Thursday, December 11, 2008

My spidey sense needs a tune-up

In which the blogger saves the day, sort of

I went to lunch today with my friend Tom, the facility manager at the church where I used to work. As we headed up to Sam’s Gyros on 54th – please don’t tell Mr. Gyros on 38th that I was unfaithful – Tom mentioned that we needed to stop at the gas station at 30th and College on the way back, so he could get one of his workers some gizzards from the Gas Station Brand™ friedchickenry they have there.

When lunch was over, we pulled into the generic gas station. There was no parking in the official parking spaces, so I pulled up parallel to the front of the building, perpendicular to the gas pumps (which is important). Tom hopped out and went to grab the gizzards, and I turned the car off. Immediately, my brain went to Red Alert and I had visions of carjacking. Don’t ask me why; I’d been to that gas station countless times in the year and a half that I worked at the church around the corner, my little white car was known in the neighborhood, and there really wasn’t anyone loitering carjackily about. (Of course, I’ve mentioned before my curiosity in re carjacking, so who can say, really?)

Anyway.

I was sitting there waiting for Tom and kind of watching what was going on at the neighborhood gas station. In the right sideview, I saw a car pull into the station, but it stopped in the middle of the entrance because the red minivan at Pump 8 was pulling out, away from the pump and toward the building. It was moving very slowly, which I think was beginning to piss off the person waiting to comeinfillupandgetthehellout.

I didn’t think anything of it until I realized how vvvvvveeeeerrrrrrryyyyyy slowly the minivan was moving. I glanced at the driver’s seat, mostly to satisfy my what-kind-of-jerkhole-is-driving-like-that curiosity. But I didn’t see the driver; all I could see were the two kids – a toddler and an infant – in the wayback. My mind dismissed it as the driver sitting low in the seat until the minivan started gaining speed and getting head-on closer to the building. Traffic all around the station was kind of frozen as the minivan moved.

I took another look at the driver’s seat and realized that there was, in fact, no driver -- there. Was. NO. DRIVER! Turns out we were on Red Alert not because I was, in reality, getting carjacked; rather, we were on Red Alert because I was, in reality, being called upon to stop a runaway minivan from running into a gas station.

And I am not kidding.

I slipped off my seatbelt, hopped out of my car, and sprinted (for me) the 20 or so feet to the coasting minivan, hopped in the driver’s seat (luckily the door was unlocked), slammed on the brake, put it in park (it was idling in neutral), asked the kids in back if they were okay (no response), left the damn thing in the middle of it all, and went inside to proclaim, heroically:

“Um? This minivan? I just? It was? Rolling? Toward the station?”
The woman whose vehicle it was walked out past me without saying a word and drove away, leaving me flush with unexpressed adrenaline and a mental note to get my Red Alert crisis detector serviced at the next available opportunity.

In retrospect, I guess I should maybe have gone carnival-freak crazy on her for leaving her unlocked car on, in neutral, with kids in the back. But I did not, I could not...

With great power comes great responsibility, indeed. Sometimes I wish I’d never discovered these superpowers.

13 comments:

Esmerelda said...

My Hero
-Esme

Scott S. Semester said...

Haha! Heroism, I have learned, is for suckers.

Alison Inaz said...

She didn't say ANYTHING? Oh my word.

K.T. said...

You must tell Trevor your story. He will want to where his Incredibles costume where ever he goes with you.

K.T. said...

"wear his Incredibles costume".

sorry to all the word nerds.

Emily said...

Clearly you are an unappreciated hero. The most amazing part of the story is that you can buy fried gizzards from a gas station.

Scott S. Semester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott S. Semester said...

UPDATE: How awesome is this?!

http://twitter.com/greggrunberg/status/1057861325

Greg Grunberg, the star of TV's "Heroes" (and also "Alias" and "Felicity" and he was also in one of the "Mission Impossible" movies where he made a face at Tom Cruise's character that was kind of the face that we, the American people, wanted to make at Tom Cruise himself at the time, like, "What a jagweed!") just proclaimed me Local Hero of the Day on account of the exploits recounted here.

Totally worth the adrenaline rush and associated adrenaline crash I dealt with on Thursday.

Nat said...

OMGOMGOMG! I'm so glad you were there! You deserve A LOT of credit.

Matt Wallace said...

Dude. Saving small children from slow-moving death is great and everything, but Greg Grunberg, next to Vincent D'Onofrio the single greatest husky leading man on television today, tweeting you? That's fucking epic.

Scott S. Semester said...

I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Colin said...

Hey Scott! Thanks so much for helping to keep my neighborhood safe from vigilante mini vans. I right near 38th and college, so it's good to know there's one less threat to my health and happiness. One down, about a million to go.

Karla said...

Maybe we can be heroes...if just for one day