The roads were bad when I dropped Ruby off at climbing, and they were worse when I drove to my rehearsal. By the time I got out and prepared to make my way home, the snow, ice, sleet, hail, and general slush falling from the sky had made them almost impassable. I pulled my hood on over my hat, zipped my coat up to my nose, and stepped out into the blustery winter wonderland, ready to walk the two blocks to the church parking lot where I had left my car.
When I got to that small back lot, shared by the church, the UPS Store, and a small office building, I saw that I was the only car stupid enough to be out in this weather. The lot was clear, except for the six inches of snow, my Mazda 5, and, oh, yeah, a giant UPS truck completely blocking me as it parked sideways only an inch or so from my vehicle. I walked around the truck to my car and saw a man running packages from the UPS Store into his truck, and I unlocked my door, threw my music into the passenger seat, and went off, slightly annoyed, to ask this guy to please move his giant truck so I could go home before there was another six inches of snow to drive through.
“Are you going to be here long?!” I called out into the back of the truck. I had just seen him go in, so I knew he was in there somewhere. His head popped out from behind something brown and boxy and he gave me a look that I could not interpret.
“Dude, I am stuck here,” he informed me. “Every time I try to move, my truck slides closer to your car. One more try and we’re gonna have a collision.” He paused to let this sink in. “I tried to ring the church doorbell, banged on the door a few times, but you didn’t answer. I’ve been looking for you, man.”
I explained to him that I was actually at a rehearsal one church over, and that now what? He was literally an inch (maybe two) from my car, completely sideways, and his manager had been called about the situation, but there were nine other trucks stuck in snow, so UPS was in crisis mode. My car’s ability to move and/or not be crushed was secondary to their threatened mission of delivery packages on time. I knew there would be no help coming from UPS that day. I needed to get out there on my own.
Jumping into my car, I quickly realized that I could not see anything due to the 6 inches of snow on top of it. Jumping out of my car, I scraped the snow and ice off the windows while the car warmed itself up. Jumping into my car, I threw the transmission into reverse and tried to wiggle my way out of that spot. I hadn’t gone more than an inch when I heard a crunching sound of metal denting metal. Spinning the wheel around and pulling forward, I rolled down my window to assess the situation.
“You’re cool, bro!” shouted UPS Guy. “It popped in, but then it popped right back out!” Taking this as a sign that neither my car nor his truck were permanently damaged (it helps to have a thick snow layer between the vehicles), I slowly angled my car toward the twisty back exit of the parking lot that emptied out onto a small, presumably unplowed, residential street. “You want me to grab a shovel? You need to start backing up!” UPS Guy was very concerned, to his credit, and he was really trying to help me, which was awesome.
“No, thanks, I’m just going to keep going, around the truck and out the back!” I called to him, as my car broke free from its snowy shackles.
“Wait…” he replied. “You mean you can go out that way?” He stared incredulously at the small back exit toward which I was slowly headed. I shouted back affirmatively, and then watched him in my mirror as he kept staring after me. I wondered how long he had been trying to back his truck up, when he could have just kept going forward the whole time. Hours? More?
I don’t know if he ever got out of the parking lot. I was just glad that my car was not crushed. I drove home very slowly, seeing someone with flashers on, stuck in a snowbank at almost every intersection. It was rough going. Thank goodness for snow tires. I made it with no problems, and even stopped at the store on the way, since we needed a few things. I’m a Vermonter. Come on. It’s just snow.