Alternatively titled: If you’re going to stop and offer assistance to someone in need, it might help if you knew what you were doing.
I took the boys to basketball practice last night out of the goodness of my heart and also maybe because it was drop-off practice and that gave me an hour at Starbucks to read quietly. It was after 8:00 when we finally started making our way home and the boys were talking about how much fun it was to be out past their bedtime on a school night.
I was nearing our destination and had just completed a left turn when our forward progress was halted by a car stranded sideways in the middle of the road. The doors were open and a woman was trying to turn the key to get power to her engine as cars started to stack up in either direction. She had a slightly panicked look about her, and I knew she needed help, so I pulled the truck over to the side, put on my flashers and got out to walk over to see what I could do.
This is the point where my dad starts chuckling and my brothers start shaking their heads. I’m a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal when it comes to vehicle maintenance and repair….
She had run out of gas and seemed to think it would be fine to leave the car in the middle of the road, but I was concerned because A) it was pitch black; B) the road was unlit; and C) her child was in the car. I suggested that we might push the car backwards onto a side street for safety and she agreed and she started pushing on the hood.
And this is where I realized that there are rules to pushing dead vehicles and apparently those rules had never been covered in my Girl Manual.
As the car started rolling backwards, I quickly realized that at the time of its demise, the steering wheel in her car had been turned sharply to the left because her car started to turn in an arc and head straight for MY car parked on the side of the road. I ran to the side, opened the door and reached in to try and turn the steering wheel, but HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO TURN A POWER STEERING WHEEL WHEN THERE’S NO POWER????
It’s slightly difficult.
As in next to impossible without superhuman forearms.
Meanwhile, the car started picking up steam. I was running backwards (in non-running backwards shoes), trying to turn the wheel and keep up with the car and then I got whammed by the open door, lost my shoes and the feeling in the left shoulder, and then pretty much lost control of whatever was going to happen. I honestly thought I was about to get run over. At this point, the owner realized that the situation was pretty much getting away from me us and she ran over and was able to hop in the car and get some semblance of pressure applied to the non-existent brakes, and she managed to avoid my car, but she ended up backwards in a ditch.
We placed a call to her dad and she seemed to really want me to move along and not be so helpful any more, so I went on home and told Mr. CPQ about what had happened. He was full of helpful advice AFTER THE FACT about what to do in a similar situation, and after listening to his complex set of instructions, I think “Look pretty and show a little leg so a guy will stop” is my take-away from the whole ordeal.
Have a nice day.