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Thanks For The Assist!

, , , , , | Legal | June 24, 2022

Years ago, when I lived in a big city and didn’t have a car myself, I once rented a car to drive myself and some elderly friends to a meeting outside of town. I’d already noticed that the clutch wasn’t working really well, but I hadn’t expected the car to stall completely. And of course, that happened at the busiest intersection of the city during rush hour.

Amidst catcalls that I’d gotten my driver’s license in [Another Country], two friendly passersby helped to push the car off the intersection, as my passengers weren’t physically capable of doing that. One of them lent me their phone to contact the rental company — pre-ubiquitous cellphone days. That company threw me on hold as soon as they picked up the phone and left us hanging for twenty minutes.

In the meantime, the car was on the curb of the ramp leading up to a bridge. Dozens of people informed us that we were in an “inconvenient” place. We knew, of course!

Then, this police van drove up and stopped in front of us. It was filled with eight rookies and an instructor. The police instructor got out and approached me.

Instructor: “Miss, this is a very inconvenient place to stop.”

Me: “Yes, Officer, I know, but the car broke down and I’m on hold with the rental company.”

The officer looked at me and at the situation and then said:

Instructor: “They’ll be with you shortly, then.”

And he and his van full of policemen in training drove off without offering any further help.

I finally got to speak with someone from the rental company and they said they’d be there in another fifteen or twenty minutes. Ten minutes later, another police officer on a motorbike stopped next to me.

Officer: “Miss, you’re standing at an inconvenient and dangerous spot.”

Me: “Yes, I know, Officer, but the car broke down and the rental company will take another fifteen minutes to get here.”

Officer: “You can get the car into neutral, can’t you?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Officer: “You’re on an incline, so if you put the car into neutral, you can roll back across this part of the road and onto the median.”

Me: “I’d like to, but there’s too much traffic.”

Officer: “True, but I am a police officer.”

He proceeded to stop all traffic, and I managed to get the car on the median in one fluid roll-back. 

Now, why couldn’t those nine policemen have done something like that? I still wonder.

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