Here’s to a helping hand…

12 Feb

Maybe it’s because I’m a morning person, but I would rather be in the office at my desk at 6:30 Monday morning for a conference call than asked to dial-in at 5:30pm on a Friday for an hour-long discussion. Am I crazy, or the lone voice of reason in Corporate America?

Anyway, today I have a 5:30pm conference call, and yes it’s Friday, so I’ve been trying to sort out the logistics of where, exactly, I will take this call.

My options as I saw them:

  • DC streets are still largely unplowed. This means parking near my place is a FIASCO at its best right now. Trying to maneuver the streets during rush hour, let alone try to park = sheer insanity. For this reason, it would seem to make sense to break out of the office mid-day, run home when traffic is light and see if I can luck into a space.
  • After nearly a week of working from home because of weather I’m nearing a dangerous depletion of cell phone minutes. Yes, I’m one of the people who doesn’t have a landline, so working from home with a million calls a day easily pushes me past my 1400 minutes if I’m not careful. For this reason, it would make sense to stay in the office where I can dial for free.

Alas, I decided to head home and get settled in before the Friday night traffic rush. Boy am I glad I did. The roads were horrible. In places it felt like I was a toddler driving an antique car around a track at an amusement park – you know, the ones with a bumper between the tires to keep you from going off-road, even when you raise your hands and squeal? That was me.

So imagine my excitement when I turned down my street and saw a relatively large open space available in front of my building. It still had a foot of packed snow in it (and loose piles of snow around it) but I thought it looked pretty good. That is, until I actually tried to parallel park in it.

I reversed and when I tapped the brakes my tires locked up, abruptly sliding me into a four foot wall of snow. When I shifted to drive to get out, my tires just started spinning without connecting to anything. About this time, a guy walking down the street asked if I’d like a push. Reluctantly, I said yes.

He pushed. I hit the gas. Nothing happened. Repeat. #FAIL.

Fortunately, in my idiocy I had managed to completely block the road. I say fortunately because that forced the guy driving the Mercedes behind me to get out and help push so he could pass me. Unfortunately, this didn’t change my situation too dramatically.

They pushed. I hit the gas. Nothing happened. #FAIL.

I pulled out my floor mats and wedged them under my tires. The guys got in position, hands on rear bumper to push. I hit the gas and neatly passed the floormats under the car and – apparently forcefully – into their shins. Hearing their cries of pain, I mistook them for excitement and gassed it even more. This threw nice chunks of snow and ice back into their faces.

They weren’t quitters, so despite the fact that I was making human Slurpees out of them while simultaneously chucking bases into their shins, they stayed the course. (Nod to our former president, who shall remain nameless and loathed in equal parts.)

Finally, after much jockeying, many props and a lot of rocking, my car bounded out of the divots I’d dug. Unfortunately, my senses were dulled by that point and I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction, so when I found traction and moved, my car was akin to a greased pig and I damn near ran over the postman, who was – somewhat inexplicably – wearing a safari hat.

Snowy mailboxes, courtesy

As I saw the postman’s hat, I suddenly wondered what happened to the old motto:

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Because clearly, no one had visited my mailbox for a week, as evidenced by my Netflix queue.

But then I stopped myself and thought back to the two nice strangers who had just sent my wimpy Volvo hurling toward the postman like I was in an Olympic curling competition, and I realized: Had *they* gotten hung-up on mottos, they never would’ve helped me.

Because, let’s face it: We ALL know that no good deed goes unpunished.

One Response to “Here’s to a helping hand…”

  1. Lucas February 13, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    I find it interesting that I drive a Volvo as well. The plot thickens…

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