(Original photo used by permission from Wikimedia Commons)
"Hi, it's me. Now don't get mad. I'm okay. But . . . "
Unrestrained chuckling through the phone, nervous laughter from my hosts.
" . . . and the car is okay, mostly, but it's in a ditch. Stop laughing! Well, the back wheels are, anyway. It's not THAT funny. But don't worry -- I called Triple A --"
-- all by myself, with only a little help --
"-- and I'm here with Don and Lillian and I want you to come wait for Triple A with me."
Silence. Possible heavy sighs.
"And you can't call my cell because I left it at work, so that's why I'm borrowing Don and Lillian's phone to call you. And the inside of the car smells like salad. Ready for the address?"
The address was easier told to my husband -- who has a quick mind, an astonishing memory and better than average directional skills -- than to the Triple A lady in Detroit or Baltimore who did not believe that "1447 County Road D 1/2" was a real address, and who balked at the idea of a gravel driveway that wrapped around a small field, bordered by ditches. One of which I didn't know was there. So.
"Once they remove the car from the ditch, Ma'am, will you need it to be towed anywhere?" she asked.
"Not unless I broke it," I answered, truthfully. "I think I'll be good to go."
And I was, though after the day I had I did NOT need more public humiliation or personal distress. But that's what wine is for, right?
The names have not been changed because I suspect no one in this story is THAT innocent. Addresses have been changed because these good people need to be protected from weirdos. But the 1/2 on the street address is REAL.