In this week's installment of "How Is This My Life," last night, halfway through my long drive from work to the barn, I was sitting in stop-and-go traffic (because Jersey) and I heard a loud crash, and promptly ceased moving forward. For a second I thought I was losing my mind and had hit an invisible car. Open road in front of me. Did I miss something in the road? Then I looked in my rear view to confirm that someone had in fact hit me.
When I stepped on the gas it was clear to me what had happened. She was stuck on my hitch. I hopped out, told her to put her car in neutral, and towed her to the shoulder. She was kind of scared and very apologetic (spoiler alert: she was from Canada) and just nodded her head in agreement at the crazy little girl in the big truck.
|Pictured: not the recommended way to tow a vehicle|
File this in the subcategories of "Truck Problems," "Horse Girl Problems," and "Sh*t that Only Happens to Me."
Now, you need to understand a little bit about my truck, whose name is Beastie, before I continue. Beastie has been through a lot. She's been hit a few times and lived to tell the tale and has numerous dents and dings from lord only knows what at this point. She was hit going in a straight line on the highway up at HITS one year for no apparent reason at all. She rear ended a Lexus who decided to slam on the brakes at a yellow light (she was just trying to get it out of my way). She once killed a deer (RIP) although that one wasn't on purpose. At various points in her life, she's sported duct tape for way longer than would be appropriate while I
spent money on horses instead of fixing her saved up to get her fixed. Long story short, she's SEEN THINGS.
|The Beast, in all her glory.|
(She is casually dating Ethan's big red work truck.)
I love this truck. I have anthropomorphized her to the point that I view her as my tough as nails best friend, that girl who has your back and kind of scares you a little because you're pretty sure she'd kill for you. She's gotten me through so much. She saved Tucker and his friends the night we escaped from Riverview. She's the toughest broad I know. It has literally become part of my personality that I am a little girl with a big truck. I love when I walk out of court and other lawyers get into their BMWs and I hike up my skirt and climb up in my big-ass pick up. Preferably it's splattered in mud. The paradox suits me.
Which is why, when the first cop showed up, I was in the middle of gently patting the tail gate and assuring her that everything was going to be alright. (I'm quite sure he made a mental note that I was potentially unstable.)
Cop #1's first question was what we were doing on the shoulder. I explained that she hit me in the left lane, and then I towed her to the shoulder.
"You . . . towed her?" He asks, unable to hide his smirk.
"Yup!" I cheerfully replied. (I was very proud of the Beast.)
|That would be my trailer hitch, inside a Mazda 3. Zoom zoom.|
I told him I didn't want to cause a massive pile up. He thanked me for saving him the paperwork. Sitting in the left lane after an accident in Jersey pretty much means you're going to die. Or at least get hit by the next 3 cars that come around the curve going 85. (Not exaggerating.)
I explained that I had tried having her put her car in park and putting her e-brake on, but my truck pulled her right along anyway (there was a bar in front of her radiator, which was over the ball on my hitch). The Beast is strong. She just dragged the Mazda behind her kicking and screaming. I explained I had also tried unlocking the hitch pin so we could just remove the hitch, but that because of the tension on the hitch, was unable to get the pin out. I also wasn't about to go on the side of my truck and stand inches from the left lane and try to hammer it out.
At this point, Cop #2 showed up, explaining in a very matter-of-fact way that we were going to have to call a tow truck, who would hook up to the back of the Mazda and forcibly remove it from my truck. Realizing that this plan would (a) destroy the front end of the Mazda, and (b) possibly mess up my hitch and frame, I suggested we put the Mazda on a jack and see if I could drive off that way.
We tried that, but the Beast is too beastly and she just pulled the Mazda off its jack. So, I explained about hammering the hitch pin, given that Cop #2's vehicle was now safely blocking the left lane. At which point Cop #1 improvised, using my lug wrench and his retractable nightstick (no, NOT kidding) as a hammer. This worked, and I was able to wiggle the pin out from the other side and safely drive off, the hitch slipping out of the receiver, and then out of the grill of the Mazda. Cop #2 remarked at how heavy my hitch was. Well, yes of course, nothing but the best for Tucker. DUH.
I then reassembled my hitch, all the while speaking soothingly to Beastie that she was almost done and then patting her tailgate and telling her what a good, strong, brave girl she was. (Oh yeah, I totally did that. In front of three strangers. I'm surprised the cops didn't make me do a drug test, now that I think about it.) I talked to the Beast the whole way home. She did great. No shame.
The cops were actually really nice about the whole thing, and super helpful (which surprised the hell out of me because I represent cops and let's just say I don't have the best opinion of them) and since there was literally zero damage to the Beast because she is the toughest truck in the world and this didn't phase her one bit, I just gave my number to the deeply apologetic Canadian in case she needed it for her insurance claim, and was on my merry way.
And that is the story of how Tucker got an extra night off this week because I was busy towing a Mazda 3 down the highway.