This morning, I woke to more snow. Not a terrible amount but enough that some people were off of work while others were not. I was not.
A fantastic thing about cars that aren’t from the 1990’s (RIP Prissy) is that you can start them from your apartment to begin the melting-of-the-ice before you are ready to clear them off. So I did that and then – because my apartment is being measured for new windows today – I made the appropriate warnings for maintenance and hung them before heading downstairs:
Clearing the snow off my car was simple enough this time – thanks, technology! – then began the 50-point-turn process of backing out of my tiny, ice-covered, car-crammed parking lot at The Apartments of Eternal Christmas. I get out of my spot without touching the Lexus next to it (50 points to Hufflepuff!! #wishiwereaGryffindor), start to pull out of the lot in general, crunch over something, and then… STUCK. I try reverse, drive, turning the wheels in different directions. NOTHING. I get out of my car and grab the shovel (which I’ve been keeping in the backseat all winter) so I can dig around the wheels a bit. Then I try again.
Alas, still nothing. No budging.
It turns out that my car is stuck on a BLOCK OF ICE. 2ft to the right is fine – there is only a thin layer of ice, level to the ground. Where I am, there is a thick, elevated, island of frozen water that my car is determined to sit pretty on for FOREVER.
Being fully aware of my enemy now, I determine the best plan of attack is to let the car run a little so engine-heat can soften the ice – then I will beat my frigid foe to death with my shovel and coast to the street, victorious! Easy-peesey.
Except because winter 2015 has been INSANE, this hunk of hell-ice has been building over days or maybe even weeks. Its layers are not to be melted so quickly or easily.
I pulled out my trusty AAA card and was about to begrudgingly place a call when an orange Mustang stopped and two young men jumped out to offer assistance. Side note: I love how dudes see a car in trouble and get genuinely excited at the opportunity to make a car do something that it isn’t currently doing.
I am anti-Damsel-in-Distress and like to do things myself or pay someone professional to do it for me (it’s an “independence” thing) so am skeptical as the guys start assessing but I tell them what I know. They kick at the ice, look under the car, laugh at my plight, and offer to push; they seem confident. But NOTHING happens. This car is *not* going *anywhere*. To seem like less of a moron, I stress that I’m used to driving a truck with 4-wheel drive (again, RIP Prissy) and this little-car-in-winter thing is brand new to me. These dudes are good-natured, amused, but definitely still laughing at me. We play this “maybe we can help you” game for about 10/15 minutes before I say I’m just going to call AAA. Then ANOTHER guy stops. He has a huge white van. And rope in his car. And offers to tow me.
I have now become both the neighborhood cause AND entertainment as several people have started watching the commotion.
BUT IT WORKS!! Dude-in-white-van pulls me off of the ice block as I pilot my car. Then the gents coached me through another 50-point-turn to once again *not* hit the Lexus… but actually get out of the parking lot this time. There may have been cheers as I drove away.
Once again I’m impressed with humanity and humbled by the idea that sometimes you really do need to accept the help of others when it is generously offered and that it doesn’t make you a Damsel-in-Distress – just human and lucky that the right people happened to be coming by and stopped to assist. These guys all chose to stop, to spend their time finding a solution, and to literally get down on their knees in cold, wet ice in order to help a stranger get her car out of a ridiculous, unnecessary situation. People are truly awesome and it’s nice to be reminded of that; I’m determined to pay this one forward. But I’m not cancelling my AAA subscription any time soon.