Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A story of skill, not stupidity

Those of you who know my husband Jerry know he’s gifted in so many ways.  He rarely loses things, can fix anything and if he’s driven anywhere once, he can find it again without the aid of a map or GPS. 

Yesterday after we finished kayaking and he’d carried both kayaks to the car alone, hoisted them onto the roof and securely strapped them on, he hopped into the car with me and he turned the key in the ignition but nothing happened.  He tried repeatedly but the car did not start.  I asked if we needed a jump but he said no, the electrical system was working. 

It is at this point that I would have had a meltdown.  Not Jerry.  Nope!  He didn’t panic, start crying or even shout swearwords, he just looked at his owner’s manual, pressed a button on the floor in front of my feet and off we went.  By the time we’d arrived home, he’d mulled over why the car refused to start, realized he’d gotten his key wet, used his air compressor to dry it and, voila!  Problem solved. 

This story isn’t about yesterday though, it’s about today.  This morning we had to take our niece to the airport and be there before six.  Being night owls by nature, we got everything ready last night.  We even printed out her boarding passes and took her through a dry-run of security.  When we were finished, we knew she could deal with removing her computer from her stuffed suitcase, putting her baggie of liquids in the bin, taking off her shoes and so on and so on, amen.  We got into our car at twenty to six and were off.
Traffic was light and we arrived without issues.  Usually we drop our departing guests off at the front, kiss them goodbye and expect them to fend for themselves once they walk through the airport doors.  This time however, because our niece is the tender age of thirteen, Jer decided to park in the parking garage so we could walk her in and see her safely through security.

As we approached the garage entrance, we saw the customary sign that says “Clearance 7 feet 4 inches.”  We didn’t think a thing about it until we felt a thunk and heard this loud crunching noise.  Jer, the most alert one of the three of us, instantly realized his error.  The kayaks were still on top of the car and they’d started the height bar swinging above us.  They began scraping as we moved toward the garage.  I panicked.  Thank GOD I wasn’t driving by myself because who knows what I might have done?  We were clearly committed to driving forward and forward only.  Although there was no one behind us, there was no exit lane and nowhere to turn around.  Our car was situated in what amounted to a single-lane driveway with concrete walls on either side.  I panicked again!  I jumped out of the car, grabbed the niece and we took off through the parking garage.  Jerry was left to his own devices.   
The girls had our own little adventure.  I have zero sense of direction and when we got to the door marked “exit” and went through it, we were in a stairwell where we could only go down.  I was beginning to feel like Alice in Wonderland.  Intuitively, I knew that going down was not a good choice yet there we were, so down we went. 

Now in the lower level of the parking structure, we aimed for another exit while I tried to keep my cool so as not to upset the traveler.  She had enough on her mind; we didn’t need to add fear to the mix.  We walked across the garage and went into another stairwell and were able to walk up four flights of stairs to an exit above.  Then it was only a matter of figuring out where the airport access was and walking into the terminal, which we did without incident.
By the time we got inside, Jerry was already there.  Apparently I married the star student of the 1969 Mt. Healthy High School Driver’s Ed class!  He had driven backwards through traffic until he got out of the lane to enter the parking garage, was then able to turn the car around and park it in an open lot.
He said it was a story in skill, not stupidity.  I’m sort of sorry I missed seeing that exhibition of driving prowess but at the same time no policemen did either, and for that I’m quite delighted.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Now we know what to get Jerry for Christmas. Just tell us what color the Kayak patch kits should be.