Sometimes playing 'Jingle bells' actually can be a call for help

I got my car stuck in a remote area last week where no one could hear me yell for help.

I didn't yell at first, though, because I thought I could get my car free by myself.

But nothing worked and I couldn't find my cell phone. It was getting dark, too, and the match I lit as a signal for help didn't send a beam of light into the city like I had hoped.

I was also at the bottom of a hill near a river I couldn't cross. There was a business on the other side of the river with a light on, so I yelled at it.

"Hello?" I said.

I had a hard time yelling loudly at first, though, because yelling as loud as you can is inappropriate in almost all social situations. So, to begin with, I just spoke firmly in a monotone, like how politicians do at the height of campaign rallies.

Once I realized no one could hear even my real yells, I reacted to every shadow as if it were a mountain lion. I looked around for rocks or sticks to defend myself. A quick hit to the head of the animal would save me, I thought.

But I got in my car and turned on the emergency blinkers. Only sand, water and sagebrush were available as weapons.

I then started honking my horn because I thought people might have more sympathy for someone trapped in a car than someone fake-yelling the word "hello." Involuntarily, however, I began to play "Jingle Bells."

"Beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep, beep-beep."

I had fun doing that until l I realized no one would recognize someone playing that song on their car horn as a person who needed help.

A friend was with me so I tried to get my car unstuck again. That just got it stuck worse, though, so I decided to spend the night in the car.

Then I realized I didn't want to wake up to someone knocking on my window, and I really didn't want to go over the story of how I got stuck with that person.

I was then able to convince my friend to walk with me an hour back into the city to call for help.

That was a bad night, but the worst thing about getting stuck at any time is being forced to talk to people who think it's incredibly ridiculous that anyone would get stuck at any time.

"What?" they say. "You got stuck?"

They react like people who don't think "Jingle Bells" is a call for help.


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• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.


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