12/25/2011

Christmas in the Valley

Story Sent in by Eunice:

One Christmas Eve, Anthony and I were driving to my parents' house. He and I were from coastal North Carolina (Greenville area) and my folks lived in Harriman, Tennessee. A long drive, but we prepared for it, or so we thought.

In the interests of time, we took major highways across the state. As we approached the border, we found the highway closed down for an unknown reason, and the police had marked off an exit as a detour. We took it, and it turned into some pretty rural local roads. Eventually, the detour signs vanished, and it became pretty clear that we had taken a wrong turn.

The car had GPS, so we figured out an alternate route. Unfortunately, the terrain was very hilly and Anthony's 1990 sedan just couldn't take it. There came a clanging sound, and then it was suddenly a maximum speed of about 10 miles per hour.

"Damn," he muttered, "I think the transmission just went."

Bad to worse. No other cars around, one bar of cell signal, and night was coming on. If there was any luck, it was that we still had just about a half tank of gas.

However, it didn't look like we would be going much of anywhere for quite a while. We had packed food and water, but I really wanted to contact my folks, otherwise they'd be worried sick.

Anthony said, "The best we can do is to flag down another car and ask for help, or a ride to the closest service station."

We kept the heat on in the car and waited for another vehicle to pass. None did. I finally told Anthony, "I've got to call my folks, and we've got to get moving. I'm going to walk up the road a bit to try and find better cell reception."

He walked with me up a hill. After walking what seemed like about a mile, I had enough bars to call out. My parents were worried and told me repeatedly to stay in the car. Anthony took the opportunity to call AAA and a few other tow services, but they told him that they likely couldn't make it out to us for a little while.

We returned to the car for Christmas. No other vehicles had come by for hours. We kept the heat on low, cuddled up together, ate and drank a bit, and, eventually, fell into an uneasy sleep on a roadside in the middle of nowhere.

We awoke to tapping on the window at four in the morning and a flashlight shining in. Anthony asked, "Is it a tow truck?"

It wasn't. Anthony rolled down his window a bit. It was a man who stank of alcohol. He asked, "What are you doing here? What are you doing here?"

"Our car broke down," Anthony explained through the window, "We're waiting on a tow."

"You have to leave," the guy said, "You can't stay. Understand me? You've got to go, right now."

Anthony said, "The tow truck's on its way. It'll be here in 10 minutes."

The man looked around and said, "You just have to leave."

Anthony said, "We said that the car broke down, so we're not going anywhere without a tow. If you're going to threaten us, then it's not going to end well for you. I guarantee it."

"I'll be back," the man said, then climbed back into his truck and pulled away.
"We've got to get out of here," Anthony said.

We jumped out of the car, hurried back to where the good cell service was (staying off the road), called AAA, and asked them for a status report on the tow truck. They said that one would be along quickly.

Sure enough, almost right when we made it back to the car, the tow truck pulled up.

As Anthony's car was affixed to the truck, the weird man drove by in the opposite direction, honked his horn repeatedly, and floored it away from us.

The tow truck driver brought us to the closest service station (a good 15 miles away) and we were able to reach the station owner and convince him to come in to take a quick look at the car.

It took him two days for his garage to finish work on it (mostly because his employees didn't seem to feel like coming in), and in that time, we got to know that particular small town very well.

When the car was finally fixed, we continued on to Tennessee, and finally celebrated Christmas with my family, albeit a few days late. Seeing the expressions on their faces, and having a level-headed guy like Anthony around, unexpectedly made it the best Christmas ever.

13 comments:

  1. What's the old saying, - a crisis is always an opportunity?

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  2. Awwww. :) Bad time, good story.

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  3. Thank god some other people think this is boring also! I thought this was the lamest story ever but I didn't want to say anything for fear of being the Holiday Grinch.

    I think this story would be WAY better with a rebuttal from the alcoholic man. "I was just making the rounds of my property when I noticed two horny teenagers giving each other oral sex in their parked car. Since this was the road that our local Boy Scout troop would be hiking down later that morning, I was understandably concerned..."

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  4. I'm all on board with people having a solid relationship and bad times that are neither of their fault and only strengthen their bond, but... I come here to real about fat bitches and bullets to be dodged and occasional bodily functions. I like to join in the chorus of OP hate/date hate/y'all are both dumb, so... I'm of mixed minds. Yay, good for you guys, glad things worked out, blah blah blah, now I need to go find something interesting to read in the archives.

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  5. 'Twas a cool Christmas morning,
    and though we may try
    our story's as boring
    as watching paint dry!

    A dull tale of car breakdowns,
    it's not easy to bear it,
    just one part's a puzzle:
    why we bothered to share it!

    A brief threat from a redneck,
    that is all we have got
    but that sadly won't save it,
    for it all comes to nought.

    Though we're quite out of luck
    you must not shed a tear,
    for though this story sucks,
    well, there's always next year!

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  6. I don't think it's boring or sucky. I think it's sweet and belongs in the Cheery group

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  7. I wanted a nice story for Christmas. At least Santa didn't disappoint ME.

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  8. Jared, it's important to know your audience. You're like the Jerry Springer of our time - sure, it's great to have the "awww" moment at the end when Jerry says "What did we learn here?" but you know we're really here for the trashy dirt, fighting, and accusations (often on the comments section). ;-)

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  9. Ah, sweet wolfie. I know my audience well enough to post stories like this seldom. However, I know I'm not the only one who likes them. You can't please everyone, but I try. Happy holidays to one and all.

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  10. Keep driving, I hear banjos.

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  11. You can't stop here! It's batshit country!

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