Did you all see the news story out of central Florida on April 1? About the woman in the Walgreen's parking lot who got back to her car after she picked up her prescriptions (maybe for OxyContin?) and found out after she was inside the vehicle that the battery was dead? And that she was trapped inside her own car because nothing electrical would work?
This was not an April Fool's Day prank.
She called 911 from her cell phone and plaintively told the dispatcher in a well-modulated and ladylike voice, "Nothing electrical works. And it's getting very hot in here. And I'm not feeling well."
On the tape of the call, you can hear the dispatcher, who was understandably baffled, asking the prisoner if she was able to manually pull up on the door lock.
"Okay, I've got that going on," said the woman, amidst noises of fumbling around inside the vehicle, "and oh...okay. Uhhhmmmm, sorry..."
Can you imagine the moment when the woman's door opened, can you imagine what was going through her mind? Because the car battery's still dead, right? And she needs to call AAA, or maybe even AA or maybe just her friend Amy, to get down to that parking lot with some jumper cables before the 911 dispatcher, all seized up with mirth, starts telling officers in their squad cars to drive by the Walgreen's on John Young Parkway and look for the lady standing next to the SUV with the hood up.
I imagine that many of us are laughing, even as we cringe inside, knowing that we ourselves have perhaps been just inches -- centimeters!!! -- away from making such a spectacle of ourselves at some point. Or maybe we actually have done something like this and time has drawn a merciful veil over the incident.
Or maybe you can imagine doing something even more spectacularly bird-brained in this particular woman's situation, which is exactly where my imagination led me. I can so see myself, locked in the car, thinking, "It's getting hot in here! I don't feel well at all! I must think of a way to get out of here! Oh, crap! My cell phone battery is dead, too! Why do all the batteries in my life die and desert me in my time of need? Is this some kind of metaphor? Wait! I know what I can do! I remember that segment on the news that said you can KICK OUT THE WINDSHIELD in case of an emergency and you're trapped! Yes! That's what I'll do!"
Walgreen's shoppers going in or out of the store would have been greatly surprised and undoubtedly amused to see me emerging triumphant onto the hood of my minivan, rising from the chunks of broken windshield the way Venus emerged on that shell through the sea foam, only not as pretty, being plump and flushed and slightly hysterical. And sweaty. "I'M OKAY! DON'T WORRY! I GOT OUT!"
I can see it. I can so see it. And you know what? So can my husband, my father, my brother, possibly my sister-in-law and many of my friends. The only ones who would remain loyal, because we're all in the same dopey club together, are Meelyn, Aisling and my mother.
Ohhhh, it just doesn't bear thinking about. Poor lady.
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