Brian In A Ditch

Where we live used to be the beach several million years ago. A friend of mine has actually found sharks teeth in a lot behind his home. In a section of woods in our town there is an area called Sand River. It is a big run of sand that looks like, well, a river and it is moving. You can’t actually see it move because the time scale is more geological than human, but it is flowing. If things work out just right my wife’s and my investment in this home could be a great thing. All we need is for global warming to continue such that Antarctica melts and viola, beach front property.

An errand needed running, don’t remember what, but I had just enough time to accomplish it before dinner was ready, even taking into account that I was going to drive the long way. I barreled into a left turn I’d taken a hundred times before, next thing I knew I was in a 4 wheel drift. Yikes! Heeding earlier driver training or instinct I steered in the direction of the skid. About the time I got the steering wheel all the way to the right, I’d scrubbed enough speed so that traction returned, plunk, straight into the ditch on the right side of the road. The ditch I landed in was nicely v-shaped, 15 foot deep, very sandy and free of trees. I came to a gentle halt half way down as the car slowly settled to the axles. Fortunately the road was fairly deserted for two reasons, one, I didn’t run into anyone while I was temporarily on the wrong side of the yellow line and two, nobody saw my stupidity. I knew there would be no backing the car out of this one. I climbed out of the ditch and started walking to a quick-stop place about a ½ mile back to make some phone calls.

The first call was the hard one. It was to my wife to let her know I was going to be a “little” late. She took it better than I expected, maybe she was in shock. Not that I hadn’t done anything stupid before, ’cause I have, but that I just driven our 18 month old, and only, car into a ditch. About the time I was calling my wife, someone with a cell phone was calling the local police to let them know was a car off the side of the road.

The second call was the expensive one. It was to a towing outfit to come reel me out of the sand trap. I told him where the car was and where I was and he said wait there he’d pick me up. Meanwhile a police car had arrived at the scene and ran the license plate, which was conveniently angled up for easy viewing, to find out who owned it. About the time I was calling the tow truck, the police officer was calling my wife.

His call was only a few minutes after my call so my wife assumed it was me again. By then the shock had worn off and the mad had taken over. When the police officer asked her why her car was in a ditch, she laid into him. “Dinner’s ruined… when he gets home… etc., etc.” When she calmed down enough, he asked where I was and she told him.

The tow truck and the police cruiser arrived at the quick stop around the same time. The officer asked me if that was my car in the ditch back there and I told him it was. He asked how it got there and I explained what happened. He then told me that he would ordinarily give me a ticket for “too fast for conditions,” but having just gotten off the phone with my wife he felt I was in enough trouble already and decided to let me off with a warning.

Within a couple minutes the tow truck had the car freed from it sandy parking spot and my Visa card freed of around $80. The car escaped with only minor scratches under the mouth which were hardly noticeable and a broken plastic piece that cost $6.82. I on the other hand, am just now, eight years later, able to go on errands all by myself.