Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Stuck On The Delaware Memorial Bridge

Here we have a picture I took on Saturday afternoon.


I took this pictures because (a) no one would believe we actually got stuck there, and (b) when you are in the middle of a massive anxiety attack you have to find things to distract yourself from your massive anxiety attack, such as taking pictures with your phone.

For the record, I don't do well, in general, with bridges. That is actually a really big understatement.

For one, I get very dizzy on them and avoid driving over them unless I'm the passenger.

For two, I'm severely claustrophobic. Getting stuck anywhere is bad; getting stuck at the very top of a bridge is pretty much my worst nightmare, second to elevators, which I do not ever take.  (Fun fact: I believe the last time I rode an elevator was in 2009.)

So you can imagine how "happy" I was when, just as we started up the southbound side of the bridge,

the low fuel light came on and ping'd in JP's brand new truck...and *immediately* began bucking... before completely losing power.  No, we didn't run out of gas - we had plenty - but it turned out that the primary thing failed or something like that.  JP can explain this far better than I can.
(Thankfully he gets a free demo company car to drive so we don't actually own the truck.)

JP, with the help of a higher power, managed somehow to get the truck into the left lane which was closed to traffic even though the truck was dead. But we were crooked in that lane so our rear end was perilously close to the speeding traffic which included very large trucks. You can image where your mind goes as you're watching speeding vehicles almost hit you while you are stopped at the top of a very, very high bridge.

Oh, do you know how much a bridge actually sways? I do now.

(Fun fact #2: the clearance between the top of that bridge and the water below? 174 feet.) 

Finally a cop came along just as my anxiety-induced chest pains were really kicking in and I asked him if he could take me off the bridge because "I am panicking" while JP - who was not panicking - waited for the tow truck.

That cop couldn't - once he was called to a scene, he said, he had to stay with the disabled vehicle and its occupants - but he offered to have another unit come and get me. And the dog. 
Did I mention she was with us?

So that, friends, is how I managed to find myself in the back of a police car on Saturday afternoon.  With my dog.

I want you to picture my rescue from atop that bridge:

The second cop pulls in front of us...first original cop comes around to my side and says "your ride's here" (not kidding haha)...then he BLOCKS THE SPEEDING TRAFFIC WITH HIS OWN BODY so I can get out with my handbag in one hand and my dog held tightly to my chest with my other hand. Second cop grabs hold of my elbow and we're now kind of jogging/running toward her car, where she places me...and the dog!...in the backseat. Then she explains that she has to buckle me in so now we're both fumbling with the weird back-of-the-police-car seatbelt.
So there we were, just me and Luna in the back of a police cruiser on the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
Can you imagine what passersby must have been thinking watching this scene unfold?!

It's a couple of days later and I still don't know if I am now cured of my bridge fear/dizziness or if it is now 10,000 times worse.  Last night we had to go somewhere and navigation wanted us to go over the Delaware Memorial Bridge to get there. I looked at JP and told him that if he planned on going that way then he could let me out right there as I had no intention of going near that bridge...so it's looking like things might have gotten worse instead of better.


P.S. We have AAA and a bunch of friends who own tow trucks. But the bridge has its own tow trucks and you can't use anything but them to get you off the bridge. Cost to get towed off the bridge to the other side, a distance of a mile or so?  $140!  Don't worry if you don't have that much cash on you when you break down though - they have the little plug-in thing for cellphones that allows them to process credit cards no matter where they tow you to. 
It's nice that they offer you convenience while they're shaking you down.

P.P.S.S. This is not the first time I've gotten stuck at this bridge. The first time was in 1981 on the way home to Jersey from FL. That time I was only stuck at the base of the bridge.
Not at the very top of it!

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