Short Stories - non fiction

Driving Down Lake Road

It was the Spring of 1979, and my good friend and I had been shopping over at the fabric store to buy material for our grad dresses. My friend was a lot of fun to hang out with, we both had a bit of a mischievous side to us, and we loved a good laugh. We had been friends since grade school, and have been friends ever since. 

The store was located on Sources Road, a very long road which ran parallel to St. Jean’s Road. We both lived closer to St. Jean’s Road in Pointe Claire, Quebec. You may be wondering why I am going on about the roads. Well St. Jean’s Road had a road that ran off of it called Lake Road; and Sources Road also had a road nearby also called Lake Road. Surely if we take Lake Road near Sources, we will end up coming out at St. Jeans? So I suggested to my friend (who was driving her Dad’s car) that we try taking Lake Road to get home.

We got part way down the road when we realized that the road had come to an end. There was a field in between the two Lake roads. I suppose the plan was to eventually join the two roads. Makes sense to me.

Well, stupidly, we decided that we should just attempt to drive through the field. I seem to recall that this was my bright idea, and my friend went along with it, although I think she did so with some reservation, or maybe it was with reckless abandon, I am not sure, but the point is, we did it. Now as I mentioned, it was spring, the ground was wet, there was still some snow around, the field was full of mud and large puddles, and it was a cold grey damp day. As I recall there were a few snowflakes coming down.

The ride was a hoot. we were off roading it. Hee haa! As we drove, we giggled and laughed our fool heads off. It was a total hoot! The fun came to an abrupt end though, as suddenly we got stuck. Oh oh….

We were about half way between Lake Road and Lake Road, and we were stuck. Not willing to throw in the towel, we were determined to get the car out. So we took turns trying to push the car, which, by the way was a joke, there was no way. We got rather creative, and tried to fit the car mats under the tires to see if we could get the car tires to grip. Didn’t work. We did, however, manage to get completely covered in mud from head to toe.

Holy crap! What were we going to do? We were stuck in the mud, in the middle of a field, soaking wet, covered in mud, and of course we had no cell phone, because they didn’t exist.

We decided to go and knock on someone’s door so that we use their phone and call for help. Did we call a tow truck? No. Did we call our parents? No. Did we call anyone in our families? No. We called Glenn Sargent. Glenn was a “car guy”. He had a few vehicles of his own, and liked to tinker under the hood. Somehow we managed to get a hold of him at work. I seem to recall it was about 3pm, and we bothered him during his work day looking to be bailed out of this situation.

What seemed to escape us was that Glenn was not going to be there to our rescue in five minutes. Glenn had to work until five o’clock, and then he had to go home, get changed, load up the necessary towing tools (which he actually owned for some reason), then he had to drive to our destination between Lake and Lake.

Well, none of this occurred to us at all. I am sure that doesn’t surprise you, because no part of this story has demonstrated that we were thinking at all. Let’s put it this way, on that spring day in 1979, we were stupid.

So we waited for Glenn. I seem to recall at first we stood outside of the car to keep a keen eye out for him. But it was cold, and there was snow mixed with rain, and we were completely covered with mud. This was no longer funny. As I recall, I did convince  my friend to get in the car after a while, to stay out of the elements. It was a good thing because it was around 5:30 pm by the time Glenn arrived, which meant we had been stuck for several hours.

Thankfully Glenn was the man for the job. He drove up, and he had some ropes and pulleys, and I don’t know what all, but he had all the necessary tools to get us out of the predicament. Glenn saved the day. Thank God for Glenn! 

We drove straight to a carwash and managed to wash away the mud on the exterior of the car. Then we drove to my place were we stripped off the mud covered clothes and threw them right into the washer and dryer. Then we showered and put on fresh clothes and sat down for dinner. Any sign of the incident was removed. Our parents never knew what happened. 

Incidentally, I just searched for Lake Road on the map, it has been completed, and by the way, it actually boarders on a park with a lake. I always wondered why it was called Lake Road!

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – “WOW – What a Ride!” -Anon.


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