Sunday, June 1, 2008


So today Dave and I were watching MSNBC's coverage of some committee's deliberations about primary votes in Florida. Well, Dave was watching that; I was doing crosswords on my DS with a big dictionary in my lap. We heard a mass of sirens roll by a few streets away, but honestly, that's not such a big thing for a Saturday late afternoon in our small town, so we didn't think anything of it. I was more worried about an 8-letter word for "doesn't go along."

Until Dave's phone rang.

It was our dear friend [codename], who briefly explained that the sirens were on his account, that his car had caught fire in the Lowe's parking lot and that he needed a ride home for his wife and kids. Dave said I'd be there in a jiffy and threw me the keys to his Malibu (he wasn't about to miss the imminent voting). I filled a bell-pepper orange bowl full of peanut butter ice cream and jumped in the car, off to the rescue.

As I pulled into the Lowe's parking lot I wondered what it would be like to shop around a hardware store eating a bowl of ice cream. Does anyone do that? Would the workers there ask you to step out or anything?1 I was only there for a quick rescue, so I didn't find out. The girl at the returns desk, where I found my friend and his fam, was a little incredulous. "Is that ice cream?" she asked, and then shrugged as I smiled.

Short story: I got the wife and kids home while [codename] waited for the wrecker to come tow his car. He said he would call her for a ride from the shop in a few minutes. I loaned him my gameboy in the meantime, just in case, and, having done my duty, started home. As I was waiting at an intersection, however, a wrecker towing [codename]'s car drove by (and pretty much ran the red light), so I decided to follow them to the shop and preempt his wife having to come pick him up. I couldn't think of a way to get his attention though, and I worried that he would call her on his cell phone in the meantime. I even saw him pull out his phone, but there was nothing I could do.

When we got to the shop a minute later, I parked and walked over to where [codename] was paying the guy in the deserted parking lot. Boy was he surprised to see me, and he said he'd called Dave for a ride and that Dave was waiting for me to get home so he could pick up [codename]. But I was already there! I felt like a spy, man, or a flippin' ninja.

Well, the fire almost ruined [codename]'s day, and the cost of towing his car came out of the grill fund (the reason he was at Lowe's in the first place), but it all turned out fine in the end. Instead of chowing down on flame-kissed pork chops from a grill, he ordered chicken pesto pizza and we watched various Netflix.

And I got to feel like a hero: I was there when I was needed, I had ice cream when it was needed, I had a gameboy when it was needed, and I got pizza as a reward. The only thing I could've done better was to have my camera handy for insurance claims shots. Oh well, next time.

1 Speaking of things out of place, the other day I was teaching my class when I noticed B, one of my students, holding a large metal bowl and a metal spoon. Food in class isn't out of the ordinary, but real dishes and silverware are a little weird, since they don't come out of vending machines. I stopped mid-sentence while I took in the scene—there was a half-gallon jug of milk on his desk as well. I gave him a quizzical look, to which he responded, "Fruity Pebbles" and raised up a box of cereal that was sitting on the floor by his bag.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

You are a hero!

Nothing like a good car-b-que.

I have eaten unexpected things in unexpected places (most notably, pineapple out of the can with a fork sitting in my pew at chuch. I was pregnant.) About the same reactions as your classroom experience.