Let me begin this story by stating that I live in the middle of nowhere. Literally. I live on a dirt road that lies somewhere between a one-red-light town and a five stop sign town (okay… there are more than five, but it doesn’t have a red light). I don’t really live within either city limits and it’s about a five minute drive either way to reach an actual “city.” My road is just one within the maze of desolate dirt roads lying outside the city limits and it can get a little confusing if you ever get lost back there.
Alright. With the stage now set, I will share with you the story of how what began as a one and a half minute (at most) drive to my aunt’s house around the corner turned into an hour and a half long rescue mission. Off we go…
One night a year or two ago, my mother and I decided that we wanted to go over to my aunt’s house for a little while. It was lazy Saturday night and nothing was going on, so we figured, “Why not?” As we approached the crossroads where we should have turned left to get to my aunt’s house (after turning left, her driveway is MAYBE a hundred yards down the roads give or take a little), Mama stopped and we noticed some odd-looking lights coming down one of the roads. I didn’t think too much about it, but when we didn’t turn I asked Mama what she was doing.
“I want to see what’s coming down the road. It’s not a car…” This is what people who live in the country do. We identify people by their vehicles. Anything out of the ordinary is causes a bit of a disturbance.
It took a minute or so for the lights to get close enough for us to tell that it was a golf cart driven by two older men (probably in their mid-to-late sixties). When they got to the crossroads, the driver slammed on brakes, leapt off the golf cart and stumbled over to the car. Now, Mama had had the window cracked in order to hear the vehicle (that’s part of the vehicle on country road identification process) and before she could roll it back up, the old man shoved something in it and yelled, “Here. You talk to her!”
In a bit of shock, Mama stared down at the object in her lap. It was a cell phone. After a moment, she picked up the phone and looked at the man. “Ummm…?”
“Talk to my wife!” he slurred, pointing at the phone. By now, I’d noticed the large pile of beer cans in the back of the golf-cart. The other man was just slumped in the passenger seat looking around.
“Hello…?” Mama said, holding the phone closer to her face.
“Where the Hell is he?!” a woman cried from the other end of the line.
When Mama explained to the man’s wife where he was and what condition he was in, she started cursing and carrying on about how she told him not to leave the house and how he slipped off anyway when she wasn’t looking and how she didn’t know how she was going to get him back to where he came from (a good six miles away through winding dirt roads, across the highway, and down another long, dirt road).
Being the kind, compassionate, Christian woman she is, my mother just sighed and looked at me. “Well, I can lead him back to Darby’s…” Darby’s is a convenience store fairly close to where we think they live.
“Would you please?”
“Thank you… Boy… When he get’s home, I’m gonna…” With that, Mama handed the phone back to the man and told him to follow our car so we could lead them back to Darby’s. He nodded and we waited for him to get back on the golf cart. Soon, we were on our way. The fastest the man could seem to drive and still (somewhat) control the golf cart was about 10mph. Needless to say, it was a LONG drive to the crossroad where we had to turn to get back to the highway. We tried to stay a little ways ahead of the golf cart just in case there was a braking problem somehow… Based upon his driving, the man’s condition seemed to worsen the farther along we went.
As we neared the next crossroad, another white car (similar to my mom’s) flew by and before we knew it, the men on the golf cart had taken off after THAT car and was driving away fairly quickly.
Still in disbelief, Mama and I just looked at each other. “Well, now what?” I asked.
Shrugging, she replied. “I don’t know. I guess we’ve just lost them. God knows where they’ll end up, now!”
As we were turning around to head back home, we were surprised (and relieved) to see the little headlights of the golf cart coming our way again. So, we resumed on our journey to Darby’s. After about an hour, we reached the convenience store and the man got off the golf cart again. He looked so excited as he stumbled over to our window. “I know where I am, now!” He cried. “I live right over there!” Gesturing across the highway, he grinned and took off back to the golf cart.
Mama and I watched in horror as the golf cart shot out into the highway without the driver looking to see whether or not anything was coming. Thankfully, the road was clear and the two old men puttered safely on over to the other side. Once they were out of sight, Mama sighed. “Donna’s not gonna believe this…”
Deciding to take the highway back to my aunt’s house, we went on our way. After a moment, I noticed that we were moving extremely slowly. A glance at the dashboard revealed that my mom was still driving at about fifteen miles per hour. “Umm… Why are we still going slow?” I asked.
Shaking herself from a daze of sorts, Mama looked at me and shook her head. “I have no idea… I can’t believe that just happened.”
So… An hour and a half after we left our house, Mama and I made it to my aunt’s house. Let the record show that since that night we have seen neither of those men, nor talked to that man’s wife. We only hope that she didn’t kill him when they finally made it home.