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Monday, February 9, 2009

Second Most Embarassing Moment

I posted a day ago about my most embarassing moment (Read: GUNG HO! blogpost that I wrote listed below).

Well, I am on a roll.

So, now, you get to hear about my second most embarassing moment.

Many of you are too young to remember the teeny, tiny car called a Yugo. But, for about a year, I owned one.

It was about half the size of a Volkswagon Beetle in both height and width. But it got like a zillion miles per gallon.

At the time, I was a "home health nurse" and visiting patients all over two counties. I got paid by the hour and got mileage, so I was making out like a bandit on the mileage reimbursement. Of course I bought it one late summer, so I had no problems. I forgot about our northern Michigan winters in a blind I-gotta-have-this-car moment of weakness when I bought it.

Then: came winter.

Once, I was way out in the country, visiting a patient for the first time. His sons were there to help answer his health background questions. First of all, they couldn't believe I actually made it in on the barely plowed county road they lived on. The car only had 13 inch tires, and we had gotten about 18 inches of snow the night before. But I blasted through the drifts and like an energizer bunny, drove right on into their long driveway. I made it about 3/4 of the way and the car had plowed its way into their snow-filled driveway until it pushed the snow up to the height of my car hood.

I climbed out of the car (which is a feat in itself because it sat very low. I had thighs of steel that year just from getting in and out of the car!). I hoisted my huge medical bag over my shoulder and hiked it up to his back door. They answered it and looked completely surprised to see me.

I reminded them that I was the home health nurse, and they said: "What did you drive? A snowmobile?"

I shook the snow off my boots and pants and shook my head no, and pointed out to my red (now mostly white) Yugo.

They leaned out their back door and hooted and hollered like I just showed them a two headed deer. They went and physically helped their Dad out of his recliner and walked him to the door and pointed. Then, HE hooted and hollered, laughing so hard he almost fell over.

So, I took his health history, his blood pressure, checked his blood sugar and talked with them for quite a while about his health care plan.

Then, it was time to go.

At this time, I eyeballed the sons and noted they were quite large lads.

I timidly asked if they "wouldn't mind" helping "rock" my car out of the snow hole it was in.

(For those of you that don't live up north, I will further explain: If you get your car stuck in the snow, the thing to do is to put the car in neutral and find some big strapping men to push it from the opposite end that you want to go. When they push, the car gets lifted just a little from the ruts it is in and if you do this a few times, the car rocks and gets enough momentum that at the exact right moment, you can stomp on the gas pedal and the car will propel itself over the ruts and out of your predicament). Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you almost run over your helpers. Sometimes you end up spraying them full of slush from stomping on the gas pedal.

So, what do you think happened?

Nope, Smartie-Pants. You are too far ahead of me in this story....

The guys came out and scratched their head and looked at the snow-trapped car from all angles. And, instead of the rocking idea, one just simply took the front bumper and the other took hold of the rear bumper......and...............

THEY LIFTED AND CARRIED the car about 30 feet and plopped it down on another patch of driveway that was smooth from my tire tracks.

(I told you the car was tiny!)

They barely got out of breath. They waved me goodbye and laughed their asses off walking back up to their house.

I made it just fine back home from there.

But that was NOT the second most embarrassing moment for me. (That was maybe my third).

So, I get over THAT, and spring finally arrives.

The highways were all muddy for days and everything looked like it was dipped in shit.

I wanted my little red Yugo to shine up, so I decided it needed to go through the car wash.

I pulled up to my favorite car wash by the mall, and there are about 35 cars waiting.

"Oh, what the hell!" I think. "Why not wait. It is a beautiful day. I will just crank up my radio and enjoy the sunshine and wait."
So, I wait in line (forever!) and finally get to be the next one in line to get my car washed. By now, there is another 35 cars behind me, still waiting in line to also get their car washed. (Must be a spring ritual, for sure!)

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I always get a little nervous when I am by myself in the car wash. I don't know what it is. Maybe not being able to see outside the car. Maybe it is the loud noise the rushing water makes. I don't know.

So, here I go.

I carefully pull the car up, following the car wash guy's waving directions, (like he's directing a 747 jet for a landing, or something) and he gives me the STOP signal, which I promptly do.

Whew!

I put it in neutral.

The assembly line jerks me forward and I hear the water coming.

Okay so far.


The car starts getting sprayed and flapped to death by the moving car wash strips full of soap.

Alrighty then. I progress about 10 feet down the line.


All of a sudden, this LOUD alarm goes off inside the car wash and red lights are flashing.

It goes on for what seems five minutes. I note that the car has stopped lunging forward on the assembly line.

I see no live human beings.

So, I sit in my car.

Terrified.

The water stops.

Still, no humans in sight.

Alarm is still howling, red lights are still blinking off and on.

Finally, from behind a glass window, I hear someone mouthing to me: "Can you get out of your car?"

I partially roll down my right front window, and yell back: "What? Are you saying for me to get OUT of my car? What if the water starts again or the flappers and brushes come at me? No...I don't think so."

He doesn't respond, but I see him frantically gesturing to the guy beside him in the little glass booth.

About two minutes later, four men come out into the wet car wash area, ducking under the dripping brushes and flappy dealies.

They bend down and look at my car from all angles.

By now I am thinking....did the car wash break part of my Yugo?

The 35 cars behind me are all honking their horns. Some drivers are getting pissed and motioning for the cars behind them to back up, because they want to get the hell out of line.

Its starting to get ugly outside the car wash.

The four men still surrounding my car huddle together like football players deciding on their next play.

Without telling me again to get out of the car, two of them go to the front of the car and two go to the back.

And; once again, folks, they LIFT MY CAR (with me in it!) and drop it down a few feet further down the line.

One motions for me to unroll the driver's window.

He says: "M'am....your car went "off track" during the car wash. I think it will make it through now without any problems because the water pressure is less during the rinse cycle."

They all go back into the booth again (I am sure to call all their relatives to gufaw about the tiny car that got blown off the car wash tracks. (I am thinking I will just be lucky if I don't make the six o-clock news).

Gripping the steering wheel and praying that it stayed on track, I went through the rest of the car wash cycle without incident.

As soon as it got through, I was so embarrassed, I just hit the gas and left the parking lot as fast as I could without looking back.

From then on, I washed my car myself.

Less than a year later, I heard about a Yugo being blown off the Mackinac Bridge (which is a suspension bridge over Lake Michigan that connects upper and lower Michigan) during a storm.

I sold the Yugo two weeks later.

They stopped manufacturing Yugo's shortly after the bridge event.

15 comments:

dreamwalker said...

LOL...that was kinda cute. I wouldn't mind having a Yugo myself. And when I was reading your "lifting" story, I was reminded of the Mentos commercial...did you ever see that?

Ratty said...

That was good, but you're going to run out of things to be embarrassed a bout. My brother had a Yugo too, and he also loved his. The starter in his car was bad, so he would have to do it another way. He would get out and push it down the street as fast as he could, and then hop in and throw it into gear. It would would start then, and off he went. We would always laugh and call him Fred Flintstone.:)

Aria said...

LMAO, not that your got picked up and moved by human beings ~ TWICE, but whenever I get behind someone that drives a small car that pulls ALL the Way into the left lane to make a right (or vice versa!) I alwaysAlwaysALWAYS say, "Damn it! Driving a Yugo and thinks it's a big rig!" cause it's one of my many pet peeves... lol You're the first person I ever knew that actually had one though!

Loree said...

That was absolutely hilarious. I never actually thought that a car could be lifted. I really enjoyed reading this post.

Kearsie said...

Second most embarrassing moment: peeing my pants in the 6th grade and my electric blue stirrup pants forever being a reminder of how laughing can cause emotional pain.
First most embarrassing moment: dropping the bowling ball during my fancy windup on a first date. There was much laughter, and much emotional angst for me.

Insanity Kim said...

When I was 19 I got my first car, and that same week after driving everywhere I was low on gas. I went to fill it up and had no idea how...a nice man at another pump helped me...can you even believe that? And I was on the road, driving!!!!

Oh yeah, I've got more...sigh...

The Retired One said...

Dreamwalker: No, I didn't see the Mentos ad..now you got me curious!~

Ratty: ME? Run OUT of things to be embarrassed about? Nope..I got a million of 'em. *ha* They called my Yugo a "Fred Flinstone" car,too, and one guy called it a "fishing lure". It sure was a "one of a kind" car!

Aria: Yup, I know...the Yugo got made fun of all the time. It was the one and only car I ever bought without my husband knowing...he was gone on a trip and I saw a bargain...couldn't get ahold of him and didn't want someone else to buy it so I did it on my own. Boy, has he teased me ever since about my "used car" buying prowness.

Loree: Thanks and glad you liked the post. I never knew anyone could lift a car either until then...and ESPECIALLY with ME in it!! But now...look at all the fun I had sharing it!

Kearsie: Sounds like right around the time they invented "Depends". Hmmm...coincidence? (I think not). The bowling ball could have been dangerous. Hope your date didn't lose his foot (or any other (ahem!) body parts) when you dropped the bowling ball. STTTTT-IR-IKKKKKKE!!!!

Insanity Kim: Don't you just HATE it when you have to be "saved" by a guy when it comes to car things? My daughter laughs because her dad (my hubby) had her under the car hood when she was little and taught her a lot, including how to change a tire when she was 13. She has been on a few dates where they had csr problems...and she will say: "He was such a girl!" "I told him to move over and I kicked my heels off, rolled up my sleeves, jacked up the car and changed the tire, for God's sake!"

The Retired One said...

Dreamwalker: No,I haven't seen the Mentos commercial. Now you've got me curious!

Ratty: Me? Run out of embarrassing moment stories? NOT a CHANCE, I've got a ton of them! People called my car a "Fred Flinstone" car, too. Another person called it a "fishing lure".

Aria: Yep. The Yugo has had its "name used in vain" many times through history. I hate it when someone makes "farmer turns" too.

Loree: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post. Don't worry...I have had enough goofy things happen in my life, you will be hearing about more in my future blogs. That's what you get for being an "old fart" like me. ha

Kearsie: Hmm....I believe they have DEPENDS for your type of (ahem) "problem". Your poor date on the bowling fiasco....I hope he has use of all of his toes (not to mention other body parts).

Insanity Kim: Don't you just hate it when you gotta get a guy to help when you have a car issue?
My hubby taught our daughter when she was about 13 to change a tire, change the oil, etc. She has saved a few dates by telling them to move over when they had car problems...and rolling up her sleeves, kicking off her heels and jacking the car up and changing a flat. Then she gets home and says: "He was such a girl. He didn't even know how to change a tire!"

Melissa said...

LOL!! First off, I totally can relate to the "rocking to get your car out of snow" :-)
Second of all, the part of the big boys carrying your car... I almost spit out my wine!!

dreamwalker said...

That ad was shown a looong time ago...the girl parallel parked and some a** parked so close so she couldn't pull out. She asked some construction workers to LIFT her car...don't know if it was a Yugo.

The Retired One said...

Melissa: Glad someone out there knows what I mean about the car rocking in winter....it is hard to imagine if you haven't "lived it". (Lord knows I have worn out a few clutches in the process in some cars during winters up here!). I can still picture the "big boys" lifting the car, too. Now pass the wine!

Dreamwalker: It might've been a Yugo in the ad, you never know! But you wouldn't even need a construction worker...an old 80 year old senior on Geratol could've lifted that light-weight car. ha

Polly said...

Boy, do I ever remember the Yugo!! I would sure hate to try to get into one today. You are so funny!

The Retired One said...

Polly: OMG,someone else who remembers a Yugo. We are a rare breed. I think I could still get IN to a Yugo today, but they'd have to bury me in it, because I wouldn't get back out. (Unless two MORE strapping men came to my rescue to pry me out!) ha

Grannyann said...

I had a friend in school that had a car about the Yugo size and almost everyday the boys would lift her car and put it on the sidewalk or some other stupid place. It was always funny seeing where it wound up.

The Retired One said...

Grannyann: Oh! So I am not the ONLY one! That is funny that they wouldn't tell her and she'd have to go and find out where it was put! At least my friends just shook their heads and smiled whenever they saw it.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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