Last Friday on our outing, one of the places Laura and I went was the Container Store. She needed to find a hanging rack.
So when the checkout line was eternal, we entertained ourselves by inspecting various products placed alongside the line to entice you. Laura spied a windshield-breaking hammer.
I'd never heard of such a thing. She decided to buy it for me as thanks for driving her around on errands.
If you've not heard of this either, basically it's a small hammer with a pointy end that you can use to shatter your windshield if you are ever stuck under water. You can also use it to cut your seat belt if you need to. In movies people always get stuck in their seat belts; I don't know if this happens in real life. Betty says it does.
I tried to suggest that in the unlikely event that I were stuck underwater in my car I could use my key or my club to break my windshield, but she was having none of it. Her contention was that if you drive over bridges with any regularity, you should have one.
I almost never drive over bridges. Well, then, also for flash flooding. Really, according to Laura, you could be stuck underwater in your car at any moment.
When we got in the car she opened it for me so I'd have it handy in my glove box. Just in case. The only bad thing, she pointed out, is that you don't really get any practice with it.
I don't know if any of you have every taken First Aid or CPR. I took them both years ago. And then for the longest time I kept expecting someone around me to choke or have a heart attack.
I was twitchy when I was out in public because, ostensibly, I knew what to do if someone were in crisis. And so I'd have to respond. I was constantly on the lookout for the universal sign for choking. Or someone falling to the floor clutching their heart.
I'm not even kidding you. It was very stressful. Now that I no longer have the skills to save anyone, they could probably drop dead behind my chair at a restaurant and I wouldn't even notice.
This was how I was starting to feel. I have this hammer, and so now I have to be ready to use it at any moment. I started envisioning water lapping at the windows, and how I'd reach over to flip open the glove box, how much time I might have. . .
And then I remembered. "Hey, wait! I do drive over a bridge between your house and mine!"
Except that it's a bridge over Rock Creek Park.
"Oh, Lisa, you're going to get in a fender bender and then immediately panic and pull out the hammer, aren't you?"
That's exactly what will happen. I'll get in some small accident, and by the time the police get there, I'll have shattered my windshield and climbed out over my hood.