Monday, March 25, 2013

Things Just Happen

I have been reading a great deal of Terry Pratchett of late, which is a consequence of reading Dodger, a book I highly recommend.

The result of this is that I now have various quotes from his novels bouncing around in my head, which is a decent place for quotes to be bouncing, when you think about it. And one of those is a bit of philosophy from a character named Didactylos, who said, "Things just happen. What the hell."* And that was today.

We had loads of snow. All kinds of snow. And naturally, that meant I had to drive in said snow to reach work, which is inconveniently located outside of my house.

On my way to work, as I drove along on an inch of solid ice and a haze of snow, I saw an abnormally tall person leaning over a car that appeared unnaturally short and not at all on the road.

And that tall person was Paul. Of course.

He had attempted to turn into a parking lot in order to turn around, finding the roads unpleasant enough to persuade him to abandon the trip to Warsaw. And he turned into this parking lot only to discover that he had turned into nothing at  all, because the semi tracks he used as a guide were not going into the driveway of this business at all, but rather, over the ditch.

Paul's car went into the ditch, not over it.

I turned my car around and went back to Paul, who had already called Dad. Dad was on his way. When he arrived, he had brought a snow shovel and various plans, which we exhausted in rapid succession.

Plan A: Rock the car. In which A Person sits inside the car, puts it into reverse, and presses periodically on the gas, resulting in lots of tire spinning and mud.

Plan B: Rock the car, in which A Person continues to sit in the car, in reverse, pressing periodically on the gas, with Two Other Persons pushing the car, resulting in more tire spinning and a good deal of mud.

Plan C: Rock the car. In which A Slightly More Frustrated Person continues to sit in the car, this time in drive, pressing periodically on the gas with Two Other Persons pushing the car, resulting in Two Muddy Persons in Less than Stellar Moods, and also tire spinning.

Plan D and E: Shovel around the car some more. Repeat Plan B and C.

Plan F: Stare at car. 

Plan G: Realize that the only likely way the car will be free of the ditch any time soon is if a random driver happens to have 1. a 4-wheel drive and 2. a chain or strap and 3. the desire to help us.

Plan H: Hope that people will be nice and help us at some point, because it is getting chilly. And muddy.

Indeed, Plan H was the winner. Not a moment after Dad said he hoped someone would come help, someone came. They had a truck, to able-bodied people, and were ready to drag Paul's car from the ditch, if only they had a chain. Did we?

No. We so didn't.

But no worries! Coming down the road was a cement truck, which just so happened to contain a friend of the two men who'd stopped to help. And he, they said, would have a chain.

And he did.

Moments later, Paul was free of the ditch. We applauded (which is an entirely different sound when the applaud-er is wearing mittens), and Paul set off down the road for home. I took his picture first, for obvious reasons.

Then, I proceeded down the road to the library, where I have been ever since. Luckily, the mud on my pants dried rather quickly, and I discovered that the snow-brush thing I have for my car happens to double as a very effective clothes brush. 

Happy Monday, everyone.

*This is from Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, which is an awesome book and a fantastic movie starring Michelle Dockery, who happens to also star as Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey.