Sunday, December 19, 2010

Zamboni Driver H's Icy Adventure

In case you have been under a rock during the last week, or reside somewhere besides southeast Missouri, we had a mini freezing rain storm here last Wednesday night.

The #1 son had to work the electronic gewgaws for the church Christmas presentation Wednesday night at 7:00. The drizzle started around 2:00, and all after-school activities were canceled. I heard #1 call out to his teacher, also the church choir director, about whether the program was still on. Unfortunately, it was. I don't know who makes those decisions, but if you've ever seen the congregation, you would not take a risk on breaking such a multitude of hips.

The Pony and I dropped off #1 in town at his grandma's house. I gave her strict instructions not to drive him to church. One of the other techies could come pick him up. It's only about 3 miles. I certainly did not want her to venture out of her house. As luck would have it, the adult with the large SUV did not pick up #1, but sent the recent high school graduate at 5:00 in a small sports car. HS Grad said the roads were getting slick, and he was surprised that they hadn't canceled.

Zamboni Driver H arrived home from work around 5:00, and said it was indeed getting slick. He left the Mansion at 7:15 to catch some of the program, and pick up #1. He took my T-Hoe. The normal 15-minute drive took him 40 minutes. He didn't even get out of the car on that sloping parking lot. He said there were about a half-dozen cars there, so there must have been more performers that spectators. It took #1 and H 45 minutes to get home.

In the meantime, I was watching the news updates, because in St. Louis, no good snowflake goes to waste. The major highway from the city to our neck of the woods was shut down at the road where Zamboni Driver H gets on and off to get to and from work. Two tractor trailers and five cars were involved. Anyhoo, that's how bad conditions were. The southbound lanes were shut down until after 6:00 the next morning.

On Thursday morning, Zamboni Driver H left me T-Hoe in case of an emergency. He drove #1's new little Ford Ranger 4 x 4. Now we get to the part where Zamboni Driver H shows his true colors.

Trying to go from a lettered county road onto the numbered interstate, a small car was sideways and blocking Zamboni Driver H's path. So ZDH did what no other sane person would have done, and pulled off the ice-coated county road with two wheels in the ditch. He then got out of the little truck, walked up to the car that was blocking both lanes on a 30-degree incline, and told the wild-eyed driver:

"I'll hold the back of your car out of the ditch, and you put it in reverse, and the front will swing around so you're facing downhill, and you can coast down to that driveway and pull off."

Stand behind the car while it backs up, and hold it out of the ditch. That's our H!

The first part worked, but the driver got all panicky and gassed it instead of coasting down the hill, and got sideways again, until ZDH yelled at him to COAST, so the dude righted the car and got to the driveway. But, more importantly, out of ZDH's way. Zamboni Driver H got back in the little Ranger, pulled out of the ditch and up onto the highway, and wondered why the southbound lanes were bumper to bumper. As ZDH said, "I was afraid the northbound lanes were closed, and everybody was trying to come back south. Because there was NO traffic in the northbound lanes." Well. That's because the reasonable people stayed home.

Zamboni Driver H made it to work in an hour and twenty minutes. It usually takes forty. He said some of the guys left at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and didn't get home until 7:00 a.m. They sat on the highway all night.

I'm thankful that ZDH missed that accident when coming home Wednesday night (by a few minutes, apparently), but concerned that the next day, he saw fit to get out of a perfectly good vehicle to stand on the icy road while somebody backed up toward him.

Then there's the time he worked down on Tower Grove and Chouteau in St. Louis, and jumped a fence to pry a pit bull's jaws off a five-year-old boy who was bleeding profusely. Whack that pit bull with a pipe until it let go might be a better description. In any case, messing with a pit bull and using your shirt to stem the flow of a stranger's blood is not something I would recommend. But if it was my kid, I'd hope somebody did the same.

I hope Hero H has seven lives still to go.


Chickadee said...

Are you prepared for the bad weather we're supposed to get by Thursday? I'm wondering how bad it's really going to get. Surely that storm out west will lose its steam by the end of the week.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I'm putting all my eggs in that basket labeled: The Weather Forecasters Are Rarely Correct.

Let's see...we were supposed to have a little event Sunday night into Monday, then one from Monday night into Tuesday, and now this big one has been changed to nothing Thursday, but all day Friday, and taking a more southern track, so it should be snow instead of ice.

I will know how bad it is when I get ready to leave the Mansion, and stick my head out the door.

We have a generator, a freezer and pantry full of food, boys to shovel snow, and piles of books and Christmas presents for entertainment. If we run out of gas for the generator, after draining the seven working cars that we've somehow accumulated, we can slide down to Farmer H's cabin and build a wood fire in his stove, and a bonfire outside. I've never tasted goat, but if we run out of chickens, I'm willing to sample it.

Our family is all within a 15-mile radius, so rescheduling Christmas festivities won't be a problem.

I think we'll pull through!