This is a story about the worst day of my life. But do not fret! This happened nearly 10 years ago, everything has worked out, and it is now one of my best stories. So, all good.
Please make sure you are reading this correctly and remember to note that this happened 10 years ago and not yesterday. This is very important. Someone has made this mistake with a previous story of mine, and I like to think I am a little more responsible than this now. Also, if this happened yesterday, I would not be ready to blog about it.
In our early years of college, my high school friends and I were all attending different colleges and universities across the province. One Saturday night on Easter weekend (ohh, have just passed the anniversary), we decided to all get together and have a reunion party. We chose a small town that was a good central location for everyone, and where two of my friends were attending university.
After a night of shenanigans (nothing crazy, we are weird, but we were good girls), my friend Emily and I left the next morning to make it to our respective Easter festivities. I was driving, and the drive home was about an hour and a half. We stopped at McDonalds for breakfast before hitting the highway (this is important to the story because Emily pointed out later that I had Ketchup and Egg McMuffin all over my face).
We left not long after we woke up. Both of our hair was a mess, we were in track pants, I was wearing heels, and Emily in fancy boots. She was also using a garbage bag as an overnight bag (Angelina anyone?), which was shoved in the backseat.
I was driving my teal mobile from high school (1993 Pontiac Sunbird), and it was getting close to its last legs by then and the speedometer (amongst other things) was broken. I wasn’t sure exactly how fast I was going on the highway, but we were in a hurry to start eating (hello, it is Easter!) so I knew I was probably speeding.
I believe I have set the scene for you.
A few minutes into our highway drive, I was pulled over.
Perhaps I am biased, but the officer looked like he was just not a very nice person.
I did not, actually. I didn’t want to tell him about my broken speedometre though (thinking that might be an extra ticket), so I just said I wasn’t sure. Well I don’t remember what I said, but I felt scared so it was probably just:
While the officer was writing the ticket, we sat on the highway for at least 40 minutes. He took forever. To us it felt like a million years. Emile and I were both tired, and really antsy to start eating Easter chocolate, but we tried to be patient and entertain ourselves.
Finally he came back to the car.
And it turns out, surprisingly enough, that I had been speeding…
And also, my insurance slip was expired. My dad had given me my new one (my insurance was still in my dad’s name then), but I had it in my purse, and I (stupidly) had switched purses the night before to my “going out” purse, so I didn’t have it on me…
Both of those I could have dealt with, but then…
(It’s important to note that my license was only suspended for a week or so, and I was unaware of this. Mainly because I have problems with checking the mail…)
It was a lot to process. But the most pressing issue at hand was that I couldn’t drive, and Emily would have to. Emily and I just looked at each other. My car had a manual transmission, and Emily didn’t know how to drive standard.
Please note we were on the highway, NOT a side road. Cars were whizzing by us at crazy speeds (probably a lot faster than I was going when I got pulled over).
And then he walked off back to his car. And sat in it. And waited.
But not before saying “Just so you knowwww, I will not be on this side of the highway again for the rest of the day.”
I don’t know if he was trying to trick me into driving so he could catch me again, or if he was saying I was safe (I am thinking trick me).
But as he was right behind us, at the moment we didn’t have a choice. Emily would have to drive. We got out of the car and switched seats.
It was not the ideal situation to learn how to drive standard. This normally would be around my meltdown threshold, but I knew I needed to hold it together and stay strong for my little Emilio.
I gave her a pep talk.
Emily went to start the car. It didn’t start. It didn’t do anything.
By this time we had been sitting on the side of the highway for nearly an hour, and my four-way flashers had been on the entire time, so I figured that my battery must be dead.
Again, briefly thought of having a meltdown, but had to stay strong.
I got out of the car, and walked back to the police car to explain the situation, and ask if he could possibly boost me.
I stared at him for what may have been a long time, cars flying past me (driven by people who were speeding and probably on drugs, but hey-ho). I allowed a single tear to roll down my cheek.
And then I said…
And he looked at me, and I thought for a second that maybe, just maybe, he would find some compassion within himself, and he might be a little bit forgiving.
And well, he was not wrong. It was a really beautiful day.
Then he added…
And then he left.
So he just left. He left two girls in a broken down car on the side of the road on a busy highway, on Easter Sunday, with one driver who was not allowed to drive, and another driver who didn’t know how to drive (sorry, Emily knows how to drive, but you know what I mean. Manual is a different beast.)
But all was not lost. I did have CAA, thank you very much. My Dad had just gotten me the Plus services thing that gets you any service for free. So I called them up.
They informed me that actually my Plus membership didn’t kick in until Monday (and it was Sunday), so they could boost me for free…but if they needed to tow me anywhere they would have to charge me.
I was absolutely almost at my limit.
And so, Emily and I waited again. And waited. In the (actually quite hot) Easter sunshine. Because hey, at least it wasn’t snowing!
FINALLY the tow truck driver arrived, and pulled up behind us.
As he was getting things ready in his car, Emily was watching him in her passenger door side mirror.
She noticed something metal glinting in the sun. She cried out.
She was referring to the movie “Adventures in Babysitting” (but forgot the name) if anyone remembers it…
(The truck driver with the hook from Adventures in Babysitting.)
And sure enough, he came over to the door on my side, and Emily and I stared at the giant metal hook that was in place of his hand, as he tapped on my window with it.
We were dying, but we tried our absolute hardest to hold it together. It was tough, but somehow we managed, and I got out of the car to talk to him.
Captain Hook turned out to be pretty much the nicest man on the planet. And he was very handy with his hook, hooking his cables up (literally) to my battery. But my car didn’t start. I needed to be towed. Emily and I had to ride with Captain Hook for over an hour back to our hometown. I sat in the middle, and we just watched as he hooked his hook around the steering wheel, worked the radio, and basically just used it as a normal hand.
It was incredible.
And when I got home I had a complete and total meltdown.
I found out later that my starter was broken. It just picked that exact moment to stop working, which probably was a blessing, as I don’t know if Emily would have been able to drive my car. So, Captain Hook probably happened for the best.
He really was a knight in shining armour.
And if you were wondering, I fought and got off of all my tickets. All of them, except speeding (dropped to 10k over though), so no complaints here. But I will just say it was an expensive day.
And I learned some important lessons:
- Do not speed (also, fix your speedometre if it is broken).
- If you change purses make sure your all your important documents are still with you.
- Pay your previous speeding ticket on time.
- Check your mail in case you may have gotten a notice saying your license was suspended.
- If you need to call a tow truck in the Peterborough area, ask for Captain Hook. They’ll know who you mean. He is a legend.
It’s all about life lessons, my friends.
And the legend of Captain Hook will always hold a special place in my heart. And now hopefully yours too.