While I was chipping it up with bloggers on Tuesday, Thomas and Katarina were going to have lunch at a nearby Chili's. We were about to pull into the Chili's parking lot so I could drop them off, when it happened.
The sirens. The flashing lights. We were being pulled over.
I have no defense. Thomas and I weren't wearing seat belts. (Just so you know, when they say "click-it or ticket", they aren't playing around.) Katarina was securely seat belted in the back seat, so she is the only member of the family who did not receive a ticket. If that wasn't bad enough, when the highway patrolman asked for our insurance and registration, we had the wrong insurance cards in the glove compartment. Cards to an old vehicle. Ticket number three.
By the time he was done printing out our tickets, I had five minutes to make it to Lee's house. I left Thomas and Katarina at the Chili's, and started driving.
According to Google Maps, I was supposed to turn right onto *Street A and follow the twisty road until I reached Street B where I would make a left turn onto Street C. Only problem, when I reached Street B, I could only turn right. I felt a second of fear, but told myself that maybe I had written down the wrong direction, and I turned right. Google thought that Street B was long and straight and had other streets running off of it, but this was not the case. In actuality, Street B is a very short cul-de-sac, and there was no Street C.
This is the moment that panic set in, and the emotional breakdown started. I went back to Street A and wound around the neighborhood trying to find another Street B, or a Street C, or a big light up sign with a arrow that said "This is Lee's House!!".
Thirty minutes late. I'm driving and crying and yelling and generally loosing it.
I start looking for a person out in their yard who I can ask for directions (because I don't have a cell phone from which to call). Finally, I see someone in a blue shirt. I stop the car and start waving my hands and yelling out to him. Our driver's side window doesn't roll down, and the door only opens from the outside, so I'm trying to make my seat go back far enough to reach my arm out the back window and open the door. The person in the blue shirt turns all the way around, and I realized that he was a teenager with Down Syndrome. He took one look at the lady in the car, with puffy eyes, yelling and waving, sticking her hand out the back window, acting like a crazy person....and in fear, he picked up his dog and started running away.
Forty-five minutes late. I'm thinking this day can not get any worse. I headed toward the Chili's to get Thomas to find the street for me.
For this next part of the story, I have to describe Street A to you. Near the front of the neighborhood, it is divided by a median, and there is one lane on each side. When I reached that portion of the road, I saw that there were two big yard trucks full of equipment parked halfway in the road.
I'm driving around the trucks, when a guy on a professional riding lawn mower (with the big metal parts that stick out really far on both sides, in the front) comes out into the road from between the trucks.
I swerved, but I couldn't get completely out of his way, and my car clipped the lawn mower!!
(my friend Kathi says that the lawn mower hit me, but the point is, my car and his lawn mower made contact!)
I'm already crying and freaking out...and I panicked...and I just.kept.driving.
I made it to the Chili's (where there was nearly an incident with a red truck in the parking lot) and went inside to find Thomas and Katarina. I ran over to their table, and sat down, tears streaming down my face, my whole body shaking, and I'm telling him that I couldn't find the road. It just doesn't exist. And he is trying to calm me down (everyone in the restaurant is staring at me, trying to figure out what is wrong) when I say, "You don't understand, I wasn't going to tell you this...but I can't calm down...I hit a lawn mower!"
We left the restaurant and as Thomas drove down Street A, I saw the man on the lawn mower cutting the grass. And then we passed the corner where I scared the boy in the blue shirt, and I shared that part of my adventure with him, because once you tell your husband that you hit a lawn mower, you should go ahead and tell him everything.
Over an hour late. Thomas was able to find Street C, which did exist (just not in the place Google said it would) and I finally made it to Lee's house with my chips and dip and a "why I'm late" story that will probably never be topped.
Do you have a driving horror story?
*Street names have been changed to prevent crazy people from going to Lee's house uninvited, not that anyone could actually find Lee's House.