I am from Richmond, Virginia, out of state, and without transportation of the automobile variety. Actually, Butler University permits all students–including freshmen–to have a car on campus. Steph made a great video about her favorite parking space a while back. For more information on Butler’s car and parking policies, visit these links links links!
This discussion of cars provides the perfect segue to tell you about my recent driving experience. I don’t have a car on campus, so I don’t get a chance to practice driving in all that lovely, lovely, terrible snow. Hence, the few inches of snow still in the driveway to my hairdresser’s proved to be my downfall.
When one drives over snow, it makes a horrid squelching sound. Well, it turns out that driving over a plastic traffic cone while backing a bit too sharply out of the driveway makes that same sound, which I naturally assumed to be more snow squelches. Thanks to multiple hills going every which way, an exceedingly narrow and slightly icy road with a drop on the other side, and bumpy snow in the driveway, I turned too sharply, went over the cone resting at the side of the driveway and didn’t notice when it became caught under my car.
The two women who pulled up next to me at the next red light (after I drove out of the winding neighborhood and onto a main, 45 mph speed limit road) did notice, however, and after I rolled down my window, they said, “Do you know there’s a cone caught under your car?”
“No,” I said. Beat. Ardently: “Thank you.” I decided that instead of following my dad through the red light to the car repair place, I would take a quick right turn onto another neighborhood road. I stopped the car, got out, examined the evidence.
There is was, like a bright beacon of shame, a taunting face peering back at me from out of the dark, a lurid outline where none should have been, an orange-rimmed black square bottom of a traffic cone wedged behind the back right wheel, look at me, the friction and the embarrassment, a warning, a signal to the world, I cannot aim my vehicle and furthermore I do not notice when plastic drags under my car at relatively high velocities.
I couldn’t get it out. Also, I was parked in front of a house with excessive Christmas decorations that, in the light of a day several days past the holiday, seemed oppressive and, in my agitated state, almost menacing. I called my father and explained that no, I was not behind him on the way to the car repair place. He told me he pulled over and I should meet him.
When I merged onto the road on which my dad was stopped, the man who was on the ramp behind me merged one lane farther over. As he passed me, he made frantic gestures at me through the windows. “I know!” I tried to mouth at him through the glass while keeping an eye on the road. It is possible I gave him a thumbs up.
I saw my dad pulled over, hazard lights flashing at me like a lighthouse’s promise of safety. To make a story is middling length even shorter, he worked it out from under my car, it was not permanently damaged, and my pride recovered eventually.