Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Under the trailer park lights

I have a personal anecdote to add to George's post about what seems to be a common pastime for some people: being discovered passed out in their cars from alcohol overindulgence in places that are relatively distant from where the driver obviously departed from (especially McDonald's drive-thru lanes).

Dude, I grew up in low-income apartments and trailer parks - these stories are fucking common.

Seriously, about a month ago, I was leaving for work and discovered a car parked across the small road that leads from my local neighborhood to the main road. I was forced to drive around this Dodge Caliber that was idling in the street, almost getting stuck in the two feet of frozen snow that had been plowed onto the sides of the road the night before. As I pulled up close, I realized that the vehicle that I'd thought was empty was actually occupied. I could see the driver leaning way over into the passenger seat.

I drove past and turned to head up the street on my way to work, when I figured I'd better check to see if this guy was actually okay. I pulled over to the side of the road, got out and walked back to the car to make sure the driver wasn't hurt. I looked in the open driver door window to see the driver had his seat belt on and was doubled over into the passenger seat. His left hand was hanging out his window with an empty Nestle Crunch wrapper held in it, while his right hand was wrapped around a generic gas station paper coffee cup in his lap.

I asked him if he was okay, with no discernible response. I yelled at him and received more silence in return. I grabbed his arm and shook him very strongly, and he barely even flinched. I didn't notice the smell of alcohol, so I was worried that the guy might have had a heart attack, entered a diabetic coma, or had some other health issue. I should have remembered that I was inside a trailer park.

I called my wife (since he was only 50 meters from my house) and asked her to contact emergency services to check in on this guy so that I could head off to work. My wife came out to watch over the driver while the fire department and an ambulance made their way to the scene. She pinched him hard and he flinched a bit, but didn't stir. My wife grabbed the coffee cup to keep the man from spilling it on himself and immediately noticed the strong smell of booze. The cup had a small amount of what was probably whiskey in it.

Interestingly enough, as soon as the flashing lights from the emergency vehicles arrived, the guy came fully alert. I guess police arriving to assist when you've passed out while drinking and driving has a way of sobering a person up quickly. Especially after the BC government recently passed some of the harshest DUI penalties in Canada.

At first I was worried that the guy would be okay, because I hadn't realized he was merely drunk. After I found out he was driving hammered, I began hoping that the cops would nail him to the wall, since he was obviously so inebriated that he could have killed somebody and not even noticed.

My only regret? I should have snapped some photos of the dipshit to spread around the internet.

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