Thursday, August 03, 2006


I picked my car up from the dealership on Tuesday afternoon after its having had its 20,000 mile check-up. Knowing what the traffic over the bay bridge would be like at 4:30 in the afternoon, I decided to take the round-about way home and, on the way, Bowyer called me. Cell reception along the round-about route is pretty sketchy, and the call was dropped. However, the round-about way brings me, literally, right past his house, so I stopped in to see what it was he wanted.

I pulled up to his basement door, just like I've done two or three times a week for the last seven years. This is important, People; for the entire time Bowyer's lived there - seven years this year - I've visited AT LEAST once a week and have always parked in the exact same spot.

Anyway, I pull in and warn the girls that we're not going to stay long, so when I say it's time to go, there should be no whining or complaining. Punkin' Pie thought it might be best if they stay in the car and read, but knowing how Bowyer and I get to talking, I told them to come in for a bit (besides, it was hot in the car).

We meandered upstairs, I popped open a diet Coke and told Bowyer about the job interview, he told me about the rampant stupidity going on at his school, and we made plans to hide from the heat that was expected the next day. After about 20 minutes or so, I gathered up the girls, we said our goodbyes and headed downstairs. When Punkin' Pie got to the basement door, she screamed.


Sorry? What do you MEAN, "where's the car?"!!

Sure enough, Folks, the car? She was GONE.

Have I mentioned that Bowyer's driveway is a hill?

The parking break was insufficient to hold my little hockey puck in place. She rolled backwards and, following the rules of physics, yielded to the slope and curve of the driveway, rolled over a stone wall and came to rest in the woods. Observe:


I cannot adequately describe the yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach upon realizing that my car was firmly lodged in the woods. Three of the four tires were off the ground, and even if they weren't, there's no way I could have driven it back over the rock wall. Besides, I wasn't sure that the gas tank was still intact, so I wasn't interested in turning the key and possibly burning down one of my best friends' neighborhood.

VW Roadside Assistance, while polite, was not terribly helpful. I explained the situation to them - that the car was situated OVER a rock wall and with three tires in the air and that it would require some sort of lifting apparatus to retrieve it - TWICE sent flatbeds - one at about 8:30 (I called them at five) and one at 10:45. Neither truck operator would touch the thing. The second guy told my husband that "nine times out of ten, the customer overestimates the situation, so the dispatchers often send a regular truck instead of the heavy equipment. That's usually enough. You guys are the 'tenth' time - you need a boom truck."

It turns out, we needed TWO trucks ("I think I will need TWO wives...")

In the grand scheme of things, life is not too bad. The car isn't totalled, and my children WEREN'T in it when it took its little joy ride, thank the Universe. Of course, VW is denying ALL culpability in the incident ("we didn't do anything to the parking brake - you must not have pulled it hard enough") and we're going to have to get our insurance company involved. I'm still really stressed out about the whole thing, and am going to not only pull the parking brake with all I'm worth, but will leave the car in gear when I go to visit Bowyer.

But, ugh.


Blogger Wayfarer said...

Oh, honey! I am SO sorry!

I'll bet that was more than a little of 5 different flavors of emotion. I had something similar happen to me some years ago with my (recently deceased) truck and I immediately felt that uncomfortable feeling in my gut when I read this. I'm glad no one was hurt.

I'm also sorry, in a twisted sort of way, that it wasn't captured on video. You might have won $10,000 from ABC for it. Hey, it would have paid for repairs, at least!

10:58 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Thank the Universe that your little nipperkins are okay. My mama-brain goes into overdrive dwelling on the horror-potential. You are truly blessed.

I will now be making doubly sure that the parking brake is engaged on husband's new car (the only stick shift left in the family now; sad to say they don't make "mini-wagons" with standard transmissions anymore). I'm so sorry this happened, but glad no one was hurt (and no neighborhoods burned down).

7:38 AM  
Blogger vanx said...

Yikes! Our driveway is a short hill--three car lengths. One afternoon, when I was in Boston, as it turns out, I got a call: Maureen had the three kids and one of their friends in the car, ready to go to the shore. She left the car running and went to get something out of the back, and somehow it started rolling down hill. She tried to jump back into the car and was knocked down by the door. The car crossed the hstreet and the neighbor's yard and was stopped by a sappling just before hitting a fence, behind which was a gardener working and a big cliff. The kids were not hurt, and Maureen just had some scrapes and psychological scarring. Hate to be a story matcher, but I know the special feeling of the rolling car. Thank God your girls didn't take that ride. Mine were terrified and it was a shorter, lower impact trip. Comment continues above

9:41 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

EEEK! Yeah, in the "counting of blessings" department, I'm very, very grateful that a) the girls weren't in the car (they really wanted to stay and read) and b) none of us - particularly none of us adults - saw it happen, or I'm SURE we would have tried to stop it and likely gotten hurt in the process.

I totally get the psychological scarring. Like Suzanne said above, thee momma-brain is capable of imagining all kinds of horrors. I'm blessed and lucky that they are all imaginary.

6:16 AM  

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