If you have known me for even the shortest period of time, then you will undoubtedly be aware that I am somewhat prone to ridiculous mishaps.
I think that it's because I am not capable of multi-tasking.
But, I find that I have difficulty focusing on multiple tasks at once. I like to do one thing at a time, then move on to the next.
Which is why Thursday evening I found myself in a bit of a pickle.
My friend Hailey had just gotten back into town a couple days earlier, and we finally found some time to reconnect. Seeing her again was fantastic! I was even able to put aside the fact that she was wicked tanner than the last time I had seen her.
I am envious of people who tan, as I do not. I stay in a somewhat fixed "polar bear" white state most of the year, occasionally fluctuating to a "lobster red" status in the summertime.
Nevertheless, I was super stoked to hang out.
We decided to grab some food, because I hadn't eaten since breakfast.
Now, something you should know is that there is an obscene amount of construction that is being done on the university campus in Oshkosh, and it makes it a pain to get anywhere quickly.
I sometimes pretend that I am "local traffic" so that I can cut through the torn up roads and reach my destination a little sooner.
Doesn't save that much time, but eh.
Well, anyway, I picked Hailey up by the student union, which is right smack dab in the middle of a construction zone. After she hopped in the car, I decided to sneak over the newly paved loading area out front of the union, and continue on the gravel that followed it, until I came out closer to Toppers, our ultimate destination.
This was a bad decision.
I didn't realize that there was a sharp drop where the pavement met gravel. Now this could've been a trick of the pavement, or it could've simply been the fact that I was craving mac n cheese pizza.
Whichever it was, the end result was the same.
There was a loud bang, accompanied by my eyes widening to twice their normal size.
Now, it was at this point that I saw firsthand a perfect example of gender difference. Perhaps it is because the female brain processes things quicker, or that they are able to assess multiple situations simultaneously, but Hailey, almost immediately, said,
"You got us stuck."
Which, of course, I firmly denied.
We hadn't even gotten out of the car yet, and she was making rash, outlandish statements! Girls, I tell ya.
So I hopped out of the car, and took it all in.
My brain slowly started working through all the possible ways to get the car unstuck...one by one.
I tried to drive forward.
I tried to reverse.
I tried forward again, just in case...
Hmm. This might not work.
I put the car in neutral and asked Hailey to humor me and push from behind with me.
My next option was to try to wedge some wood under the tires to give the car some traction. I mean, hey they did it in the movies all the time when a jeep gets stuck in the mud, so I figured it'd work like a charm.
I was starting to run out of options...
I even tried to muscle the car up from the front end, which I figured would serve a dual purpose; one being that it would free the car, the second being that I could show off my incredibly huge muscles to Hailey.
Cars can't be that heavy anyway right? Wrong.
It was a pathetic attempt, and the car remained where it was.
Worse still, I still hadn't had my dinner, and I had been trying to free the car for about 30 minutes now. Hailey looked thoroughly bored.
I finally had to admit, begrudgingly, that the car was stuck. A conclusion that my fellow passenger had reached a half hour ago...I told you, she's brilliant!
Fortunately, Dad sent a guardian angel to me before I called Triple A.
His name was Len, and he is one of the contractors working on the campus roads. He had already had a full day, but proceeded anyway to get a bottle jack from his truck and began working to get my car unstuck.
It was a matter of twenty more minutes before he jacked up the car enough to get some wooden wedges, that put the sticks I was trying to use earlier to shame, under the tires.
And just like that...the Civic rolled to the freedom of the pavement!
Words could not express my gratitude for Len helping us out, I tried to offer to buy him dinner, but he still had an hours drive home and it was getting dark, so he declined.
As Hailey and I drove into the dusk, our quest for a delicious Myza now within our grasp once again, I said a special prayer and thanked Dad for bailing me out yet again.
I have since learned that there are some rules of the road that are unwritten. Yes there is the typical, "don't drink and drive" rule, but that's conventional wisdom.
But the gem of wisdom that I took from our little adventure that night, is that one should never drive on an empty stomach.
Try finding that one in the Driver's Ed curriculum!