May 26, 2010  •  In NYC, Personal

Yes, That Was Me Who Caused the Mass Backup in the Tunnel…

This morning started like any other. I woke up, took the dog for a walk, and quickly checked the mirror for eye crusties and hair peaks before running out the door to drive J to work.

(Yes, I know I don’t have to drive him to work. But I like to, especially in the past few months as he’s been working super-long hours and I’d like to squeeze in as much time together as possible.)

15-minute delay in the tunnel? Check. A-hole NYC drivers who challenge my driving dexterity with every move? Check. Pedestrians who ignore all traffic laws to make driving in NYC even more difficult? Check.

In other words, nothing unusual.

I kissed my husband goodbye as he rushed inside to make his morning meeting. I began my drive back home, and as I entered the Lincoln Tunnel I breathed my usual sigh of relief — because once I enter the tunnel the drive back is usually a breeze.

The key word here is ‘usually.’

About midway through the 1.4 mile trek, ALL the lights in my dashboard lit up.

“What the…”

Then I noticed that the car was slowing down. I pressed down on the gas pedal with no results. Luckily, the brakes still worked…

I stopped the car and turned on my hazards. I shut off the engine.


“Hold your horses,” I muttered under my breath as I restarted the engine. No problems there. But wait…all the lights in the dashboard continued to stay lit, and the car STILL refused to move.


I continued this song and dance for the next 5 minutes or so, as I frantically tried calling 311 (no one answered, btw), then J. He said that he would look up a number to call, and advised me to call our insurance company for roadside assistance.

Shut off engine, turn on again. Press the gas pedal. Nothing.

“Thank you for reaching Geico. If you would like to file a claim, press one…”

Shut off engine, turn on again. Press the gas pedal. Nothing.

The phone suddenly turned silent. I was dismayed to find that I had lost signal. Frick! Signal in the tunnel, underwater, is flaky at best.


I was about to lose my mind.

Then, just as I was about to pull a Marge Simpson and just GIVE UP, to say “To hell with all of you!” and have a nervous breakdown right in the middle of traffic…

…I saw distinct flashing blue and red lights behind me.


I waited patiently for the officer to make his approach. He sure was taking his jolly time. Then I noticed —

He wasn’t drawing any closer to me. He was drawing the traffic behind us further away.

Then it dawned on me.


I let out a frustrated sob and tried the accelerator once again.

The car started forward. THE CAR WAS MOVING!!!

I cautiously continued to accelerate. The cop noticed, and began to follow (from a safe distance, of course).

He shouted over the loudspeaker, “Continue moving forward until we’re out of the tunnel. Bear right.”

I did as I was told.

Luckily, the officer was very understanding and sympathetic of my situation. He pointed me to the closest gas station and wished me luck.

The car is currently at the mechanic, getting a full diagnostic. I am praying and hoping with all my might that the repair costs will not be astronomical — we have already spent over $1,000 in the past month in unforseen, emergency expenses and the baby fund has taken the blunt of that hit.

What a morning…

You may also like:

4 Responses to “Yes, That Was Me Who Caused the Mass Backup in the Tunnel…”

  1. Becca says:

    Oh bless you! You poor thing. Cars are despicable – especially when you are a woman driver and everyone just treats you as if it’s clearly something you did! Hope the bill isn’t too large.

  2. Shell says:

    *hugs* So sorry you had to deal with that! At least you were able to get out of there relatively quickly!

  3. omg, SO glad that the car started again for you!! I would have been in COMPLETE panic!

  4. Jina of JAC says:

    aww poor you! I’m glad this story had a happy ending .. sort of 🙂 As long as you are physically ok!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *