This is where we draw the line in the sand

October 29, 2013

There are a lot of everyday issues the average woman has to deal with on an ongoing basis. However, there is a point where we draw a line in the sand.

I think I speak for many women when I say dealing with a vehicle that has problems is the line in the sand we will not cross. In other words, we would rather promote a rumor that says we have given birth to a child by Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, and that child is being raised in a monastery in Nepal.

We would rather watch NASCAR 24/7, drink beer and be married to a guy named Psycho Bubba whose sole ambition is to talk baby talk to his seven pit bulls than deal with a disabled vehicle.

You see, a woman’s idea of a car, at least my idea, is that I put the key in the ignition, the car starts and runs and then I remove the key from the ignition and the car stops running. Is this a great county or what?

Everything that happens in between as it relates to that vehicle is not in my universe. I’m sure that women, when it comes to car problems, unless of course you are the type of woman who is so tough your knuckles drag on the ground, would simply be rational enough to assess the situation, then run screaming into traffic like some magnetic field is pulling them into a complete state of madness. And that’s just if there is a random noise coming from underneath the car.

A major problem such as a flat tire means that the Earth has stopped rotating on its axis and will crash and burn within seconds.

I bring this up in an effort to educate my readers, as I found myself in this predicament while driving into New York City. Right before the car entered the Holland Tunnel, the tire went, no doubt courtesy of all the construction nails scattered all over the road thanks to the wonderful nonstop projects by various departments of transportation.

Now I am backed up with cars to the left of me, cars to the right of me, cabs behind me and semi trucks in front of me. My car is listing like a cruise ship grounded off the coast of Italy.

I manage to limp to the side of the road into the arms of a Port Authority police officer. And you are going to be very surprised at the reactions from the mob all around me in vehicles, themselves trying to wade through this mess to get into New York City.

They must have had some Delaware blood in them. At least a dozen drivers rolled down their windows with offers to help. Not one horn blasted over the holdup; not one person cursed me out and just about everyone gave me a thumbs-up or wished me luck. Is this a great country or what?

You’ll have to overlook my preaching here, but this is what the politicians in our Washington government don’t understand. The goodwill and courtesy is not something you can legislate. We are a country of people who are decent, do the right thing, and help our fellow citizens. It’s what we were born into, and you don’t need regulations, paperwork, forms or any government booklet to tell you what is the right thing to do.

The Port Authority police officer called for a tow truck after the car jack broke, and got me a car service to get me to my hotel. We both coped with another driver who pulled over and after finding out she had to drive through a tunnel to get into NYC, burst into tears because she is claustrophobic.

We struggle with everyday problems, find solutions and reach out to one another. Washington and the media could take a lesson because as ordinary citizens, we still feel this is a great country. My car, not so much.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.