I was driving west on Broadway Boulevard in Tucson when a white Volkswagen crossover slowed to a crawl as it prepared to turn on Euclid Avenue, bottlenecking traffic. I could feel my blood pressure rise as the little me on my left shoulder launched a barrage of F-bombs.
Those babies detonated beneath my breath because my wife was in the passenger seat, causing my blood to pressurize even more, kind of like when you crimp the end of a hose to intensify water pressure. How dare he obstruct an otherwise smooth commute?
And just as I was about to break free from the traffic tie-up, Irene said, “It looks like he’s having mechanical problems. Let’s help him push.”
Those words snapped me out of my funk. The next thing I know, the Good Samaritan (on my right shoulder) is making me steer toward the Volkswagen.
I jumped out to help the motorist – a skinny long-haired Christian who greeted me with, “God bless you,” followed by, “It’s a rental,” as if that mitigated anything.
There we were, trying to push that beast into an alley at an incline. It was only then I realized my flip-flops were not appropriate footwear for the task at hand. The car barely budged. Scrawny realized before I was even ready to consider giving up that the Volkswagen had the upper hand. He suggested Irene take the wheel of the car while he and I pushed.
My truck was partially blocking the right lane on Euclid behind the Volkswagen, so I had her park it up ahead in a less obstructive spot, but still unavoidably in the lane. With the truck’s emergency blinkers blinking, she came to our rescue – but not without a good measure of comedy.
First of all, we couldn’t figure out how to release the electronic parking break. Motorists turning in our direction were obviously annoyed, like I had just been before this whole ordeal started. There was loud honking, squealing tire sounds and motors revving loudly as cars made their way around our little vortex of trouble.
When we got the brake released, flaco and I went back to pushing. Nothing, nada. After all, the car’s called an “Atlas,” a titan condemned to hold up the sky in Greek mythology.
It was then that Irene figured she’d try steering and pushing – in her sandals! I felt helplessly caught in a hilarious scene from the Three Stooges.
Then suddenly the Atlas started rolling! We finally got it off to a safe spot. Got another nice blessing from the driver and walked away feeling like we’d done our good deed for the day.
Meanwhile motorists were still raging, zipping around my truck and shouting nasty expletives. When one person, who was on the other side of the road – not even our side – yelled, “Get your (expletive) truck off the road, you idiot!” I lost it. The little Manuel on my left shoulder was back in control and lobbing back unsilenced F-bombs.
And so soon after being blessed.
I felt a galaxy away from author Eckhart Tolle’s “New Earth,” where the ego state of consciousness “in its insanely dysfunctional manifestations, both individual and collective, has dissolved (and) where humans no longer create unnecessary suffering for themselves (or) one another,”
After that, we went and caught the movie “Cruella.” Nothing like a revenge-bent protagonist to center my chakra.
(Coppola is publisher of the Nogales International. Contact him at email@example.com.)