Since I was laughing as the following story was happening to me, I want to tell you up front that it has a happy ending.
Stuff seems to happen to me. Take my word for it.
Like Tuesday night. It was raining pretty hard here in Central Florida. Like, Noah-was-bringing-the-animals-on-two-by-two hard. My father and stepmother were down for a visit, and were waiting in my house, when they heard there was a tornado watch for our area.
And that the rain was going to be seriously, seriously hard for a while.
“Stay at work for a little while,” they said.
“Nah, I’ll be fine. I’ve driven in rain plenty of times down here.”
Nothing good happens after you say something like that.
So I get on the road, and the rain is coming down in buckets. Like, I can barely see in front of me. About halfway home, I decide “this is crazy,” and decide to pull over. I see a tiny strip mall up on my right, and start to pull over.
Except, my vision wasn’t so good. And I missed the driveway by several feet. I pulled over and ended up driving on the curb. I immediately hit the brakes, which is probably the worst thing you can do on slick tires and slick pavement (Jeff Gordon, I’m not). As I hit the brakes, my car sorta rolled. And rolled. And rolled into a little ditch.
You know those small little lowered cutout thingies in front of shopping plazas? That’s what I landed in. My front tires were totally covered in water, and the car was sorta leaning.
“Hmmm,” I sagely thought. “This could be a problem.” I tried to put the car in reverse, slamming on the gas pedal, but nothing happened.
Two kids driving by saw my predicament, and bless their hearts, got out in the rain and tried to push my car out from the front, while I slammed the car in reverse.
Nothin’ doing. At this point I didn’t know how futile this attempt was, because I hadn’t gotten out and seen how deeply my tires were sunk in the water.
Within a few minutes, I realized, OK, don’t panic, this is why you have the AAA auto club. As I started to dial them, I saw two flashing police car lights.
For a split second I thought I was going to get a ticket (“Sir, you know it’s illegal to make a right turn into a ditch on this road!”). Then I realized they were there to help.
Apparently some kind motorist drove by, saw my situation, and called the police and, I found out later, reported that I was hurt. Which is why the cops got there so fast.
I rolled my window down, talked to the two kind gentlemen from the Holly Hill police (I think their names were Hall and Armstrong, but things were a little hectic in my mind when they told me their names), and they told me they’d already called a towing company to bring a machine to haul my ass out of the water.
And within minutes, the nice man named Joel from Universal Towing (does that mean they can tow anything in the Universe, I wondered?) hooked up his clamp doohickey to the bottom of my car, and within 10 minutes, and 50 bucks to Joel later, I was back on the road home. (AAA told me it’d be an hour, so once Joel showed up so fast, I cancelled AAA).
Remarkably, there doesn’t appear to be any damage to my car’s front end, or tires.
I am a lucky man.
And also stupid for driving in the heavy rain.
So I’m lucky and stupid.
I can live with that.