Traveling on Thanksgiving night has its advantages. The roads are almost completely empty while everyone is home digesting their turkey. However, the one downside is that all the people who drive the tow trucks are also home, stuffed to the gills and unwilling to answer their phones if you happen to be the only idiot out on the road Thanksgiving night and your car breaks down.
When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving, every family has its own traditions. For some, it is about gathering with extended family. For others, it is all about the football games.
And for others still, it is the annual trip to the emergency room when someone thinks they’re having a heart attack but it turns out to just be indigestion.
Each year my family gets together for the big meal, we give thanks for our blessings, then we pile in the car while we are still full and drive four hours to the mountains so we can wake up the next day and take the first run of the ski season. Although the snow is usually about as mushy as the mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner, it is still nice to be there and ski off some of the pecan pie from the night before.
Traveling on Thanksgiving night has its advantages. The roads are almost completely empty while everyone is home digesting their turkey, so we can usually make it to the mountain in record time. However, the one downside is that all the people who drive the tow trucks are also home, stuffed to the gills and unwilling to answer their phones if you happen to be the only idiot out on the road Thanksgiving night and your car breaks down.
It was about 10 p.m. when our transmission decided to heave its last fluid-filled breath. It chose to do this a) on a dark road between two cow pastures, b) where there was barely any cell phone service, and c) where the nearest town with a service station was 10 miles away. Unless a passing spaceship landed in one of the fields and gave us a tow, we were definitely up a cow pasture without a patty.
We had been stuck for only 15 minutes when the natives began to get restless.
“I’m hungry,” said my daughter.
“I can’t text,” said my son.
“I need a bathroom,” I announced.
“There’s leftovers in the back, there’s no cell service out here in the boonies, and there’s a whole field you can use as a bathroom right outside the car,” responded my husband to all of our complaints.
Another 15 minutes passed. In half an hour not a single car had passed us.
“I’m thirsty,” said my daughter.
“I still can’t text,” said my son.
“I wonder if I can find any toilet paper?” I asked aloud.?
“There are water bottles in the back, there’s no cell service out here in the boonies, and I don’t think the cows keep any toilet paper around for people who get stuck and need to pee in their pastures,” responded my husband.
A half-hour passed. Then another. Suddenly we saw a pair of headlights coming toward us. The car pulled up to us and the driver rolled down his window.
“Good evening folks,” said the state trooper as we cheered. “Everything OK?”
“Our car broke down two hours ago, we have intermittent cell service, and we can’t get any tow trucks to come out on Thanksgiving night,” explained my husband.
“Well, I got good news and bad news,” said the trooper. “The good news is, my brother-in-law drives a flatbed and I can probably get him to come out and give you a tow.”
“What’s the bad news?” I asked.
“You’re going to have to wait 'til he gets home from the hospital,” said the trooper.
“He thought he was having a heart attack, but it turns out it was just indigestion.”
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