Friday, April 3, 2009

Yielding Yank 4/03/09

It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the stiuation is crucial.

Boris Yeltsin
Read on, if you dare
This is the story of my completely crazy thinking and behavior at a moment when my life was in extreme danger as well as my wife and our cat.

We were in the process of moving from Harford, Connecticut to New York City. I had purchased a used station wagon which a mechanic had deemed good enough to drive to the city. So we started out at about ten thirty in the evening. It was winter. We stopped for gas and then tuned on to the highway. I 91. It began to snow, a lot.

We had traveled several miles when all at once at the bottom of a slight hill,the car started to die. I could see the dashboard lights failing, the headlights failing and the car was slowing down. In the last dim light I turned the car off to the side of the road, or what I thought was the side of the road.

I got out to inspect the car to see if there was something I could fix. While I was doing that a truck passed us. It was difficult to see anything because there were no car lights nor any overhead lights on the highway. Then two more trucks passed us, one on the left and one on the right. I was in the middle of the highway with no lights.

(To be continued.)

Just kidding.
I told my wife to get in the drivers seat and steer to the right while I went around and pushed. But the car wouldn't move. There was now about a quarter inch of snow on the highway and I was wearing sneakers, My feet kept slipping. I was about to tell my wife to grab the cat, get out of the car and get away from it. Some poor truck driver would surely come down that hill without seeing us, plow into the car and we would all be killed. But then I got another idea.

I wasn't getting any forward purchase, but I had up and down leverage. I reached down, grabbed the bumper and picked up the back of that station wagon. When I let it go it bounced once on the road but didn't go forward.

You hear of people picking up cars to rescue someone. But to pick it up more than once seemed impossible. Nevertheless, that's what I did. The second time I let go it went forward about an inch. Each time I picked it up it went a little further until it slowly rolled over to the side. I don't remember how many times I picked it up, but it was a lot, I was desperate. When I finally got it up against the fence on the side of the highway, another truck passed in the near lane and cleared us easily. Now, here comes the interesting part.

(To be continued.)
No, no.

Shortly after I started picking up the back of that station wagon I began to sing. I don't remember what song I was singing, but I sang it out loud at the top of my voice.
Now I know what a work song is. I was Nina Simone singing "Chain Gang." I was Odetta singing "Water Boy." I was The Vagabond singing my heart to the night while I saved a few lives in a totally unorthodox, impossible way.

After the car was safely on the shoulder I got in and waited for the police, who soon came and got us towed to a body shop. The mechanic drove us to the train station. We got on the mail train and got to New York at dawn. I sold the car to the mechanic for the price of the tow,

My wife couldn't believe what I had done out there on the highway, and neither could I. I don't know what the cat thought, she didn't express an opinion.

DB - The Vagabond
May you find some sunshine today.


Beth said...

The cat may not have expressed an opinion, but you can be sure that she had one. :)


Maire said...

DB, sorry I havent stopped around lately!
Funny story!!! Brings back memories of driving on the NY thruway in treacherous weather.
Take care!

Wes said...

DB, I can't say that I've been there. Similar, but in my own messy way. The snow can be a pain in the rear most of the time.

In my youth, I did pick up a small car a couple times on a dare. No horrible situation, just teenage stupidity. My back hurt for a couple days after! (True story, I had several witnesses. That's why I said a couple times, and used the word stupidity.)

I'm glad it worked out for you in the end. Thanks for your entry.


Mark and Elayne said...

First; thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment about the Queen; I agree :)
Second, I don't think you really wanted to know what the cat thought.

Anonymous said...

Great story DB. It brings memories of my trip from Grand Forks ND to the Air Force Base during a blizzard. I hate snow, especially the yellow kind.

Rose~* said...

Ha! Loved this post, DB - Too bad the cat didn't offer to help.