The snowdrift across the highway was humongous.
And my trusty old car was firmly embedded in the middle of it.
It just wasn’t budging.
Neither was I.
I was wearing a tuxedo — the only time I had rented one since my high school grad — and I had dress shoes on my feet.
I had a no winter coat, boots, gloves or hat, the latter being a winter necessity for a bald man.
Oh, and did I mention it was 3 a.m.?
A lively night celebrating business and community ending in a total shipshow.
The forecast had called for a few flurries, not Snowmageddon.
I was woefully unprepared, failing to take the necessary precautions and underestimating winter.
Now I was paying the price.
I put the car in neutral, got out, slid to the back bumper, and tried to push myself out.
The car was stuck solid.
The harder I pushed, the more my shoes slipped. I soon found myself lying in the highway, exposing a rented tux to the elements and likely road salt, spread by the highways crew before the snow got heavy.
I lay there for a second, wondering about the meaning of it all, kicking myself for being such a knob.
Every second seemed like an eternity.
The howling wind.
The blowing snow.
The smell of burning tires.
Back in the car, I cranked the music to drown it all out. There was little else I could do.
I wasn’t afraid or feeling any danger, but I was anxious for a resolution and also really curious how I was going to get out of it.
After 30 minutes or so, I spotted car lights in the rear-view mirror.
A vehicle was bobbing its way through the snow towards me.
As it got closer, it became obvious that it was a cab. I also realized if the driver slowed to help me, they’d likely get stuck too.
I was prepared for the taxi to plow past me, but, unselfishly, the cabbie stopped.
He and his fare got out and, with determination, pushed me through the snow bank.
I was very thankful, and thrilled that they didn’t get stuck too.
It took me another 30 minutes to get home before I got stuck again in my driveway.
I left the car there for the night and went to bed.
This was 15 or so years ago.
I wrote a column about what happened.
Mom, who lived eight hours away, read the piece, printed it off, and sent it to me with a new, prepaid cell phone — the first mobile I ever owned.
On the printed column she wrote: “I never want to read something like this again.”
I’m retelling the story today because it’s a good reminder.
December is here and wintry weather will follow.
Prepare for it, and don’t take any foolish risks.
I really don’t want you to get my drift.
Steve Bartlett is an editor with SaltWire Network. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.