Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just Another Drop in the Bucket

*Note: Martin says I need to post more often, even if my posts are not complete, because people might stop checking my blog if I become such an infrequent poster. So I'm sorry if this and/or all my future entries end abruptly. I just means a baby woke up and that's as good as you get.*

Everyone has had those stretches of time where you think every day, "what more can go wrong?" and then something else, something you never thought of, immediately goes wrong. Martin and I are in one of those stretches now. It's just been one thing after another for the past few weeks, stupid little bad-luck coincidences that lead to bigger problems that lead to more money having to be spent, etc., etc., etc. So yesterday I'd finally reached the point where it was all starting to get to me. I was really hoping that we were going to see an upward turn in our luck sometime soon. The weekends are always happy and relaxing with long family walks, sitting on the porch swing, and eating fun, thrown-together meals, so I thought this weekend would be just like that, a little break from the "ugh, what next?" that we'd had during the last week.

We did take a wonderful long walk to campus yesterday as soon as Martin got home from work. It's graduation weekend, and we got to campus just a little bit before commencement started so we got to see all the happy families with their happy graduates taking happy pictures in front of all the typical landmarks. It was really fun to see. By the time we got home it was 7:30! After dinner I put Anja to bed while Martin and Greta went to the grocery. It was just when we parted ways that the storms came in. I'm not sure if it was the noise of the storm or what, but Anja wouldn't go to sleep. Martin came home soaking wet, having covered Greta up with his raincoat. It was really pouring! Anja and I had been reading stories while we waited for them to get home, and I thought she'd be ready to fall asleep by then, but when Martin took her up and tried, she was still wide awake. When he came down it had stopped raining, so he thought he'd take a quick drive with her.

Of course just after he left it started raining just as hard as it had been before. The route he drives to get Anja to sleep is up Ferry Street because it's dark and there are only a couple of stop signs. Naturally, he drove this way with her. When he got to the intersection by the hardware store he didn't realize that the wetness in the road was actually knee-deep standing water. He drove in--and the car stalled.

There was a police car with its lights on at the other side of this "puddle." Martin thought he was pulling someone over, but as it turns out, he wasn't. I think he was there to block people from going through the high water from that direction--but Martin was coming from the other direction; there was nothing warning him of the water.

Please keep in mind that this was a pretty big storm--tornado watches and warnings were issued all around us and this storm (I was at home tracking it, heh heh heh) was producing hail and dangerous lightning, not to mention the crazy, constant downpour-- and although I knew Martin could take care of himself, he had Anja with him!

When Martin realized that the policeman ahead was not pulling someone over, but just sitting there, Martin went over to him to ask for help. Evidently, the officer, cozy in his car, glanced up at Martin, looked back down at his computer and chose to ignore him. So Martin went back to his car to push it. A nice man in a pickup truck stopped to help and together they pushed the car a ways, but couldn't get it up the incline of the parking lot, so the guy used his tow straps to haul Martin's car the rest of the way, which caused a minor fender-bender between the two cars and wedged the nice guy's truck between Martin's car and a pole. So now BOTH cars were stuck, it was still pouring, and the police officer over yonder was still sitting cozily in his car on the other side of the lake.

I don't know how, but they managed to get their cars untangled and unwedged, but our car still wouldn't start. Meanwhile, I'm at home with the 8-week-old who is screaming her little head off. Finally, Martin asks me to call Doug (our next door neighbor) to come get him. So Doug and Tara brave the storm to go rescue my husband and baby because they have baby seats in their car and because they are just that kind of people, who will do something like that and then come back home laughing and smiling.

But here's the best part. The rain let up a little bit while Martin was waiting for Doug to arrive. It was then that the police officer got out of his car and came over to the edge of the lake and started making fun of Martin. "You just had to try it, didn't you?" is evidently what he said. He kept at Martin until Martin finally told him that he already felt stupid enough as it was, he didn't need to rub it in. That was all that happened with the police officer. He never asked if everyone was okay, never offered a hand, never bothered to check if by chance there was a baby in the car.

Shortly after, the city came and put up a "high water" sign in the road.

And I know we're locals and that there are numerous people we could've called for an emergency ride, but what if we weren't? Martin would've been stranded there. We only have the one car, it's not like I could've gone to get him. And the policeman watched the whole thing without ever offering anything. Martin and I are pretty disgusted.

P.S. on Thursday just before the hometour, my sister-in-law was walking her dog down 6th street. When the light turned green and she proceeded across the street, a policeman turned the corner without looking up from his computer and hit her dog. Then the next day, (not such a big deal,) I was walking with the girls and at the same corner a policeman did the same thing! They don't look when they make left turns. Luckily, I was paying attention and only got a little ways into the street before I realized he wasn't waiting for me, and I stopped.

Doug and Tara brought them home and we eventually made it to bed around 1:00. This morning Martin woke up at 5:30 and walked up to the hardware store to try and start his car again. It still wouldn't start. It was then that he realized that his phone must've gotten too wet... it stopped making calls. Luckily he can still text, it just won't connect calls. We in touch with John Smooney and he's been helping Martin out, but they just left a bit ago to have the car towed to a shop.

So while I'm debating writing a letter to the chief of police telling him to get his boys in line, I'm also trying to imagine what else could possibly go wrong before our streak of bad luck ends!


Anne said...

Wow. That's crappy. Definitely write the letter.

Also, I agree with Martin, not that people would stop reading (I check over here every other day or so and I have automatic updates) but I'd still love to see more frequent posts even if they're unfinished. My personal journal I scribble in throughout the day and it's full of unfinished thoughts!

Here's hoping your bad luck is about to run out. Geesh. Thank goodness for good friends and family!

Anna May said...

Is the dog okay??

Did you find a string of beads hanging on your mailbox the other day? That was me. I hope you gave them to Anja, cause that's why I left them.

Jill said...

sheesh. good thing Martin has that gun, 'cause it doesn't seem like you can count on the police to help you.

Ben Hatke said...

Annie, I had a similar experience with the cops in DC who refused to help me when I was stranded there with my sister needing my car battery jumped AT NIGHT IN THE RAIN WITH BABY ANGELICA!! I have never seen lazier cops in my life, until now.
Incompetence like this makes me so furious. No wonder we all have to buy our own guns and get dogs.

Next time I need the long arm of the law in Lafayette, I'm calling Martin, his gun, and your next door neighbor.

I'm so mad I can barely type.


Anonymous said...

File a complaint with the police department!

Clare said...

That is so incredibly evil!! Bad cop. No doughnut. I would write the letter. Did Martin get the license plate number? Its like they are more interested in issueing speeding tickets than helping the people they are paid to protect!!! Or your cops are more interested in playing with their computers than worrying about watching the road. grr.

Elisabeth said...

Definitely write the letter... AND call... and whatever else occurs to you. That's ridiculous. No wonder we have drug dealers and prostitutes on our corner. One late night we called about a loud party on the corner and we watched as they came, joked around with the people there, then left 20 minutes later. Nice to see our tax dollars hard at work.

Beth said...

I agree, write a letter. While I never had a problem with the Lafayette Police, I grew up in an area where they were pretty useless, unless they were handing out tickets, so I understand the frustration! :) The Lafayette officers used to come all the time when I called the police on the people who lived down stairs from you on 10th and North streets...when their "gatherings" would get out of hand!

Oh, and to pile on the police a bit more, once, when I was single and living in Ohio, my neighbor was "cleaning" his gun and it went off. Now, being Martin's wife and all, you should know that a gun should be empty when cleaning right? Wrong. So, thankfully, I wasn't in the room where the bullet entered my apartment. (And this was a nice, yuppie/older college student area). I called the police the next day (because I used to be nice and gave the guys the benefit of the doubt until my friend told me, if I didn't call, he would) and when the officer came, he acted like it was the biggest waste of his time. Really?

But, in defense of police officers, my uncle is one and he rocks!! :)