funnierwithwine

A humorous look at the little things in life

Running out of gas in traffic? Piece of cake. December 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 2:25 pm
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: Today my friend Jody and I are taking our daughters for a bit of a shopping jaunt after school. I predict we’ll last maybe two stores at the mall. Then one of us will notice that it’s 5:30 and happy hour time. I’m thinking that a glass of 41st Avenue chardonnay (California) will refresh after the stress of the crowds. It’s medium bodied, with a good blend of fruits and oak and acidity. Well priced too … and we’ve got daughters to drive us!

Just a quick post today — thinking about going to the mall later reminded me of a funny story. Well, funny for you.

In what may have been the pilot for the series Punked, an urban planner in the 1970s decided to put Louisville’s two malls about 500 yards apart on a two-lane, crowded thoroughfare. At the holidays, it is like the Manhattan morning commute, but with less honking and more middle fingers.

That scenerio, combined with normal teenage neurosis, made for the perfect storm of humiliating disasters.

I made a little quiz for you to see if you can guess what happened.

What’s a shopper’s worst nightmare?

Right. Mall traffic.

What’s a teenager’s worst nightmare?

Right. Looking uncool.

What’s a claustrophobic teenager’s worst nightmare?

Right. Looking uncool while totally and completely surrounded by barely moving vehicles so that you’re trapped.

Can anything make it worse?

Absolutely. Looking uncool in a huge crowd and doing it … ALONE.

What could happen that’s so bad?

Bingo. Car trouble.

You are good, guessing all these. But no one’s gonna be able to guess the rest.

What’s the worst thing a lone teenager’s vehicle can do to make her look unbelievably uncool?

I know you said “blow up,” and I will grant you that having one’s car blow up would be bad, but that’s not the worst. Because after the explosion, at least there would be a welcome amount of face-cloaking smoke.

No, I was 16 years old, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, at dusk, between the malls, by myself. And as we edged forward, when the car in front of me stopped, I hit the brakes and stopped too.

Well 99 percent of the car stopped.

My left front tire elected to disengage from the rest of the Cutlass Supreme and sashay its little way on toward the mall, right between the two lanes of stopped traffic.

It seemed like forever, the split second between when it registered that my tire was rolling away and when my car thunked, solidly and teeth-jarringly, to the ground.

I remember opening the door, fully prepared to just run like the wind and leave my mother’s stupid sedan right there. But I don’t think I did. I’m not really sure what I did — that’s why God gave us the ability to repress, I suppose.

Anyway, if you’re stuck in mall traffic today, grin and bear it. It could be worse.

Much worse.

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4 Responses to “Running out of gas in traffic? Piece of cake.”

  1. Tricia Says:

    Umm how about 17 year old driving their mom’s tank (Oldsmobile Delta 88 circa 1969 or 70) and rear-ending a teeny tiny car (think Ford Falcon) and bashing said teeny tiny car’s back end right up to the back window (big V shape to match the front of the Olds) and not having a scratch on the Olds (it must have been a miracle is all I can say.)

    The driver of said teeny tiny car jumps out runs back to my car and says, “Are you okay?”

    I gulp, prepared to pull out my new license and then practice my tears and sounding pathetic for when I call my mom, but say, “Uh huh. I think so.)

    Teeny tiny car driver runs to the front of my car and back and says, “Your car looks good. No damage.”

    I’m staring at his bumper resting on the trunk of his car near the back window and think, WTF? My mom’s car must be bashed all to hell. But say, “That’s good. I guess.”

    Teeny tiny car driver races back to his car, jumps in and drives off.

    Meanwhile cars are honking behind me and I’m thinking, What just happened? If I drive away is there a cop going to come after me for leaving the scene of an accident? Am I on Candid Camera? Did my mom stage this to see what I would do? (She could have, she’s like that.)

    I do what any teen would do. I drive off. The minute I think I’ve shaken off any witnesses to the collision I pull over into the mall (naturally) parking lot, inspect for damage, find NONE. Absolutely none. So what does said teen do?

    KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT and thank goodness I ran into someone stupider than me.

    • ashleyolsonrosen Says:

      Oh. Wow. Total trump.
      And this was in the era before illegal immigration was the obvious culprit. Stupid can be beautiful if you’re in the ramming car.
      Moral: if we ever get rear-ended by a shaking teen, we’ll cut them some slack.
      Moral 2: We will always drive the battle-ready sedan and never the teeny-tiny vehicle (I’m picturing something from Busytown).

  2. JOAnn Olson Says:

    As you recall, that same, beautiful baby blue car with white upholstery, was wrecked by your dear friend, Janis. It never recovered. I was driving it down Brownsboro Rd. one day and suddenly the front seat was in the back seat, and since I am not very tall, and have incredibly short legs, I was in deep doodoo. Fortunately my ape arms saved the day. RIP. poor car.

  3. ashleyolsonrosen Says:

    HA! I forgot about you sliding into the backseat! I was just telling one of the girls about your ape arms. Saw a deformed sweater that would have fit you!
    That poor car is right. Janis drives a Suburban now, so she’ll never be on the losing end of a game of chicken again.


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