Posted by: Don Bemis | April 26, 2014

Don’t try this at home.

Or anybody else’s home.

Blame the sunlight. Sunlight does strange things to Michiganders after long, grey winters. True, it’s only 42 degrees, but at least the snow is gone for the moment.

Lois and I went downtown to the Farmers’ Market, and she took along some yarn to give to a friend who might be there. The friend wasn’t. So we drove to the friend’s house. I sat in the car, and Lois rang the doorbell. Then she disappeared inside.

“It’s a beautiful day,” thought I to myself. “Why am I sitting in this car, when I could be enjoying the sun?” I killed the engine and got out.

…Let’s step into the house for a moment…

FRIEND: “Lois, your car is moving.”
LOIS: “That’s okay. Don’s in it.”
FRIEND: “No, he isn’t.”

…Meanwhile, back in the driveway, Don was chasing his car…

Gently and quietly, it had begun to roll backward. It slowly accelerated and curved toward the street. Like a dope, I yanked the door open and hoped to get at the brake. Dumb. That only works for stunt drivers, with lots of retakes. If I had actually tried to get into the car, I might have slipped beneath it instead. That thought did cross my mind, so I didn’t try to jump in.

I did the next dumbest thing instead, running alongside and tugging at the door handle. Honda Civics are light, but not that light.

That was when I noticed the signpost. A speed limit sign, I think, but we weren’t going anywhere near the speed limit. What a useless sign, especially when a car door is coming toward it.

The door did not hit the signpost. It protected itself with my leg. The car gently bumped over the curb and stopped in the parking lane, just as it would have if I had stayed back and watched the show.

My leg did not break. For that, I am grateful. The door broke instead, opening far wider and more loudly than it was ever supposed to do. Maybe I would have been more grateful if it could have been closed afterward.

It was a good adventure, mostly. I’m still walking, even if I’ll be purple by tomorrow. If I had set the brake, or if I had just let the car run away, we would not have had our impromptu, overdue visit while waiting for the tow truck. God does like his little jokes while steering us when we think we’re in charge.

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