Two nuns, a tow truck, and one Red Bull

By James at April 09, 2008 10:39
Filed Under: Life in General, Miscellaneous

If you've been following me on twitter, you may have picked up that I've been having some really dreadful dreams. Very realistic, disturbing, violent dreams. One night Carmina had to dive for cover, as I was beating the crap out my pillow. Don't know where they were coming from either.

So put that in the back of your mind for a bit....

Last weekend was a stay at home, putter around the house, run errands sort of weekend. Few trips here, few trips there, a chance to explore Beaumont.

Heading out to Home Depot, I noticed in the I-10 center divider heading west, a sporty red pickup truck with two young Latinas trying to flag down cars. Hmm, I think, interesting, and continue on. Twenty minutes of picking up stuff at the store and time to head back home. As I start coming up to where I remember seeing the girls and their truck, I notice they have created a sign and are waving it at the oncoming cars..."Please help us!"

Ok, putting on my Good Samaritan hat, I decide to see what is what. Because of how the freeways work I have to backtrack about 4 miles to get back to where they are, all the time saying to myself, "self, what are you doing?"

Pulling up to them I start to notice something odd. While the truck is a sporty red, the girls are wearing the same clothes; sensible shoes, calf-length gray skirts, white blouses with gray vests. Walking up to them, both are smiling and I notice they are wearing hand-carved wooden crosses.

They're nuns. Stuck on the side of the road. In a sporty pickup. This isn't Los Angeles, this is Beaumont.

Being stranded in the center divider of the I-10 is rather intimidating with the wind, the cars whizzing by you, the deafening noise, and no one stopping. I can understand the nun's concern and apprehension. It's so damn noisy, I can't hear them and think they don't speak English. First thing is to get them off the freeway and I pull out my trusty AAA card.

The operator asks, "Are you related?"

"No" I respond.

Operator, "you know this will count against your benefits?"

Me, "Yes, I know. Please send a tow truck."

Just as I hang up, CHP cruiser rolls up. I tell him what's happening and he says he'll stay with us until we're safe and for us to get back in our respective cars. Calling Carmina to tell her what's happening and to be ready for a translation assignment, the tow truck arrives, but ahead of me in the divider, putting me between the tow truck and the nuns.

Nice. The CHP officer tells me to "leap frog" around the truck. So if a CHP tells you to dart into traffic, then swerve off the road, that's what you do.

The tow truck driver is a young kid "JR", who gets the pickup on his truck. The CHP officer helps the nuns into the cab of the tow truck and I notice as he's walking back to his car, he is chuckling to himself. "Haven't seen many of these types of calls, have you?" I ask. "Nope" he responds, "thank you so much for stopping to help."

We're ready to head out. CHP runs a traffic break and we jump back on the freeway, with me leading the way. We pull off a few miles down in a nice safe, quiet area to figure out what is next. Ah... the nuns can speak English. They were on their way from a mission in Cathedral City to a mission in Riverside when the truck, loaned to them by a parishioner, breaks down. Looking at the truck on the flat bed, a ton of oil has dripped out. This engine is dead.

I normally tip tow truck drivers, but for some reason I didn't have any cash on me today. But I did have a 4-pack of Red Bull, my new favorite beverage. I offer this to JR, but all he wants is one..."it's been forever since I had a Red Bull. Thanks man!"

JR's dispatcher is telling him he has to leave us before he can take them anywhere else, so he drops off the pickup, and heads out. While JR is gone, I have Carmina talk to the nuns to figure out what they want to do. It's decided since they're halfway between Riverside and Cathedral City to get towed back to Cat City.

An hour later, JR pulls back up and gets inline to put the nun's truck back on his rig. Five minutes later they're ready to go, and I give each of them a slip of paper with my phone number, asking them to call when they get where they're going. The nuns shake my hand and whispering "God bless you." JR makes a comment about how we both have some karma in the bank. I wait for a bit, then head home.

An hour later, the home phone rings. It's JR. He just dropped the "girls" off with their friends and they are "safe and with people they know." I thank him again, telling him to keep my phone number on hand and, anything he ever needs, to call me.

An hour after that, the nuns call to say they are home safe, thanking me again.

I haven't had a bad dream since.

Now playing in my cube....Ozomatli - Street Signs - Love And Hope

Comments (2) -

4/9/2008 11:01:47 AM #


Nice work!  

Nate | Reply

4/9/2008 11:49:14 AM #


That's very kind of you Dad. I pass people on the freeway occasionally, thinking, "Someone else will stop," but if I drove by again and they were still there, I would do the same thing you did. Add a few brownie points to your tally. Smile
You like Red Bulls huh? Do you drink coffee at the same time?

Niles | Reply

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About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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