Up until July of 2009 I gladly drove around all of Ontario in my 1990 Topaz.
For the most part, Maxie was good to me. She drove me to the cottage, the city, to my parents; she took me on road trips.
Pretty much she was the best ugly car a girl could ask for.
Although she was the best ugly car, it doesn’t mean she didn’t have her problems. She had freckles (paint chips on the front bumper). In the heat of the summer the rear-view mirror just fell off. And often, Maxie would have problems with her muffler so when driving around town I sounded like I was a NASCAR racer.
I loathe NASCAR – this was not ideal for me.
Anyway, there was this one time when I was driving back from Windsor to Guelph on a Monday morning – I needed to make it back to guelph for my 11:00 class. I was driving along the highway when I looked at my rear-view mirror and saw that my car was smoking. Yikes.
I thought the best plan would be for me to pull off the highway and go to someone’s house and ask them to call my parents for me.
When reading this, please note that although this was 2003, I still did not have a cell phone. I like to take my time to ease into ‘popular trends’.
Anyway, I pulled off the highway and went up to this house that was pretty much the only house on this particular country road. As I walked up to the house, I noticed that the backyard was gated (who gates in the country), then I saw the windows and they had bars on them (what’s that all about?). Why would anyone in the country need bars on their house? My experience with country homes is that they rarely even have locks on the doors, let alone use the locks. JS-ing.
That said, I ran back to my car and waited for a car to drive by. After the third car to drive right by my little young self, this man in his mid 50’s pulled over.
Here’s pretty much how it went down:
Me: Hi, my car broke down and I’m stranded here. Do you have a cell phone I can make a call with?
Man: No, I’m sorry. I can drive you into the next town so you can make a call from there.
Me: (Looking back at the scary house and then sizing up the man) Yes, please, that would be very kind of you.
So, after waving my two options, I decided to get into the car with a man that could have been a serial killer, rather than try to knock at the door of the house. I’ve seen way to many versions of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre to go up to a house with bars on the window.
What would you do?
My vote: Go with the lesser of the two evils; go with the guy who looks like he’d be your dad’s friend. He’s better than the guy with the mask and axe out back.