beautiful, and fast.  But none of that really matters when you are stuck on a triangle in the middle of the exit ramp with three little children, does it?  That’s when you want your ho-hum Honda. 

I think in addition to being sentimental, I have a streak of not knowing when to give up.  I seem to always believe that things are just about to get better.  And sometimes they can’t get better – they only get worse.   Being stranded is no fun.  By a man or by a car.  It’s pretty scary.   It feels dangerous, and you’re lucky if you have friends or family around to rescue you when that happens.  The best course of action is to choose reliable over exciting.  I’m becoming a big fan of the uneventful.

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4 Responses to “thrill ride”

  1. Kim Mikeska December 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    I wish you would have called! I could have definitely rescued you all in less than 40 minutes! 🙂

  2. dad December 11, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Past time to give up on that car, I’m afraid. I’m more than sentimental about it though; I remember distinctly that, when it was younger, it was a much better car, in nearly every way, than this fine new one I’ve just bought. Nevertheless, clearly it’s time to let it go and relegate it to the “good memory bank.” If you want to try ONE MORE TIME at the import shop that James mentioned, I’m game—though I know I’m being a sap…I guess it’s just my nature. Somebody needs to step up and put that old fellow out of its misery. It’s had a good run.

  3. Mary Rose Carter December 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm #

    The Thrill is So Gone!!!

    BMW’s are shallow cars. I also have my doubts about Junior as a mechanic.

    Concerned Mom

  4. brightenthecorner December 12, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    This is my new favorite way to communicate bad news.

    I also got a tattoo that says “Miss Independent.”

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