'My Defective Life' Brings You the Following Public Service Announcement
So yesterday, I had to engage in the usual “digging my car out of its plowed-in parking space”-routine that is fairly standard during Cleveland winters.
What I usually do is dig my car out the night before work, that way I don’t have to spend 30 minutes shoveling at 6am. I then hop in the car and make sure I can pull it out. Once I’m able, I just pull it back in and park it.
Well, yesterday, in the process of doing this, I ran over the shovel.
When I got out, I looked around for the shovel, and my first thought was (ridiculously): My god! Someone actually snuck up and stole my shovel while I was trying to get my car out! What a fucking motherfucker!
My second thought was: Nobody stole your shovel, you dumb-ass—it’s UNDER the car.
I had run it over with such force that it was firmly wedged and I actually had to turn the car back on and pull up in order to get it back out. Somehow it was completely unscathed (which was even MORE impressive given that it had been sticking straight up out of the snow before I ran it over).
But what REALLY freaked me out about the whole thing was the incident leading UP to me running over the shovel.
After digging out the front of my car, I hopped in to do my usual “pull out and then pull back in” routine. I kept managing to get my car to a certain point and then my tires would start spinning. So I’d back up and try again. The third or fourth time, I gunned the accelerator, muttering cuss words under my breath, and I glided out like butter. It was such a smooth release that I think I actually blurted out a sound of surprise. I then stopped the car and began to back it back into the spot.
This was when, in my rearview mirror, I noticed a younger guy walking away from my where my car had been and pausing to look back over his shoulder at me.
At which point, it dawned on me why I glided out so easily that last time: he had snuck up behind me and given my car a push.
It was unexpected and kind. And I rolled down the window and shouted him a thank you.
But what freaked me out about it was this: I never knew he was behind my car, pushing. And given that my temper was flaring by that third or fourth try, and that I was gunning it back and forth with increasing frustration, it was only sheer luck that this altruistic fellow didn’t get slammed into and run over by my car in the same way I managed to flatten the shovel a few minutes later.
And had that happened, it’s very possible I wouldn’t have even noticed what had taken place and instead just assumed that the thud was yet another snowy obstruction giving way to my tires. And even SADDER was the fact that he would’ve gotten run over helping me WHEN I WASN’T REALLY EVEN TRYING TO GET OUT TO GO ANYWHERE.
These facts have been giving me little freak-outs ever since last night.
So: please, people. It is a lovely lovely thing to be altruistic and helpful, but jesus CHRIST, don’t risk your life to do so. Let the person know that you’re helping them. Especially when you’re doing it in the dark.
And thank you, dude who helped me out last night.
You are a nice boy.
May you never get run over by a car.
/End public service announcement