Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's good to be prepared

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.

But anyway.

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.


  1. and you'll get a ticket for not wearing your seat belt, having cut it off on the way to the windshield.

  2. 1st, I love the Container Store, heaven on Earth.
    2nd, I'm trying to appreciate the humor in this post but tremble with fear at the thought of being underwater in my car. The fear has worsened over time. Sorry to be a bummer commentor.

  3. WiB - I adore you. You're absolutely right!

    HKW - Oh, no, I'm so sorry! A friend of mine teased me about the hammer and said odds of this happening are incredibly low.

  4. Hahaha! Right there with you on the hood. And also with the imagination running wild! And oh dear, I drive over big long bridges all the time, yikes! I wonder where I could find one of those hammers. :)

  5. You could always go to the car junkyard and practice on some of those car windshields and seatbelts.

  6. Lisa - Thank you, that's comforting. Then again, just to be safe, perhaps I'll take Amisare's advice and hit up a junkyard.

  7. I wouldn't worry about this too too much. They say in times of crisis, people are capable of incredible feats of strength. Like the urban legend of the mother lifting the car off of her child...or sitting through an entire Jennifer Lopez movie. So if you can watch all of "Maid in Manhattan", you can bust through a car windshield.

  8. Hope you don't ever need it, but if you do, don't try to smash your windshield. Smash the side window (in case your electronic window doesn't work).

  9. LMNt - :) Welcome back all around!

    AS - Yes - I think the imagination running wild is the most dangerous, actually! I think they have these hammers everywhere, and my dad said you can get smaller ones than this one. But seriously, this friend of mine said you're more likely to be hit by lightening - odds are incredibly low for car flooding.

    Amisare - You are right! Maybe I will, just out of curiosity. The idea of being stuck in a seatbelt is horrible.

    HKW - I fret about sooo many things that I'm so sorry to have stressed you out with this.

    HBMS - Ha ha! I've never tried to sit through an entire Jennifer Lopez film, but I think I will one of these days, just to know I'll be able to bust out of a sinking car if I need to!

    Anon - Ohhh, that makes so much sense! Less dramatic, and much more practical!

  10. SNORT!! HA HA HA!!

  11. holy crap, maybe laura and i are soulmates. because i SO want one of these. i've gone so far as to tell jason - repeatedly - that we should get one.

    i got my mother laughing hysterically by telling her the following a few weeks ago (this is totally true): "yeah, it was really nice of jason to send flowers to my office on my birthday. he's so funny, too - he said that they were my surprise gift, because he was gonna order me one of those 'break out of your car underwater' things online that he knew i wanted, but it would've taken too long to get here."

    it took her a minute or so to catch her breath, as she was so overwhelmed with my ridiculousness :)

  12. I hate hate *hate* driving over bridges. I'm buying this little hammer asap. Actually, I'm sort of anxiously pissed that I've never heard of it, haha, what other lifesaving things have I never heard of but can purchase easily at places like The Container Store?! I'll be sure to let you know. :)

  13. This actually made me laugh out loud with recognition. This is so me! I ran across your blog from a link on a friend's and I decided to start at the beginning. Is that weird? I have found you both amusing and thought provoking. I too got married this past October and I think that's what originally caught my attention and then I just wanted to see how this all started for you. I have started to consider doing this myself, however, I think I would have to post anonymously.


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