Humans do stupid things. We can’t get around this; sometimes our brains just shut down and some other force takes over, causing us to drop our phone for no reason or to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States. There are other times, though, that this stupidity reaches a whole new level, surpassing all previous stupidity and haunting our nightmares for years to come. We can often look back on times that we did a dumb thing and laugh at them, but some things we do are so stupid that they still send a bolt of embarrassment through our entire body months, even years, later. Things like sending your car over a hill.
I must begin with some background. About 5 years ago, my parents bought me my first car. My little red Kia Rio was my pride and joy and I did my best to take care of her, and there were no major mishaps for quite a while. One day I put on my blinker and noticed that the clicking sound was faster than normal. Based on previous knowledge, I figured that my headlight was out. I decided to check it when I got home, so once I arrived I pulled into my parking spot, put on my blinker, took off my seat belt, and got out of my car. There were no steps in between.
For a moment it truly seemed like time stopped as I realized what I had done. Then I watched in horror as my beautiful car, still in drive, rolled over the bank in front of the parking area and bounced down the long hill that came after, the open driver’s side door swinging in the wind. The feeling in my gut was sickening and I couldn’t move other than to put my hands on my head, most likely trying to contain my melting brain.
I’m not sure what the worst part of this event was. Maybe it was that my dad was outside and saw the entire thing – unlike myself, he was able to move and ran at my car as if sheer willpower could stop it. Maybe it was that it looked like a ridiculous scene out of a comedy movie, except it wasn’t funny and it was definitely real. Or maybe it was that, as my car zoomed down the hill, it was heading straight towards the pond at the bottom.
I don’t know what kept my car from flying straight into the water, giving itself up to the murky depths. Maybe the universe decided that I had had just enough bad luck for one day. Nevertheless, the only part of my car that ended up in the water was the front end, which got stuck in some mud. Here’s a poorly-drawn illustration of what happened:
It required some heavy machinery to pull my car out of the mud, but there wasn’t too much damage. Not that this fact made me feel much better about any of it, but at least I still had a car. Now, this is a story that I sometimes tell and people always get a laugh out of it. The times that I tell it are few, though, and even as I was writing this I had to close my eyes and shake my head in shame a few times. The point is that I am still here; I did not die from embarrassment even though I did an extremely stupid thing. I am sure I will do another very stupid thing in the future, and no matter how bad it is, I know that I will recover. Probably. But to all those out there that have also done really dumb things, don’t fret. At least you didn’t forget to put your car in park.