So....I think my cane is trying to kill me. It's not like it doesn't have a good motive. I mean, it spends all day groaning under the weight of my 6 foot 2 frame and how do I repay it? By dropping it on the ground and/or the feet of passersby, thereby chipping its bronze sheen? By complaining about how it makes me look like an old lady? By saying, "Oh, I can't wait until I get my surgery and stop walking like a the queen of the polio zombies and can get rid of this annoying cane?" Being a cane is a thankless job. Whatever the motive, however, somebody better call a detective from "The First 48 Hours," because my cane needs to spend some time in the interrogation room where the detective will say, "Look, we know what happened. What we don't know is why. This is your chance to tell your side of the story...because you're a good cane...and sometimes good canes make mistakes....but you need to tell me what happened" and my cane will break down and confess everything. (Ok, so I watch too much "The First 48.")
The action went down tonight as I was driving back from the tournament. (I will post more about the tournament and all of its dramatics later). I was covered in dried sweat (you know how when you sweat really hard and crystals of sweat and grit dry on your body and you're covered in a sort of greasy film?), so exhausted from full-court-pressing for two games straight, including one that went into double overtime, that I could hardly lift my arms above my head, and bloated from inhaling a nasty-ass beef brisket sandwich at Montana's (oh Black Dog, you have ruined every other brisket for me). I just wanted to get home, take a long, hot shower, put on my sweatpants, watch Ricky Gervais get drunk while hosting the Golden Globes, and collapse into sweet unconsciousness. Who needs sleeping pills when you can just full-court press for a few hours straight?
My cane, however, had other plans.....plans that involved murder. I was driving my mom's SmartCar, exiting Highway 1 westbound on to Brunette highway to go back to New West, singing along to that "Someone's Got to Go" song (my cane was probably thinking, 'that someone is you, bitch'), when the force of turning on the off-ramp caused my cane to shift. This was the chance my cane was looking for! It pressed its metal shaft (that's what she said) on to the bit of metal key that sticks up in the slot. The radio died. The car completely shut down right in the middle of the exit ramp. My cane had short-circuited my car in the middle of traffic! (This, of course, is just a theory, since a mechanic hasn't examined the car yet. Maybe my car just really hates the lyrical stylings of Kelly Clarkson, which I guess makes it a ReallySmartCar).
I forced the car into park, turned it off, then got it to grudgingly restart. A few meters later, however, it died again in the right-turn lane and was down for the count. HomeCar was taking a nap right in the middle of danger. I got out of the car (I was remembering how a few months back a woman and her kids died when their car stalled in the HOV lane and someone rammed into them) and it immediately started to rain hard and the wind picked up. Did I mention it was dark? It was dark. And cars were swerving around me, honking, as I rummaged through the SmartCar's registration package to get the number for roadside assistance.
As I was talking to the roadside-assistance people, a semi got itself wedged between my car and the median trying to turn right. The trucker got out of his car, all pissed off, filled with that special brand of anger that comes from spending your life drinking Mountain Dew, doing speed and being cut off by all the Miatas and Sonatas and Corrolas of the world). Because that is the one ingredient this heaping serving of drama-pie needed: a little dash of trucker rage. The trucker began yelling at me:
Trucker: Move your car!
Me: If I could move my car, it wouldn't be in the middle of the road with its hazards on.
Trucker (making angry hand gestures): Well, push it!
Road-side operator guy on the phone: Ma'am, what is the VIN # of your vehicle?
Me: Just a second. (Struggling to read the VIN # in the dark with the wind whipping up the paper).....
Trucker: Push your car! You're blocking the road! Push your car!
Me: I can't push it! I just had a hip replacement!
Trucker: A what?
Me: A hip replacement!
Trucker: No you didn't! Move your car!
Me: I can't. It won't move. I can't push it.
Roadside operator guy: Ma'am, do you have the VIN #?
Me: (giving the VIN #) Sorry...some trucker is stuck and trying to talk to me....
Trucker: Move your car! You're blocking everything! You're blocking the road! (As if I would magically say, "Oh...you're right. I AM blocking the road. How silly of me. Well, now that I've got some fresh air and have picked some wild flowers from this ditch, I'll just get right back into my vehicle and be on my merry way.")
Eventually, I got back in the car and the trucker tried to push it. No dice. The SmartCar really doesn't have power steering, so when it's in park, it's impossible to move. Another truck driver (stuck behind the first, blocking all the rest of the cars) got out to yell at me, then try to push it. No dice. Finally, my dad arrived on the scene and he got the car to start just long enough to push me on the median. We waited in the rain for another 20 minutes for the tow truck to come and haul the lazy-ass SmartEnoughToKnowIDon'tHaveToHaulYourAssAroundIfIDon'tWantTo Car to the mechanic's.
It's just my luck. Just when things were looking up in ArleyLand, fate decided to throw in a little plot twist. Considering what might have happened if my car had stopped suddenly only seconds before, when I was going 100 km/h (65 miles an hour) on a wet highway on a dark night, I'm just happy it was a plot twist I got out of alive.