Short Stories - non fiction

Hanging On For Dear Life

I was driving a friend home and we were filling air time by talking about short stories, blogging, and podcasts. I was telling my friend about a hilarious story I had listened to on the We chatted about how people love to hear stories about other people’s mishaps.

So this lead me to think about dumb things I have done, and dumb things I have heard about other people doing. I was laughing to myself as I remembered something that I did that was so stupid, I almost got myself killed. It had to do with windshield wipers.  This also caused me to think about some other funny stories about this topic.

A few years ago I hosted a party with some old friends from high school. As a bit of an ice breaker, I had my friends break into groups and share stories such as “what is the dumbest thing you did in high school”, and the results were extremely funny. A friend of mine told us how she was driving her parents’ Mercedes, and it was freezing rain, and the windshield wipers would not work. So she continued to drive, while her friend stuck her head out of the sunroof and navigated. “Turn right now….you are approaching a stop sign….okay stop now.” That is a story I won’t ever forget. The image of her driving this way is forever etched in my brain. 

Another time, a friend of mine told me how her mother had been at the beauty salon. When she was on her way home with her newly styled hair, it was pouring rain, and her windshield wipers stopped working. So she stuck her head, with her new hairdo, out the window and drove home like that. Hilarious. She was also one of those mothers who told us her hairdresser just gave her a “blow job”. Eek! 

So my story is so stupid, I cannot believe that I was dumb enough to do what I did. I was driving home after work one day, this was back in the 80’s. I was driving my old Honda Accord, the one that wasn’t very reliable. Anyway, the weather was miserable and it was freezing rain. I was headed toward the highway, when suddenly my wipers stopped working. I pulled over, and made a feeble attempt at getting them unstuck. After which, I got back in the car and decided to carry on. What was I thinking? I was heading for the Queensway, in freezing rain, and I couldn’t see out the window ahead of me. 

My heart was pounding as I proceeded onto the on ramp. I was hanging on for dear life, hoping that I would be okay. I could hardly see through the salt stains on the glass. But….stupidly….I kept going.

Now I am not a religious person, but I am pretty sure I was praying for a miracle. I think God decided that it wasn’t my time, because suddenly, and quite magically, the damn wipers started up. In my head I screamed “hallelujah”! Or I might have said it out loud. I don’t know what happened to make them start working again, perhaps it was the giant truck which sprayed my car as it zoomed past me, that might have been what saved my life that day. The spray must have melted the ice, thus freeing the blades.

In any event, I learned a thing or two that day, and thankfully I lived to talk about it. But boy was I dumb.


4 thoughts on “Hanging On For Dear Life”

  1. Enjoyable post! I listen to the Moth on occasion. Refer to my post ‘parallel hell’ for my ongoing poor relationship with cars. I wished my father had taught me anything to do with auto maintenance. He was overqualified to, being a mechanical engineer! I put in my car battery backwards earlier this year and blew every fuse in the car. Radio hasn’t worked for 8 months now, so I listen to Audible on my phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thx, it really is. You have to laugh at yourself. Other men treat me with scorn, or sadly shake their heads, as though my incompetence is a personal affront to them! One day I’ll take a course, before my daughter (who has her L) surpasses me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And yet you probably already know way more than she does. It shocks me what basic stuff my son doesn’t know, but then again you don’t learn unless someone shows you. It’s way safer now that people have cell phones for emergencies.


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