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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: Detours and Speed Bumps
By Allison Egley


"There's an accident near 270 and Paige," My boss said as we neared the end of the work day. "It's backed up to Manchester."

"Well, isn't that a nice surprise?" I sung sarcastically. "Maybe I'll find another way to get home," I lamented.

As I sat in my car, I realized they weren't kidding about this backup. "Well, I guess I'll take Highway 40 home," I said aloud to myself as I signaled to get into the exit lane. "Come on. Someone let me over." I noticed a car in the exit lane trying to get over into my lane. "Oh good. Now I'll let you over, and that nice person behind you can let me over," I instructed.

As I neared the off ramp, the lane next to me started moving, while mine came to a stand still. "Hmmm…" I reasoned. Maybe my original route will work. Besides, the detour route will probably be bad, too." I signaled to get over. As soon as I did, my new lane came to a stand still while the exit lane started moving. I was ready to bang my head on the steering wheel. "OK, maybe the detour won't be so bad after all," I grumbled as I once again signaled, begging the cars in the next lane to be nice.

I finally got into the correct lane. As I took the exit, I noticed a car sitting in the median between the highway and the ramp. "Um… yeah. I think you made your decision a bit late," I chided the other driver. I've determined my road rage style is sarcasm, and I wear it well.

Lo and behold, once I got on the highway one of my original predictions was correct. The traffic was nearly bumper to bumper. I whimpered as I contemplated whether I had made the correct decision in taking the detour. The traffic report came on the radio. "Let's start this traffic report with some good news," the reporter began. "The baseball game started late, so we don't have to worry about that traffic. And the Birds are helping us out by keeping the game going by hitting lots and lots of homeruns. The score is 16-3 in the Seventh right now."

"Woohoo!" I exclaimed. It was the first piece of good news I'd heard in over an hour.

"Now let's get back to the roads," he continued. I groaned.

Traffic finally started moving. I looked down at the speedometer. "Wow! I'm going forty miles per hour." Apparently, someone didn't notice the little party I was having, because suddenly another car pulled in front of me without using its blinker. I had to slam on the breaks to stop in time. "Thank you for that lovely display of how to use your blinker, sir!"

"What's that sound? Is it my car?" I turned the radio down. "Yep." I hit the accelerator once again. Something inside my car screamed its protest. "Uh oh. I smell something too." I decided I'd try to make it to my mom's preschool. I knew I was close. I tapped the accelerator again. This time my car wallowed in freakish agony. "OK, maybe I can make it to the next exit." As I finished the sentence, my steering wheel stiffened. "Nope!" I eased my way to the shoulder and turned on emergency flashers. "Surprise," I exclaimed as I threw my hands up in a mock cheer.

Thankfully, I had my cell phone. "Dad? You heard about the accident on 270? Well, I decided to take 40 home instead, and now I'm sitting on the side of the road by Boon's Crossing." I explained my car's violent reaction to moving forward. He promised to come rescue me. Praise the Lord for dads!

I tried to occupy myself as I sat in my car, still wearing my seatbelt. I suppose I thought it would offer protection should someone try to kidnap me. Looking back, I realized that locking my doors would have been a much better defense. Finally, Rescuer and Hero, better known as Dad, arrived. He quickly assessed the situation and told me the bad news. The tow truck would be on its way soon.

As I climbed into my dad's car, I heaved a sigh of relief. My dad took me straight to my meeting at church, and I was about twenty minutes late. "Sorry I'm so late. It's been a long day," I explained. I nearly collapsed on the spot.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne09/13/07
Sounds like a very trying day here. Thank God for dads.
Dee Yoder 09/14/07
Yep, my dad rescued me many times when I had nice "surprises" like this one! You wrote this story so well. I could see the traffic jam!
Joanne Sher 09/15/07
I was right there with ya! Great job of portraying the frustration and stress of this day.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/17/07
I think we can all relate to days like that. My speedbumbs today were a little different, but no less frustrating. What a great dad to come to your rescue!
Julie Ruspoli09/17/07
Reminds me of a drive through Pittsburgh. Very good description.
Catrina Bradley 09/17/07
I'm so glad I don't face that traffic everyday any more! You described it, and the reactions, perfectly.