Angel on the Spot

A deep puddle had flooded her car's engine and she was blocking traffic. What now?

- Posted on Feb 12, 2014

A car wades into a deep puddle.

Should I chance it? The puddle blocking the entrance of the doctor’s office parking lot had to be at least a foot deep. It practically made waves. The cars in front of me didn’t share my hesitation; they drove straight through. I pressed down on the gas and followed.

The engine died. The dashboard lit up. My car wouldn’t budge.

Sudden tropical downpours are a danger in South Florida, especially for someone in their seventies. The whole drive here, I could scarcely see more than a few feet in front of me through the rain. Now, half of my car stuck out into the street. Cars swerved around me to avoid a collision. What do I do?

I took out the key, opened the door, and stepped into the water–almost up to my knee. As soon as I did, an odd-looking pickup truck pulled over.

It seemed from another era. The truck bed was made from wooden slats. A short, scruffy man emerged. “I’m here to help you,” he said.

He waded into the water beside me. “Get back into your car,” he said. “It will start now. Drive on and park.”

I don’t know why, but I believed him. I climbed back in my car, stuck the key in the ignition and turned it. The engine roared! I forded through the puddle and parked in a spot right by the front door. Rushing inside, I realized I’d forgotten to thank the man. I turned around, but he must have driven on.

I called my husband and told him what happened. “I’ll come by, just in case the car won’t start again,” he said. But the engine did start, no problem. Like it had never been flooded at all.


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