“Let’s do something tonight!”, I texted furiously, disregarding my numerous touch screen induced typos in favour of getting my message across as quickly as possible.
“I don’t know anything, let’s just not sit around the house tonight.”
“Okay, so what do you want to do?”
“Hmm, go for a drive?”
And with that it was decided. The evening would be spent not in front of the TV, but rather my girlfriend and I would take a random drive to nowhere with perhaps a random stop for coffee along the way in whatever random place we ended up in, randomly.
So we hopped into the car and drove without any real destination in mind, and ended up in Ladner, a small suburb of Vancouver built behind a dike on a river delta leading to the Pacific ocean. This is an important thing to know about Ladner…
Everything started out rather smoothly, we stopped at Starbucks for green tea lattes, and then sipped them while browsing the nearby bookstore. The we decided to take the long way home by looping around the farms via River Road.
Of course, though I lived there for a time as a child, as a driver, I don’t know my way around very well. I ended up at a dead-end, and without even thinking, pulled off onto the shoulder to turn around. And that’s where I stayed, stuck in some very slippery mud. I tried to gun the engine and got within inches of the dry pavement, only to slide back even further that before, the backend of my car getting dangerously close to being right in the very, very full ditch. I tried again, hearing the voice of Star Trek’s Scotty in my head, “I’m giving her all she’s got, Capt’n!”
It was too no avail, because, after all, Ladner is a small suburb of Vancouver built behind a dike on a river delta leading to the Pacific ocean.
And it was winter.
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Yes, I should have known better. Yes, I should have listened to my girlfriend telling me to use the driveway across the street. And yes,I was quite certain I had ruined the evening.
We considered our options. While we were standing outside our stuck car considering those options, a large truck slowed down and the passenger rolled down his window. Were we saved? Had some good Samaritan decided to save us from our plight?
“Hey, do you guys know where Sharkey’s pub is?”, the guy asked.
Evidently, he was no a good Samaritan after all.
We were about to call a tow truck, when one last though occurred to us. Our friend had a truck, and he was into off-roading, maybe he could pull us out. So my girlfriend called him up, and after laughing at us for a while he said he’d he happy to come and help. And he did, had us out of there in about thirty seconds. We offered him some money, but he insisted he would only accept beer as payment.
But where to get beer in Ladner? Sharkey’s pub, perhaps, but I didn’t know where that was, I’d sent Mr. Helpful off to who knows where. So I thought of the only place I knew in Ladner, a dumpy and questionable pub with a name I’m not sure of that was attached to a motel on the edge of town. It couldn’t be that bad, could it?
As it turns out it was, as we pulled into the parking lot I immediately had second thought, and started rolling down my window to express them to our friend, only to see him hanging his head out the window with a look of pure joy on his face. He was excited about how crappy this place was. There was no way we could disappoint him.
So into the land of El Trasho we went, into a bar that had posters proudly advertising their “meat” giveaway. Into a world where Eugene Levy is a hip DJ. Ah yes, it was as high-class as we could ever have hope for.
But a funny thing happened. We had a lot of fun. We sang Karaoke. We bonded. And we ended up very, very happy that we had gotten stuck in the mud.
And I call that Echoes of Synchronicity.