Escaping Texas

I was three miles away from the Flying J near the Texas border when I got stuck in the fucking mud.

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I was using the Pilot/Flying J App to earn free showers as I drive. It has a bug where it flubs the handoff to Google Maps, leading one to a random location near the intended one. Going north on 287, it took me off the highway onto a small County road. It turned out to be a *dirt* road, and despite my care and low speed, I almost immediately lost traction. Two minutes later, I was stuck in a ditch on the side of the road at disturbingly intense lean, in the dark, at midnight.

I tried all the normal shit to get out, but, as usual, just dug myself in deeper. I was between two huge cornfields, and there were no rocks or anything else I could use for traction. My main phone was out of signal range, and my longer-range backup turned out not to have an active account. I’ve often thought it would be good to carry a small electric winch for this kind of bullshit, and I may look into getting one next time I go to Harbor Freight. Likely it would not have helped, as there was nothing to really hook onto nearby.

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Not super jazzed about sinking into the mud…

I’d enjoyed driving through a big rainstorm earlier which I had assumed caused all the mud. About 1 AM I decided to give up and try to go to sleep. Maybe the reliable Texas summer heat would dry things off enough the next day to escape, or I could at least walk into cell range in the daylight. Even facing uphill, it was hard to sleep with the van leaning over so far.

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Me trying to show how not-level the van is.

About the time I started to finally nod off, I heard a *BEEP* and saw headlights at this *amazing* human being drove into my life:

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He not only crawled under a total strangers huge van in the mud at 1 AM to hook up a tow chain, he managed to pull my ass out with a two-wheel-drive truck on the first try, escorted me to my destination three miles away, and talked to me until 4 AM after I bought him a meal. He *also* gave me a pornographic metal chotsky and a pair of field glasses. When he then offered to fuel my van up for free, I had to put a stop to his Good Samaritan Rampage before I was physically injured from my profound and astonishing gratitude. Thank you Cody! You are a fucking hero and one of the best human beings I have ever met. I was *so* relieved to have my Horrible Problem promptly erased, and *only* with his help was I finally able to escape Texas!

I not only want to thank Cody here, but the residents of the Texas countryside generally. When I broke down in Abilene a few weeks ago, all the people I met were uniformly friendly and went well out of their way to help me pull of a crazy three-day repair in a city I’d never visited before in my life. Many of these people were Christians, a lot of them probably voted for Trump, but they were amazing human beings that genuinely lived up to the Tale of the Good Samaritan. It’s a good reality check for me to encounter them as human being instead of through the wildly distorting lens of recent politics. Most of them are genuinely good people, and I’m grateful they were around when I was in trouble. It’s easy to get angry at people when they have beliefs or politics that are different from one’s own and forget they’re humans too. I’m glad I got this reminder.

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