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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Snowbound and Down

I learned something new today.

I learned that there are few situations that can make me feel as helpless as waiting for AAA to come winch my car out of a snowbank.

In a parking lot, roughly three feet from where I’d been parked all weekend. In front of a locked ‘beer chalet, to which I no longer had a key.

“The only way it could have been worse is if there’d been hungry wolves surrounding the car when I got out to shovel, and I’d worn my ‘Bacon Drippings and Fear’ cologne.”

It wasn’t a great time. The only way it could have been worse is if there’d been hungry wolves surrounding the car when I got out to shovel, and I’d worn my ‘Bacon Drippings and Fear’ cologne.

It just happened this morning that we were the last guests to leave the weekend spot, and that we were in just the right parking spot at the edge of the lot to slip sideways over the lip when we tried to back out. And once we were there — with one tire ass-deep in snow and another spinning helplessly on ice — there was no getting out. Not without a gentle yank from a tow truck, anyway. The missus and I both tried our hand; no luck getting out, and our efforts only pushed further diagonally off the lot and nose-down toward a snow-covered ravine.

(And we’ve read those Donner party stories. No way were we ending up down there and gnawing each others’ legs off for lunch. That’s no picnic. And anyway, we only had white wine with us in the trunk. We’d never pair that with tough, gamey human.

We might be cannibals out of necessity someday, but that doesn’t mean we’re uncivilized.)

So we called for a tow, three minutes (and three feet) into our trip home. Not exactly the speedy start we were looking for, but it couldn’t be helped. So we sat in the car — couldn’t get back in the house, and it was too cold to stand outside — and waited.

And waited. And waited. It took a little over an hour for the tow truck to get around to us — sadly, it appears that we were not the only damned fool drivers in ski country today — but it felt like days just sitting in the car going nowhere at all. There are only so many snowflakes you can watch crash against the windshield before asking, again:

Is it time yet?

And getting the answer, again: ‘It’s only been two minutes since the last time you asked. Shut up already. And quit chewing on my leg, damn you.

Eventually, the wrecker arrived, maneuvered into position and winched us out of the snow. It took all of thirty seconds to undo our mess, which we’d had to sit in for over an hour, and think about what we’d done.

So it could have been worse, but it was not the ideal start to our four-hour afternoon trek that lay ahead. If only they’d taught some sort of 72-point shimmy-rev-rock-turn on our driving tests, maybe we’d have been equipped to get ourselves out. As it was, we were at the mercy of ‘Bob’ the tow guy and his prodigious plumbers’ crack to get us back on the road.

(They both said ‘hi’ and smiled at us. Which was about as unsettling as you might expect from a crack, and the man who lives above it.)

Fortunately, it didn’t take long to unstick us, and we were on our way. But the next time I dig the car into a wall of the white stuff, and it won’t respond to any amount of digging, pushing or finagling I can muster, I’m just going to leave it there. It’ll probably be faster to just walk wherever I’m headed, and I won’t have to worry whether my wife is simply ‘annoyed at the inconvenience’ or ‘desperate enough to eat me’.

There’s a very fine line there, but the distinction is sort of important. Particularly if you’re looking forward to making it home, rather than being served with mustard relish and a side salad. Better to abandon the car and keep a few emergency granola bars handy, just in case.

Permalink  |  2 Comments



2 Responses to “Snowbound and Down”

  1. Phillipia says:

    Lesson learned…next time, start the car and make sure you can get out of the parking lot before you give up the key to the beer chalet:) Glad it was not as bad as it could have been..

  2. Charlie says:

    Point taken, for certain.

    Also, I learned that if you get out and try to push a car stuck in the snow, you’ll wind up looking like a Jackson Pollock practice canvas.

    So many lessons. So little time.

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