A very very nice man…

10 Dec

It’s one thing to be carefree and unquestioningly immortal when you’re 5, or even 15, but 25 is probably pushing it a bit.

I have to get a calculator out just to check what year I was 25…1992. I am newly married to my now-ex-husband, at the time a probationary policeman. I am newly armed with a vehicle, renault11a salmon pink Renault 11 (lush). I am newly ensconced in a newly purchased flat (which we sold to Irvine Welsh for cash 3 years later – apparently) and I have to travel 30 miles to and from work. I am all growed-up with a mortgage and I have my own ashtrays.

I knew nothing about cars, I still don’t. I’d strap myself into my salmon pink metal cage atop an internal combustion engine, point it south and race anyone who cared to take me on.

Unquestioningly immortal.

Travelling home after work one evening my car totally died on me. I was travelling at 70mph up a 30 degree incline when it decided enough was enough. It coughed and spluttered its way down to 25mph where I finally admitted defeat, almost at the summit, and pulled onto the hard shoulder. Followed by a huge articulated lorry. Huge.

I thought the driver was probably pissed off at not being able to overtake me on a hill, travelling at 25mph…

russel-croweI really expected a mouthful of abuse when out of the huge articulated lorry climbed a huge tattooed skin-head. This guy was as wide as he was high, his limbs having long lost contact with his torso (and each other) forced apart by massive slabs of protein-fuelled muscle barely contained by his ubiquitous cap-sleeve shirt and oil stainedΒ  jeans. This was the type of guy who ate cow-pie for breakfast.

He tapped on my very closed window, he was smiling… rather against my expectations this proverbial knight of the road offered to follow me to the nearest service station to make sure I got there safely. If the car didn’t make it he would give me a lift.

“That would be lovely!” said I (unfortunately not to Russell Crowe – he was probably still in Neighbours back then).

Unquestioningly immortal.

I made it the 15 miles or so to the service station, crawling ahead of the lorry, barely scraping 40mph downhill. When we got there I thanked him ever so much and told him I would now go phone my husband, the policeman, and have him figure out the rest of the journey.

“Don’t be daft” he says, “I have a phone in the cab, come and use it, it’s free”.

carphoneRemember, this is 1992, when attached by wires to a battery the size of a suitcase and the weight of a suitcase filled with bricks was considered “mobile”. To use this “car-phone” (as we were wont to call them back then) I would have to climb into this guy’s lorry.

So what did I do?

I climbed into this guy’s lorry.

After that I’m a bit blank to be honest. I remember I was wearing a long polka-dot skirt and climbing into the cab of the lorry was neither easy or graceful. He climbed in the other side and showed me how to use his (state-of-the-art) phone. I called home. I spoke to my husband. I hung up. I got out of the cab. I thanked him very much again and off he drove.

And that’s it. Seventeen years later I still I have no idea how I got home.

Apart from my initial fear he was going to chew my face off for driving at 25mph on a motorway, at no point whatsoever did I believe that the body-building tattooed skinhead was anything other than a gentleman helping a damsel in distress. OK maybe not so much “damsel” as badly dressed Laura Ashley reject in a crap car.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, was horrified at my naivety, my recklessness, my complete and utter stupidity.

I was a smug cow because ultimately I had been right.

But I still can’t remember how I got home that night. I guess the choices I made must have shocked me a bit too as I can only assume that the journey home is lost in a haze of me going “Shit! What if…?”.

But you can’t live a life of “What if’s” can you?

Then again sometimes just a weeeeee bit of “What if?” might be considered sensible… and growed-up.

I am, after all, unquestioningly mortal.

Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters “AA” and Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop.

mamakat

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13 Responses to “A very very nice man…”

  1. A Modern Mother December 10, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    So glad it worked out, you had me scared there for a minute.

    • mrsw December 10, 2009 at 10:23 am #

      I only write stories with happy endings πŸ™‚

  2. Mwa December 10, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    Oh, I used to do so many things like that. And I had a more interesting life for it. Luckily it never went wrong. Besides, I don’t think serial killers often look dangerous. They seem to look more like accountants. Or maybe accountants look like serial killers. Whatever.

    • mrsw December 13, 2009 at 12:41 am #

      I think you’re safe so long as they’re not wearing glasses…..

  3. Karen & Gerard Zemek December 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    It’s hard to pass up help when someone offers no matter what they look like. Just glad he really was a nice guy and you were okay. I have AAA for emergencies such as this.

    Visiting from Writer’s Workshop.

    • mrsw December 13, 2009 at 12:40 am #

      Oh so do I (now)

      I have the AA (which is the same thing as the AAA but not American)

      πŸ™‚

  4. Heather December 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    oh the stupid things we have done and somehow managed to live through. It’s amazing we are all still here to tell the story. Or perhaps we just fail to see the general goodness in people and are all to worries about the what if’s. Not a theory i feel very safe testing out these days, mind.

    • mrsw December 13, 2009 at 12:40 am #

      I think I’ll leave my list of stupid things at one for now – just the one for sharing anyway!

  5. kelli December 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Oh my! Sometimes we do things that give us chills later on. But you know, I have learned to trust my instincts. If my gut is saying “uhhhhhhh-ohhhhhh”, then I find a polite but firm way out. If my gut says “why not?” then I go with it, even if the person looks like a serial killer. Or an accountant. πŸ˜‰
    BTW, stop back by my blog for that recipe in a bit. Your nudging was quite subtle. πŸ˜‰

  6. kelli December 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Thought I’d make it easier on you and just bring it to you. πŸ™‚ Also, I have lots to learn…trying to figure out how to add a recipe page. I’m rather challenged when it comes to technology.

    1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup diced dates
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    4 ounces cream cheese
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 box Ritz crackers

    Cook milk, dates and pecans over low heat until thick, stirring often. Put small amount on center of cracker and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 300*F; cool.

    Cream together cream cheese, margarine, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Spread onto cooled crackers.

    Enjoy! πŸ™‚

    • mrsw December 10, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

      Oh THANK YOU! – I am SO going to make those, straight to my hips they will go… I better make them the week my diet cult has a Thursday off – Christmas Eve sounds perfect πŸ™‚

  7. Mama Kat December 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    It’s too bad you were married! He sounds like a hunk!!

    • mrsw December 13, 2009 at 12:38 am #

      Well….. if I’d known then what I know now – tis just as well the future is a closed book I guess πŸ˜‰

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