Monday, 22 December 2008

In The Arms Of An Angel

My Monday funk started to dissipate mid-morning when I bought snowboots. Cute snowboots that were 50% off (boots that, as it turns out, make my feet want to die but whatever, 50% off!) 

After the snowboots, a client came by the office and dropped off a box of chocolates for me. Not office-chocolates, Hillary-chocolates that I brought home and hid in my bedside table so I not only get to keep them from my coworkers, I get to keep them from Shawn too. Don't judge me; they're not just any chocolates. They're my favourite chocolates. 

Soon after the chocolates, I got a call from Shawn. He was headed downtown with his dad and brother to watch the hockey game and they decided to leave early so they could meet me for dinner. I ate french onion soup (mmm...onions and cheese!) and cheesy garlic bread (mmm...garlic and cheese!) and I would be a sad person indeed if my bad mood lasted through all that. 

On the skytrain home, I had an overhead view of the roads. During the day, the plows were out in full force and the road conditions looked fair enough to drive on. So I got in my car and headed out to the photo store to pick up the rest of my parents' Christmas present. The roads were so good that I decided to head to my parents' house for a quick visit, as they live five minutes from the photo store. I didn't take into account the fact that the photo store is on a main (plowed) road and my parents' house is not. I got stuck. I rocked my car back and forth. I got out of my car and tried to kick snow away from my tyres, to no avail. I was a block away from my parents' house so I called them, hoping my dad would walk down and help me out of my pickle. No such luck - there was no answer at their house. I got back in my car and was starting to panic when a man tapped on my window. He was not a nice looking man. He looked a bit rough around the edges and I was all alone and it was dark but I was stuck and didn't know what to do. So I rolled down my window and the man, the nicest man on earth, told me he'd help me get unstuck. And he did. It took fifteen minutes for him to push me free but he didn't complain or give up. He got me rolling down the hill and I barely managed to yell my thanks out the open window. I have no way of tracking down this man, I have no idea where he lives or what his name is, but I would just like to acknowledge that this man saved my bum tonight. And in the spirit of paying things forward, I would like to offer a package of my favourite chocolate (not the box I received today, obviously - that sucker is half empty) to one of my lucky readers. Leave me a comment telling me either your scariest car moment or your nicest good Samaritan experience (you can be on the giving or receiving end) and I'll use to choose a winner. Contest closes a week from today. Or when I feel like picking a winner. 


  1. Oh lord-- I have so many horrible car stories.

    So this is obviously my fault (and my friends fault), but one night we were coming home from the bar-- she was driving and we're all about random photo shoots so we saw this very cool tunnel and decided to stop. My friend pulled off the road and we went and took our pictures. When we got back in the car she threw it in reverse instead of forward and went RIGHT into a huge huge huge ditch. We were out in the middle of nowhere with NO cell service, about an hour from home and in a town that we only know the people we just met at the bar.

    Did I mention this place is very creepy and it was 3 am at this point? Eek.

    Anyway, some people from the bar happened to drive by and actually PICKED UP her car out of the ditch and saved us.

    She was soooo freaked out though. Ugh

  2. The other day I was in a crowded subway car on my way to work and I began to cough uncontrollably. One of those coughs where you're sure you've loosened a lung and the coughing will never stop, made even more fun by the sardine can-like conditions of the subway. Going against all subway etiquette, the guy standing next to me offered me a cough drop which was probably actually a quaalude but was very nice nonetheless.

  3. My scariest car moment was when I was 18. I was driving back to my dad's house from a friend's house ona windy, wet road. I took a curve to fast, and may car spun. It spun several times, and a tree came SO CLOSE, or rather I came so close to a tree. It looked huge and close through my windshield. Somehow, I stopped just in time. My car got stuck, but it didn't crash, and I was fine. Combine the good samaritan part; a stranger stopped and took me to a convenience store to use a pay phone. I probably shouldn't have taken a ride from the strange man, but that worked out...

  4. ...and oh my gosh, those chocolates look amazing! :)

  5. One halloween my friend and I were driving home from seeing a scary movie. All of a sudden her car starting making this horribly loud noise (turns out her muffler broke, but we didn't know it at the time). She pulled over in a panic, and we looked over and noticed we were right in front of a cemetery.

    It was dark. It was halloween. We were already scared out of our minds, and now her car is (for all we knew) completely broken.

    We laugh about it now, but I was so frickin' scared at the time!

  6. My car ran out of gas once at 1am in the middle of no where when I was 17. Did I mention I was on my way home from work and I lived in BFE. This scary guy knocked on my window as well and offered me a ride home. I should have said no. After I got in his truck and he asked where I lived he laughed. I guess he was a good friend of my dads in high school, so the whole ride home I got to hear funny stories of my dad doing bad things back in school. After that I never judged anyone on how they looked.

  7. I just looked at that chocolate website for like ten minutes, even though I don't think we have those in the States, and drooled just a little on myself. What I'm saying is, I want to win!!

    I have a similar "scary guy turns out to be a saint" story. It happened like ten years ago but I still remember how nice he was.

    My car had stalled in the middle of a busy intersection and I started to panic. This was before cell phones (just had my good ole pager), so I had no idea what to do. I was this tiny, young girl, crying in the middle of an intersection and NO ONE was stopping to help me. Finally this HUGE, tattooed guy who looked like he was in a bike gang stopped and pushed my car to a gas station. He was so damn sweet about it, and it really made my day.

  8. I love good deeds like that! Kind of reminds me how my husband got my car stuck in the snow earlier this week. And I mean really stuck. A car that I've not once got stuck in the snow, he got stuck. And he fervently put the (manual) shift into first. Spun the wheels. And then reverse. Spun the wheels. Back and forth. Back and forth. Until not only did some stinky, burning smell come into my car. But two different brake lights on my dashboard lit up. He was so incredibly frustrated. And seemed not at all alarmed that he was well on his way to making my car blow up. And so, I pushed him out of the car and got into the driver's seat. He got behind the car. And pushed. And pushed. And pushed. Until he got the car out of the snow. And so, I think my husband (whose nickname is Sweets and who also conveniently LOVES chocolate) should win the good Samaratin award for getting himself out of a pickle. That counts, right?

  9. Scariest car moment ever last year. I wasn't driving but walking. I was crossing the street with the boy. This SUV was stopped at a red light but there was a little space in between it and the car in front of it. Well as we as starting to cross the street he decides to hit the gas. Boy steps back and yanks me back but the SUV still brushed me. Then he tried to drive off.

    I had bruises all over my legs from the side of the car and then all over my forearms and palms from hitting the hood.

    It was awesome.

    But totally NOT awesome. So yes, 20somethings driving their dad's company BMW after a night out are totally scary.

  10. Mine is combined. I'm a horrific driver (actually nominated for Canada's worst drivers)so I have many bad car stories to choose from.

    But last year I rolled my car on the Coquihala and when I came to a Doctor that happened to be in the car behind me was already calling the ambulance, got all the information, found my cell phone and found my parents number to call them and so forth.

    I never got his name or saw him again and I wish I could thank him every day as well as all the other strangers that helped on that very scary day (which I blog posted about as well).

  11. last winter, i was on the way home from getting my nails done. it was an unusual day for a nail appointment, because i had my kids with me. they were out of school that day and i was staying home.

    so i'm driving home...and my front passenger side tire blows. there is TONS of snow on the road, ok? and i'm on a road that is a truck route, but only one lane in each direction, no turn lane. so i get over on the shoulder as far as i can, but it's my passenger side tire that is flat. i have no gloves. DID I MENTION I HAD JUST GOTTEN MY NAILS DONE???

    i call my husband (my then boyfriend) and he is asleep, but he tells me if i can't get the tire changed, he will head to town to help me out. keep in mind, he's 30 mins away and DEAD asleep. (he works at night)

    so i tell my kids to STAY IN THE CAR (b/c the road is uber busy) and i go to the trunk to get all the stuff out. spare tire. jack, tire iron, etc. i have a tiny little golf towel to kneel on in 8 inches of snow. semi trucks are driving by at 50 miles an hour and the wind from the trucks takes my breath away every time. meanwhile, i keep yelling at my kids to STAY IN THE CAR dammit!!

    i try to get the lug nuts off...but i can't... so i go sit in the car and try to figure out WTH to do. all of a sudden a man appears at my window. i roll my window down and he says, "do you need help?" and i say, "yes! i can't get the lug nuts off and i'm terrified my kids will not stay in the car." he says, "well, my son's with me, he and i can change this tire for you. we were driving by and noticed you were struggling, so we came back."

    i wanted to cry with relief.

    they get out there IN THE SNOW and change my tire in less than five minutes. they put my flat tire in my trunk and i was on my way.

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  13. I pushed some poor guy out of our drive-thru at work a couple of weeks ago.

    Also, a couple of years ago I was walking home from a really long shift at 1 in the morning and I was so tired and sore and it was a reaaally long walk home - and some guy stopped and offered me a ride. I said no at first and kept walking but he stopped again and I decided to say yes, so I got in and (thankfully!) made it home safely - it turned out he was a bandit cabbie.

  14. Well that's easy. When I was a senior in high school, I was hit at an intersection where the opposing traffic was supposed to yield on green. Well, she didn't yield to me and instead TOTALED my red sports car that was passed down to me when I learned how to drive. The car, which I named Elton, was old but seriously adorable.

    Both me and my passenger were taken to the hospital in ambulances. A broken nose, brush-burned face, and year of physical therapy for impending back problems were thankfully the extent of my injuries. My passenger, who did not have an air bag, was not as lucky and spent longer in physical therapy for severe muscle damage.


  15. THAT is awesome. Proof that there are still good people in the world.

    My scariest car moment happened last week. Emily and I were in the 4Runner, in FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, and hit black ice.

    I spun sideways and into the oncoming lane. Thankfully, the oncoming traffic was far enough away that I could straighten out and get back on my side of the road.


  16. yeah there's no way to be in a bad mood after french onion soup, cheesy bread and chocolate. i mean yummm, seriously.

  17. Scariest car moment? Easy. I was driving to go meet up with a former boyfriend one day (why I remember such details, I do not know) and I was going down a small hill. It wasn't very long or super steep, and I'd driven down it a bazillion times in my driving years. I remember it was April, so it wasn't cold. But it had rained the day before and apparently the road was a little slick. As I was going down, I eased on to my brakes to stop at the stop sign at the bottom of the hill. My car started to slide sideways, and I realized I couldn't stop it. I slid right on through the stop sign and sideways out into the road. Fortunately, I was now facing the way I was going to turn and go, but I also saw a huge tractor trailer coming up from behind. Fortunately, he had seen me and started to slow down. I don't even want to think about what happened if I had been a few seconds later.

    Another time, I was in a truck with a boyfriend and we got a green light to turn left. As we crossed the first two lanes of traffic I had this weird feeling and I yelled for him to stop right as I turned my head and saw a truck BARELLING toward us and running their red light. I don't know how I knew that truck was coming before I saw it, but had I not yelled for us to stop it would have nailed us and I'm not sure we would have walked away. As we pulled up beside them at the next light they were laughing and rolled down their window to apologize, and I had a few words for them that were not polite.

  18. When I was in Greece I was driving a Renault Twingo along a road that was really more like a path. The car ran out of gas and I freaked. Like, freaked, because I was at least a four-hour walk from home.

    This man in a Speedo thong and a woman (???) who looked more manly than most of the guys I blog about pulled up behind me. Between my broken Greek and their broken English, I gave him the keys to the car. He stuck in in neutral, rolled it backwards and allowed the gas to pool enough to start the engine. I got home in one piece and thanked my lucky stars.

    I also wiped off the seat. Hey, this is a thong we're talking about here!!

  19. I have no true deeds of altruism, thus this story.

    While spending time in Berlin I got to eat at some of the finest restaurants in Germany. While out with a few friends we went to a rather lovely place: good wine, better beer, and terrific food. Because I'm a light eater, I only finished half of my plate, which was quite the helping of a club sandwich and twice baked potato. Seriously, I think the sandwich was half a loaf of bread. Anyway, we all have our left over sandwiches and we are walking down the Ave and along the way we see a lady laying on the street. The lady had clearly been beaten a few hours earlier because the blood was still running down her face, gaunt, and no one stopped to ask her if she was alright. Well I walked up to her and asked in what little German I know if she needed help or if she was hungry. She denied the help, but was quite eager about eating. My friend later translated and said, "well she said she hasn't had anything to eat in a few days, she'll worry about the bleeding later."

    Well I gave her my food, and my friends food so she would at least have one good meal in her that day.

  20. Hmmm...not too many crazy car stories.

    But good Samaritan stories there are a plenty. Which is a good thing. I don't recall when this happened but it was definitely a while back. I was getting ready to cross the street and I guess I didn't notice a car coming, but someone yanked me back. I don't even remember who. Just a nice, sweet person looking out for me.

    My heart pounded for several minutes after that.

    Have a Merry Christmas by the way!

  21. Scariest car moment: lived in FL, got invited to a friend's baby shower. In Miami. Directions were included in the invitation. I double-checked them against Mapquest. Wrote some notes, printed out a map.

    It should have taken a little under an hour. An hour and a half later I was somewhere in Miami, sweating because I'd now been driving for an hour and a half, and couldn't find the exit I needed.

    A lot of Miami is unsafe, parts of it (Collins Rd) are safe. This was the second time in my life driving to Miami. I kept getting on and off the highway, but the exit I needed was nowhere to be found.

    Finally, very late, I just pulled into a hotel, hoping nobody would shoot me. Walked in, asked someone who worked in the hotel for help. Nobody could, or would, speak English to me. Of course, I do not speak Spanish. Which is exactly why I'd stopped in at a hotel, figuring they'd speak English to me, rather than at a gas station.

    I asked three hotel workers and nobody would speak English to me. Now I'm two hours late. So lost that I can't even figure out how to get home if I wanted to do that.

    Ready for this? I CALLED MY PARENTS IN NEW YORK CRYING. My father had to go online, figure out where I was, find directions that didn't involve the Exit That Did Not Exist to give me.

    I arrived at the party almost three hours late. It was almost over. My hair had frizzed.

    Luckily, the pregnant friend's brother showed up to pick up his girlfriend, and he gave me perfect directions to get home. The end. Please send me fancy chocolate, I will blog about it, thank you.

  22. Apparently, last night, the doors on the Skytrain froze open at Patterson, and they had to tae that train off the line! OOOOPS!!!

    The week I turned 18, I drove to Kamloops, parked my car at my brother's, bussed to Banff to visit a friend and drink legally in bars, and then came back to Vancouver the same way. However, my car overheated. And died. In Abbotsford. At 2:30 in the morning. And I didn't have a cell phone...It was right before that new Ramada? Anyways, I had no idea what to do, so I decided to walk to the Ramada to use the phone. But the doors were locked and I couldn't see anyone to let me in. So I went back to the car, grabbed my valuables and started walking to the nearest gas station...which turned out to be REALLY FAR AWAY. Part way, though, a guy in a pick up stopped and asked if it was my car pulled off on the side of the highway and whether or not I wanted a ride somewhere.
    I seriously almost pissed myself, I was so terrified he was going to abduct and rape me.
    But it turned out that he was just a nice guy who was worried about some random girl walking long the highway at 5 in the morning.
    So now I try to stop for anyone who looks like they are in trouble...I have a bad habit of picing up hitchhikers too though :(

  23. My scary car moment happened just 2 weeks ago. I work downtown in the heart of the metro. I get to work really early, when it's still dark. My work parking lot is gated and you need to "badge-in" to get through. As my car went through the entrance, a 30-40ish year old guy started running like hell toward my car. I saw him in my mirrors. As I parked, I thought, WTF was I going to do? I had nowhere to hide/run, etc. He knocked on my window and I rolled it down about an inch. He said (more like yelled) "Hey! I work for X (the company I work for) and my car ran out of gas over there (gestures vaguely to the entire downtown area). Please walk back over to my car with me and then you can wait there while I go to get some gas." (???) I said, "I can't come with you b/c I have a meeting I have to run in 5 minutes (a lie) but I'll let the guards at the desk know that an employee needs help." He looked at me and RAN away. FUH-reak. I JUST started at this location a few weeks prior so I didn't really know the area. Turns out that there have been 4 armed robberies of young women in a 2 block radius of my work. I'm pretty sure I dodged one helluva bullet.

  24. WTH,

    ok, I'm vulnerable cuz Im drunk, and that means I will say things I will regret when I'm undruunk. Gulp

    Yes, its true , I have a crush on Hillary's picture.

    I mean, her puppy's arent cuter than she is, I made that up for unknown reasons although I love cute puppies. burp

    What a hot babe.

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  27. my scariest car moment: when it was snowy one day, i took a "shortcut" that stupidly took me down the steepest hill in the area... which had not been plowed because HA HA it was a solid sheet of ice. as soon as i hit the decent - at like 15 mph, MAX - i lost complete control of my car and slid gracefully down the hill, sideways, hit the curb (missing a car by about 10") and bounced off, spinning, THROUGH AN INTERSECTION, untill i hit the curb on another cross street and got my grip again. there was a bus stop at the intersection i slid through, and the people waiting there had apparently seen more than one idiot like me attempt the hill, so they had stopped oncoming traffic as soon as they saw me come over the hill. thank goodness.

  28. Ahh, gotta love crazy car stories.

    I was 21, and not much of a city driver back then, so I was very nervous driving into downtown Vancouver to meet up with a friend for dinner. My old car was an 1987 Jetta, and it was on its last breath. The car would randomly stop and not start again whenever it felt like, so that always made driving extra stressful - not knowing if the car would get me to my destination or not.

    So it's a Friday night during rush hour, and the car stops right in front of the Art Gallery, on Georgia. It's a warm summer night, and the car refuses to start up again. I'm doing everything I can think of, and nothing's working. I'm extremely stressed, because other drivers are honking and screaming at me, and there's nothing I can do. I didn't have a cell phone, so I couldn't call a tow truck for help. Several people in cars promised to circle around and help me, but never did.

    I'm on the verge of a nervous breakdown, when finally this guy appears out of nowhere, and helps me push the car out of the way of traffic, and into a parking garage. Once the car is in a stall, I break down into tears of relief, then look up to thank him, but he'd completely disappeared. I like to think he was my guardian angel, come to help me out of a jam.