Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Seatbelt Yoga

"I give you a 9.5. Not bad at all."

That was my score. Delivered by the service manager who sat and watched me wiggle, roll and slide out of my car -- pelvis first -- because I could not get out of my seatbelt.

The belt had been balky for days. Then finally, it wouldn't release -- with me in the thing. So I drove to the dealership. I pulled into the bay, which is beside the glassed-in office of the service managers, who sit in a line handling calls and customers dropping off their cars.

I couldn't see them through the tinted glass. I hoped they were really busy that day.

So I took a deep breath, opened the door, slid my feet to the pavement and began to slide out of my seat. As an old friend used to say, I was definitely "captured up." I tried to loosen the shoulder harness, which very nearly strangled me. I had no choice, I had to execute sort of a yoga camel pose to escape. I was hoping the service managers who I KNEW WERE WATCHING ME were yoga types and might keep their minds on the spiritual and maybe even close their eyes and meditate. As if.

I slithered, slid, wiggled, knees first then the hips came out and waist. Next I threw up my arms in a touchdown pose and managed to extract my trunk. I quickly adjusted my clothes, smoothed down my crazed hair. I grabbed my bag and rushed from my car as though it was about to blow up.

I tried to slip unnoticed into the service office, which made no sense. Because all eyes were upon me.

"I guess you saw that," I said to the service rep nearest to the door. He did a great job keeping a straight face.

He had seen it, of course, they all had. They were desperately trying not to laugh in my face. After all, life can be pretty boring down at the car shop. Busted transmissions, extended warranties, irate customers, people upset about having to spend precious time down there pouring out money AGAIN.

And then one day a gift: A crazy woman slithering out of her car right in front of them, unannounced, for no good reason that anyone could fathom, at least right away.

I astonished them that day. And I got a brand new seatbelt. Guess what: Free of charge. Color me double astonished.

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