I left my hero shoes at home

“What the hell is he doing?” my friend asked. I looked at the little black oncoming car driving slowly across the intersection, jumping the median, and cruising into the left turn lane next to me. I twisted to watch the car as it meandered back into the median, continuing past me.

“Holy crap, there’s no driver! Call 911!” I continued to crane around and watch as the car swerved back and forth across the median, the four way flashers blinking. The car drifted back onto the road, stopping traffic before the moron behind me honked. Was I the only one concerned that an unmanned car was cruising up the highway? Would I incite road rage in said moron if I continued to stare until the light turned red again? Since few people can rock the bullet-wound look, I decided to move along.

At no time did I feel compelled to jump out and chase down the runaway sub-compact. On my last semi-heroic gesture, I bailed out to inform the car in front of me that his lights were out. I managed to jog two steps before my knee locked up. We were waiting for a train to pass, but by the time I staggered to the driver’s side window, the train was a distant memory, and the line was moving again.

Somehow the driver was able to interpret my wild gesticulations and incoherent babbling as, “the lights on your trailer are out.” Either that or “I am a carjacker. Hop out.” He seemed to get the message just before he roared off into the distance, leaving me standing like an idiot in the road.

Clearly, I’m getting too old for Chinese fire drills.

I tried to imagine under what circumstances someone would leave a running car in gear on the highway. Was the driver still in the car and reaching for a CD under the passenger seat when he got his arm stuck? I had no trouble imagining this scenario, since it took me five minutes and several yoga positions to free my arm. Was the driver slumped over after suffering a massive coronary? If so, does a Girl Scout CPR badge expire after forty-two years?

Two hours later, when we were returning home, the rogue vehicle was parked in the median not far from where we reported it. We credit the speedy response of the police to our prompt 911 call. The fact that this occurred right in front of the police station was totally immaterial.

While calling the police doesn’t quite qualify us as heroes, I didn’t aggravate my arthritic knee, or the moron leaning on his horn. I’m sure that if I had my hero shoes on, I could have chased down the car, stopped it, and saved the day. Fortunately, I left me hero shoes at home.

8 thoughts on “I left my hero shoes at home

  1. I had it once with my parents driving into southern Ontario. This guy was alongside and then ahead of us on the freeway for about twenty kilometres, slowing down and speeding up at random, weaving in and out of traffic, and driving as if he was plastered-drunk. We took the guy’s license plate, got off the freeway for a break, and had to call it in to the police.

    I keep wondering on occasion if that guy had himself an unpleasant rest of the day, getting pulled over by cops who were waiting for him….

        • Hah!

          I’ve witnessed idiots driving backwards and dueling spouses chasing each other in vehicles. But that’s what happens when you grow up redneck….

          • I knew a woman who took her husband to the dealership to pick up his new Beamer. On the way home, she rear-ended him with her Mercedes. Us rednecks don’t own the corner on stupid driving.

  2. So. Did you ever figure out what happened with that little car, or rather the owner or driver or person that may have stolen it? Maybe it was a little kid out on a thrill ride. I hear toddlers are going rogue these days. I’m so glad my kids are grown. And as for my grandkids, I only want good reports from their parents. You know, like making it to the potty on time and just saying No to the 2nd grade drug dealer.
    I just brought out my assortment of flip-flops for the season and lined them up at the door (we don’t wear shoes inside the house). I wonder if there’s a pair of Hero flip-flops among them? Now you got me to thinking, Karla. Thanks!

  3. When we see these swerving drivers who are bent down, we call it “looking for their pickle.” People eat their burgers while driving and when a tomato slice or pickle slips out of their sandwich, they go looking for it. More common however are the texters, who scare me to death!

  4. I had considered the toddler theory, but a condiment search and seize mission carries some interesting imagery–plus, my mind was totally in the gutter when you said “looking for the pickle.”

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