Here’s the story of the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me or anyone ever.
It was 2017, and I had taken my car to the dealership to have some work done. The dealership gave me a loaner car and told me it was out front, running.
I found the car and put my several bags (I had a lot of stuff with me that day) into the back seat and climbed in, heading off for work.
I pulled out onto the main road next to the dealership, and as I did, I saw a quick movement out of the corner of my eye. I ignored it and kept driving.
About 20 seconds later, I looked up and saw something in the rearview mirror that will forever haunt my nightmares. What I saw in that mirror was a cinematic masterpiece.
That rearview mirror should be nominated for an Academy Award.
I looked up and saw four. FOUR. onetwothreecarrytheoneFOUR. Four grown men running. Nay, sprinting after my vehicle. All four of them screaming.
Before I could figure out why they were chasing me, my phone rang. I answered it. It was the man from the dealership, yelling. I heard this next part in that slow motion deep voice:
- ELI! Youuuuuu toooooook the wroooooongggg caaaaaaaarrrr.
I took the wrong car. I climbed into a running vehicle. One that was not mine, nor was it meant for me, and I drove it away. Grand theft auto.
I thought for a second, “no big deal.” I just took a different loaner vehicle than they meant for me to take. But right then, as the man’s voice was making out the R sound on “car”
my head suddenly did a full 360 around my neck like the Exorcist girl. And upon surveying my surroundings, I noticed DOZENS of someone’s personal items.
This was not the dealership’s loaner vehicle. This was another customer’s car. It belonged to one of the of men who were chasing me.
I panicked. And in my panic I made an emergency u-turn, but I sorely misjudged how narrow this street was and ended up running into the curb on the other side of the street.
The car was now fully perpendicular to the road, fully blocking a lane. The problem was, this was basically a space vehicle, much nicer than mine.
It didn’t have the normal shifter thing. Just a bunch of buttons. Not really a complicated system, but I was in panic mode and could not figure out how to reverse the car.
Other cars on the road were being blocked. The four men down the street watched as those cars honked at me. They watched as I somehow turned the vehicle off
They watched as the man, still on the phone, talked me through starting the car and putting it in reverse, like he was Houston and I was an Apollo astronaut trying to get home.
Eventually I got the car back to the dealership where I got out and scream-apologized to everyone and everything while frantically removing all of my crap from the back seat.
Everyone in the dealership had gathered at the windows and had their faces pressed against the glass, just watching all of this.
As I finished retrieving my things, the man who owned the car said I had grabbed his gym bag inadvertently. So in my embarrassed panic and fumbled through the bags and in the process I dropped his. Into a gutter. Full of mud and dirty water.
The employee who had called me was outside now. He quickly guided me to the other car, likely just anxious to get me the hell out of there.
I got into the car and had a full meltdown, screaming at myself for being so stupid. I yelled “I HAVE TO JUST ABANDON MY CAR. I’M NEVER GOING BACK THERE.”
After a minute of this, I heard a sound coming from my shirt pocket. It was my phone, which I had placed there. I pulled it out and saw that our call was still connected.
In all the commotion, the guy who had called me did not hang up. He just ran out of the place to greet me upon my return.
In all the commotion, I had not hung up the call. I had just put the phone in my shirt pocket.
By the sound of the ambient noise coming from the phone, I am 110% sure that I was on speakerphone.
The man who had made the call had not made it back inside by the time I started my car monologue, and so he had not yet hung up to spare me any more humiliation.
Every employee and customer of that place listened to my self-loathing as I drove away from truly the most embarrassing experience of my entire life.
Thank you for your time.