The View from the Backseat

“There is a first time for everything!”

Yes, yes there is. Two days before my departure to Chicago (more on that in a bit), I had the most interesting turn of events. I guess it depends on how you look at it. Had this happened on a freeway in the heart of Chicago, I don’t know what I would have done. Regardless, having your car suddenly stop working in the middle of the road is not the most satisfying experience one could have.

On my way back to De Pere from Target, my car decided that it would be a good idea to shut down. Out of the blue, my dashboard suddenly dimmed to virtually nothing, while at the same time my speedometer needle fell to zero, and simultaneously my ABS and airbag light started to flash.

Now mind you, at this time I was sure I was dead. Although I was slowly coasting to a standstill on a side street vacant of other vehicles, I still was convinced this is how I was supposed to go. I was saying my prayers when in my rearview mirror, I noticed the flashing lights of a patrol car. Great, what else could go wrong tonight.

Thankfully, the policeman was a gentle soul. He knew I was having car troubles as my headlights apparently were no brighter than my parking lights, which is what he had pulled me over for. I explained the situation to him and he figured it was probably my alternator that had failed. Whew! This is a relatively easy repair, expensive, but could be fixed in a day.

The official went back to his car and called a tow truck as I called and arranged for a ride to come and pick me up.

When the tow truck arrived, I watched my poor car get hoisted up to a shallow angle and get pulled away into the night….Now what? The policeman offered to give me a ride to where I arranged to get picked up. Great! What hospitality!

However, being a police car, the only place I could ride would be the backseat….police car…backseat…criminals sit in the back.

For those of you who have never been so, uh, ‘privileged’ to sit in the back seat of a patrol car, let me give you a few points:

1. There is no leg room

2. The seat is the hardest piece of cold plastic I have ever felt

3. There is no leg room

4. The bars on the windows and the glass separating the front and back seat is rather intimidating

5. There is no leg room

Now, with me being a ‘measly’ 6’2”, the lack of leg room required me to turn sideways and sit in the car that way. How uncomfortable. As the police car pulled up to the front doors of the JC Penny store where I had arranged to be picked up, a group of people were entering the store. This all happened right as I was struggling to get out of the car. How humiliating.

I’m very grateful for the patient and kind policeman who assisted me in my time of need. And he helped laugh some of this off as I was struggling to get out of my cramped traveling quarters.

As I said earlier, this whole situation was very inconvenient at the time. However, I’m glad this happened within the Green Bay city limits instead of in Chicago.

What’s in Chicago you ask? Tomorrow I leave for a weekend visit to the Holy Spirit House of Studies. This is the house as to which I will be staying as a novice. I’ve never been there before, but the pictures I’ve seen and the descriptions I’ve heard from people who have been there before is nothing but beautiful. I’m excited to see it for myself.

However, this is not just a ‘weekend getaway’. While there, I must also complete a psychological evaluation. Should be an interesting experience, and from what I hear, I get to take a Rorschach test. The good old ink blot test. I’ve always wanted to take this test. I want to know what exactly resides in those ink blots.

Hopefully I will make it there in one piece, my car included.

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