So back in the day, Teh Mom, Teh Sister, and I lived in a house we called The Box.
The Box was this older house that originally didn't even have a bathroom, they had to add it on later. It was the first place we lived after my parents separated. It would have been a perfect house for a newly married couple, but it was cramped with Teh Mom, kid Teh Sister, and teenage Teh Megan. We called it The Box because without the bathroom, it was a perfect square.
During the summer, sometimes Teh Sister and I went into work with Teh Mom, who's job was to coordinate volunteer activities for juveniles and deliver them these places to complete their court mandated community service. We were returning home after one of these sessions when the van incident took place.
|Almost the same as Teh Mom's work van.. it's just missing the side stickers.|
Teh Sister: I am not sure that I would call it brushing her shirt.. more of really BAD white girl break dancing almost... and her screaming GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!!
At which point, Teh Mom started moving backwards... Which was actually the entire van moving forward.
Yeah, apparently the van wasn't as serious about being in "park" as we were. The van started rolling down the hill with the driver door open and NO DRIVER IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT. I was in the passenger seat and Teh Sister was laying on the middle row of seats taking a nap. She wasn't asleep for very long. (Teh Sister: I was actually awake when mom checked the mail and you screamed about the bug.) As we start to pick up speed, I knew it was on me to decide our destiny.
Teh Sister: You also left out the part of mom yelling, “Where are you going? Wait for me!” as we were rolling away... as if we had the choice of our final destination.
We had 3 options. Keep going straight down the driveway and we'd run into a field and hit a pregnant cow. If I veered us to the right, we'd hit a tree head on (and at a pretty good speed since we were going downhill). If I veered us to the left, we'd hit the big ditch and stop.
Now, please consider these facts, Gentle Readers:
-I was maybe 14.5.
-I was unlicensed.
-I was IN THE PASSENGER SEAT.
-I was buckled up.
-The emergency brake was a floor push one, so it wasn't easily accessible.
-I had just read Hatchet where the kid rips out his finger nails trying to unbuckle himself when the plane crashed and the concept of the pain while reading it was enough to make me quiver, so the option to unbuckle handicapped me.
-Normally in a situation like this, I'd have just frozen completely and been unable to act at all.
-We weren't slowly rolling down the hill. No, no. We were FLYING down the hill, so I had to make a quick decision.
Teh Sister: You left out: Your yelling, “[Teh Sister] we cannot hit the cow that will be too big of a mess.” And I asked about the flower bed, you said, “No, Mom would be upset.”
(Me: I don’t recall this conversation about the flower bed happening, but if you say so.)
I decided to go for the ditch. Then I wouldn't hurt the neighbor's cow and I wouldn't get my legs crushed from taking on a tree.
Teh Sister: You decided the ditch, yelled, “Hang on for your life..” bam ditch
I turned the steering wheel to the left a bit and we left the road and started the bumpy ride of going down into the ditch. We hit the ditch.. and we did.not.stop. That was not the plan. At that point, I was at a loss and just held the steering wheel to have something to hang on to. At some point, there was a screeching registering in my brain. I was later informed that screeching had been occurring the entire time the van was rolling down the driveway driverless, it was Teh Mom screaming, "HIT THE BRAKES!! HIT THE BRAKES!!!"
Once we hit the ditch, we popped right out of it and continued going. I was just hanging on to the steering wheel when the van rolled right up the front steps to the house and stopped when it slammed into the house. I don't remember hitting myself on anything, just being jiggled around a lot. Teh Sister and I had been buckled in, which probably saved us from demise.
Teh Sister: You yelled, “OH SHIT WE ARE STILL GOING WHAT DO WE DO?” and I said, “ooh Hello house! (Pause, crash) Well that was the fastest way up the stairs everrrrrr.”
I just stayed in the van when we stopped. I wasn't sure what to do next. The nose of the van was in our living room. That was my fault. Oops. I was a clumsy kid, but this was probably going to piss someone off. Teh Mom was quickly at the scene after we stopped. She opened the doors and pulled us out. She wasn't wearing shoes, she told me later she had ran out of them (they were slip-ons). I think she might have had to unbuckle me, because I'd finally frozen up and wasn't functioning. She sat me down in a lawn chair (that I'd missed) and got Teh Sister out of the back of the van.
Teh Sister: Mom got us out of the van and you said, “OOPS.” and I said, “Well would you look at that.”
Apparently, all the people at the store at the top of the hill had gotten to witness the commotion since Teh Mom was screaming, "HIT THE BRAKES!!" people started to come to the edge of the hill to see what was happening. Someone had called emergency services that eventually showed up. It wasn't until the tow truck arrived that they moved the gear shifter from park to neutral so they could pull the van off the porch.
Eventually, they removed the van from the house and they covered the gaping hole with a tarp to keep out the weather until it could be repaired. Classy.
Teh Sister: After it was over and we could see the hole you and I sang Wide Open Spaces.
Later, Teh Mom inquired why I didn't just steer the van into the flower garden, since the soil was soft, we would have just sank right in. With no hesistation I explained, "It wasn't a possibilty. You had always told me to stay out of your flower bed. I was just following the rules." She was speechless.
And that, Gentle Readers, is the story of when I ran a van into a house.
|The Box no longer exists because it burnt to the ground (several years after we'd moved out).|