January 18, 2013

Blog: a little lesson in getting stranded

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star

— I should have known by my car's lagging when I started it this morning--as well as the dial pointing to E-- to stop for gas.

But the orange light wasn't on yet. I had at least 20-30 miles before any real reason for alarm. Right?
Halfway down the back road I take to work, my car stopped responding to my tentative taps on the gas pedal. Probably out of pride, I thought something must be mechanically wrong with my car.

So, out of gas and out of pride in a different sense, I pulled onto the grassy shoulder of the road I didn't know the name of in spite of it being my daily route.

I'll skip over the call to roadside assistance where I had to admit I didn't know where I was and made the suggestion to walk to a location with an address.

I probably wasn't on the side of the road for more than a few minutes before cars started stopping to ask if I was okay. And when I started to hoof it towards that hallowed, GPS recognized mecca up the road, I was offered a ride twice, one after the other.

I turned down the first because of horror stories we've all heard. I took the second because the roadside assistance person had just called back, as my cell phone battery was dying, to say they'd be at the agreed upon location soon. I was still a long way from it.

But because this second nice person who did not stab me offered me a ride, I got to my destination in enough time to get a coffee and wait in the shade. Roadside assistance was nice. Even had a friend stop to see that all was taken care of.

And I realize there are a million little factors that make my experience not universal and make this little tale insufferable.

I could have been annoyed that my commute got delayed. I could have been annoyed with myself for being a poor planner and letting both my gas and my cell phone battery get so low.

And while I wouldn't suggest stupidity as a strategy to renew one's sense of faith in humanity, it works sometimes. And sometimes it takes a little bad luck to realize how much good luck you have.