So I was pleasantly surprised to find the highways and byways of my adopted state practically pristine. And, not hearing much out of the ordinary on the traffic reports, I actually started to relax. I might have even allowed a daydream to flitter into the morning, as the first song I heard on the radio caused me to sing along.
"Wastin' away again in Margaritaville, lookin' for my lost shaker of salt ..."
Yes, indeed, what I wouldn't do to be wastin' away in Margaritaville, I thought, driving onward.
An hour and about 68 miles later, I exited off the final highway of the morning, merging onto the four-lane major road that leads into the urban suburban city where my office is located. There, it seemed as if I entered a world time forgot - or, more accurately, a world where snowplows and salt trucks forgot.
Seems that Jimmy Buffett ain't the only one who has lost his shaker of salt, I thought. This freakin' town seems like it has lost theirs, too.
Because trust you me when I say this road looked like it was plowed by someone who had one too many margaritas. Two days post blizzard, there still wasn't a single speck of asphalt to be seen. Still, the roads were somewhat passable and I wasn't too concerned. My workhorse Chevy HHR was navigating the skating rink just fine.
Until I turned onto the street that leads to my office's parking lot.
Which is where I promptly encountered this:
(Yes, because my car got stuck in this tundra of insanity, I did what any reasonable
blogger person would do, which was to whip out my BlackBerry to snap a picture. My only thought was that there was no way my car nor I were making it out of this in one piece, so my insurance claim might be bolstered by having documentation. OK, I might have thought about the blog, too.)
It only looks like that's the road, but no ... that's several inches of snow and a thick veneer of solid ice. We're talking a version of Bumper Cars From Hell, a fishtailing-sliding-slipping-out-of-fucking-control-of-the-wheel free-for-all. You've got two rows of cars and buses making their way down a snow covered road built in Colonial times (one that has no business being a two-car width road on the best of days) with cars parked (or, more likely, abandoned).
Oh, and did I mention this is a hill? So imagine the scene of cars skidding up as well as down a hill. And getting stuck.
Which, of course, promptly happened to me. And to the taxi driver (not pictured) to my left. Which is why the guy in the photo above has his door open. Because the bus driver and the taxi driver had started to get into an altercation.
Taxi driver, rolling down his window at me: "What do you think I should do?"
Mind you, my car is just as stuck as his.
Me: "I don't know."
Bus driver, who has gotten off his bus (probably to the consternation of his passengers, who likely wanted to throw him under it) remarked helpfully:
"You need a shovel."
Taxi driver: "I don't have one."
Bus driver: "You need a shovel."
Taxi driver: "I don't have one."
This goes on for about a minute, with Taxi Driver asking me, intermittently, what he should do. Which is when Dude Opening the Car Door in the Photo enters the scene, holding a dustpan. A dustpan! To dig a spinning car out of the remnants of two feet of snow!
Meanwhile, there was some guy standing on his steps, just watching the scenario unfold. After about a few minutes, he had the brilliant idea that if he pushed my car out of the drift I was in, traffic on his street could move again. He did, and somehow, my car became unstuck with one push. I gunned it, and headed toward the intersection at the end of the hill, which was somewhat passable.
At that point, mere yards from my office door, I'd had enough. Shaken, I pulled over and called The Dean. I was coming home. Then I called my boss to explain the road situation around our office. We were both in the vicinity of the same coffee shop. We sat there for two hours, caught up on projects, strategized, and called it a day.
And then I drove back home, deciding that I needed to listen to music instead of my audio book. Calmer and caffeinated, there was still a part of me that was a little unnerved (because there is no feeling like having no control over one's car on a slippery street with a bus coming toward you). Stunned that I somehow made it down the hill with car and driver unscathed, I turned on the radio again.
"Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass ...." sang Carrie Underwood.
"She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry, she was so scared
She threw her hands up in the air
Jesus, take the wheel, take it from my hands'Cause I can't do this on my own ...."
No, none of us can, can we? Jesus at the wheel, that frozen concoction (at home) that helps me hang on, a push, a dustpan ... whatever it takes. Bring it on, 'cause I need it all.
Because you guessed it ... there's another 6-8" of snow in the forecast for Monday.
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.