Interlude: Samaritan

Day 46. 97,476 words. Today I have a ton of work to do, then tomorrow we have a bit of a department training day on the cards which should be a relaxing end to the week. After that, game night with some friends. And winter holiday begins! I’d forgotten what it was like to have normal holidays.

Yesterday we went to pick up the car from our mechanic, and went through the usual enjoyable ritual of him proudly showing me pieces of rusty or worn-down or otherwise perfectly normal-looking metal, and explaining that they’d needed replacing and it was a miracle the car was still running. And me nodding and saying “well done.”


Some of yesterday’s bits and bobs. Sure would hate to try to drive without one of those.

Anyway, our dear old trusty Volvo, who has been nicknamed Börge, made it through another annual check-up at minimal cost, and seems to be running fine. Which is good news because it means we don’t need to buy a new car this week.

On our way home from the mechanic, Mrs. Hatboy was ahead of me on the road and we were making our way through the little winding streets of the village (I was in my in-laws’ car, having borrowed it to drive both myself and Mrs. Hatboy to the mechanic’s in order to pick up Börge in the first place). We went past a BMW coming the other way and Mrs. Hatboy and I went to one side of the road. BMW went to the other side, and evidently went a bit too far because suddenly he was in the ditch.

For fairness and context, it’s hard to tell on this particular road because there are mounds of snow and no markers, but generally yeah, just scrape by and try to stay inside the ploughed bit. Mrs. Hatboy and I went as far as we could only our side, right up against the snowbanks. So it wasn’t really anyone’s fault. In fact, it was even easier for me to get past because by that stage BMW was two wheels deep.

Mrs. Hatboy, in the lead and not noticing any of this, carried happily on into the village. I parked (after driving past him, seeing his predicament and going “aah ha ha ha, you done fucked up”) and went over to help the poor dude, whose BMW had a rear-wheel drive and was basically just vzzzzzzzing himself deeper and deeper. I didn’t have a tow cable in the car, on account of it being my in-laws’ car as mentioned, and them having emptied it out completely in preparation for trading it in. So I made a few calls.

Eventually – and BMW was beginning to sound a bit anxious about how many people I seemed to know who owned tractors, and how many of them were either neighbours or family members or both[1] – a local swung by with a four-wheel-drive and pulled BMW out of the ditch.

[1] He was probably already nervous when I got out of my car and came over to help, actually, and the long-way-from-home-city-boy vibe probably didn’t help. I resisted the urge to ask him if anyone knew he was out here.

BMW was very grateful and made it rain with wads of cash.

No, he really did. My fellow villager was embarrassed at the amount and made him put half of it back – he even tried to give me some, when all I’d really done was park my car and stand on the side of the road scrolling through Facebook for ten minutes – but at least he got something for his trouble.

The moral of the story is, if you see a BMW driver in a jam, laugh at him a bit … but then help. Because he might be the one BMW driver with a sense of fair play.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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7 Responses to Interlude: Samaritan

  1. brknwntr says:


  2. What a great story! And I never knew you had a Volvo, somehow. My dad and mom only bought Volvos for the entirety of my life since I can remember, until about 10 years ago. So I guess that’s 25 years or so, I guess I could have put it that way. Cool!

    And man, there’s a clear difference between you and me, highlighted here. I *definitely* would have said “does anyone else know you’re out here?” XD

    But of course I would have made the tone SO clear I was fucking with him, 99% of humans without some form of personality disorder would have enjoyed it. Sometimes you just gotta.

    And this story is a lot better if I imagine Mrs. Hatboy was actually aware, and continued on, laughing maniacially, Dr. Evil pinkie optional.

    No, not optional. Fuck that.

    • stchucky says:

      I called her first and was like “you know you drove that poor cunt off the road, right?”

      I think my use of English on the phone, and stilted Finnish to BMW, was making him even more nervous. Another reason I didn’t do the hillbilly joke – it’s hard to nail the tone in a second language.

      Volvo’s a darn good car, what can I say? Plenty of seats and trunk / boot space. And reliable. A bit thirsty, but reliable.

      It’s the me of cars.

      • LOL fair enough! There is the language bit for sure. Yeah, Volvos are damn good cars. Just not very sexy. Also the me of cars.

      • stchucky says:

        Also have a tendency to make strange noises and drop pieces. Although that might just be a case of the car becoming like its owner over time.

      • Speaking of dropping things…so tell me, old friend. Will we be getting a Deadpool 2 trailer reaction blog?

        I mean, right now, I have reserved the spot in my brain for your trailer reaction as “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!”

        Which is fine. Just wondering if you had more thoughts on it XD

      • stchucky says:

        Excellent point! I suppose it ought to be a Thing.

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