I'm a writer, not a mechanic. I can write you an amazing story about a car's journey to find a new owner, but instead finds itself along the way. Ask me to find the issue in a physical car--yeah, I can't help you. So when my car decided to not start up, I was a little frustrated. I kept trying to turn my car back on, and it wouldn't. The dashboard lit up and the radio seemed like it was going to turn on. Lights flashed for a few seconds, but nothing stayed on. The car sounded like it was trying to turn on, but nothing really worked. The car was stuck in park and the key was stuck in the ignition. It took me about five minutes just to get the key out. However, I couldn't really leave my car there because the car wouldn't even lock.
I was annoyed, but managed to stay calm. Luckily my sister was there and AAA picked up pretty quickly. The AAA guy gave me "a jump" and basically said that it was my fault for leaving the lights on. I drove my car there. Parked it. Turned everything off. Sat there for one minute. I tried to start the car back up and it wouldn't. I figured if it were the battery, then nothing would come on in the car. It was then that I decided to turn the lights on and press the radio to see if anything was turning on (I figured that nothing would light up at all if my battery wasn't dead so I tried to see what the issue was.) I highly doubt that having the lights on for that short amount of time killed my battery after my car was already not starting up, but okay dude.
Anyways, I didn't feel comfortable about driving my car back home. However, the AAA guy assured me that it would all be fine. I thought: I don't know anything about cars, so I guess, since this is his job, I should trust him. I drove off, and used as little power as possible on my commute back home. No a/c, no radio, no charging my phone, etc. However, I was on the phone with my mother because I was a little nervous about driving back home alone.
While driving, I eventually stopped at a red light at S. Claiborne and Broadway. When the light turned green, I was ready to go but my car wasn't. My car actually completely stopped on me in the middle lane on one of New Orleans' busiest streets at 5 pm on a weekday. Now, I was freaked out. I was always told that if you have car issues to pull on the side of the road. I couldn't. Everything I learned about these situations, I couldn't even do. I told my mother where I was and what was going on, then hung up to go into problem solving mode.
My car completely locked! I tried to turn the car back on. It wouldn't. It was stuck in park. The car completely locked, the key was stuck in the ignition and it took five minutes for me to even get the caution lights to turn on. To make the situation even worse, my phone was on 12% and I was surrounded by cars. I was stuck in my car for awhile. I knew it was a possibility that my car could stop again, but that didn't stop me from being frustrated. I was actually way more freaked out the second time around. Not only was I totally alone but I was stuck in the middle of the road. Accidents happen all the time in that area. I was a bit frighten at the strong possibility of being hit by a car.
(Adorable photo of my car stuck in the middle of the street during the one moment the street was clear)
After I got the caution lights to come on and the road cleared for a bit, I ran out of my car and tried to call AAA. They would not pick up. I stayed on the line for almost 15 minutes before an automated voice gave me the option to have someone call me back. I felt totally done for. Then... Batman appeared.
O.K. so he wasn't actually Batman, but a guy in a shiny black car showed up and asked me if I needed any help and if anyone was coming. I told him that I had family on the way (which was true) and that I was waiting for AAA to call me back. He told me that we couldn't keep the car in the middle of the road and that we could push it out of the way.
We tried really hard to get my car in Neutral. It just wouldn't go. Everything was completely locked up. I thanked him probably 20 times for stopping to help me, but he seemed a little bummed that he couldn't do anything on the way back to his car. He told me that he was leaving, but he never pulled off. I tried calling AAA again but there was no use.
Ten minutes later, he got out of his car and approached me. He told me that he found a YouTube video on my car and there was a way to unlock a car and force it into Neutral. He was right. We actually got the car into Neutral and we pushed it around the block into a safer, less busy area. After we got the car to a safer area, he told me that he just couldn't give up. He explained that he is an Engineer and that he knew that there had to be someway to unlock my car. I was so thankful and amazed by him, that I probably could have married him right there on Broadway Street.
My sister showed up a minute later and called AAA again. They immediately picked up. My grandpa showed up to make sure I was safe. When the tow truck showed up this time, I told the driver that I don't want a jump and that I refuse to drive this car anywhere else until a mechanic fixes it. He agreed with that decision and gave me the name of a place that could fix my car and give me a discount. I signed the papers for him to tow it there and got a ride home from my sister. My car was fixed less than 24 hours later, and luckily I could afford to pay for the work to be done.
To everyone who helped me out, my sister, my grandfather, the second tow truck driver and most of all Mr. Batman, thank you so much. For someone to stop what they're doing to help a complete and total stranger is absolutely amazing and heartwarming. I will forever be grateful. We never exchanged names and you may not even remember what you did, but if you do see this article: I just want you to know that I am immensely grateful for what you did. Thank you so much. We live in a world that can be really crazy, horribly violent, and all around frightening. Thank you for making me feel a little bit safer and a little more at peace. You put yourself in danger just to help a total stranger. You didn't have to help me. It wasn't required. But you did it anyway and by doing so, you made a huge difference in my life. I'll never forget what you did for me.
Not all heroes wear capes. Some of them just have really dope engineering skills, a great internet connection and kindness.