Slip Sliding Away | Hackie | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It
Favorite

Slip Sliding Away 

How awesome is Patchen Road?

True, the South Burlington constables ticket speeders all day long along this stretch of road. (To paraphrase Nancy Reaganjust slow down.)

Never mind the speed traps - Patchen Road is the mother of all shortcuts. It will take you from Gracey's Corner on Williston Road, over the Interstate, onto Burlington's Grove Street, and thence onto Chase, Barrett and over the Winooski Bridge or the hook-up with Riverside Avenue. All hail Patchen Road!

Last week, amidst rush hour, I employ this road. After taking the left from Grove onto Chase, in front of me I see a long line of cars backed up on Barrett. No problem-o, thinks your trusty cabbie, and I yank a right into the back entrance to the Chace Mill. The Chace Mill, you see, puts you on Mill Street just before the bridge, with never a traffic back-up. How savvy am I? I offer myself this congratulation.

Immediately, I find myself sliding down an iced-over driveway into the backyard of an abandoned house. I had missed the Chace Mill cut-through, it seems, but one or two driveways. As I drift sideways to a stop in front of a long battered garage, I'm filled with a sick sinking feeling. My intuition says, you are not getting out of here on your own power. I know this is true because I've been doing this for one thousand years and I can see that the driveway is steep and entirely coated with thick ice.

And, if it hasn't already, here's where my stupidity kicks into high gear. I proceed to waste a full half-hour in a futile effort to storm the driveway. I half wish somebody had video'ed me, because it probably looked like a Buster Keaton film. I rev and rev and charge forward - at best, 25% of the way up - before the wheels begin spinning and I slide back down. After the 17th attempt, you would think I'd throw in the towel, but, by that point, any shred of rational thinking had evaporated; I was on automatic, a rat in a cheese-less maze.

So, I finally call Spillane's and the tow truck driver arrives promptly. He is a big tough guy and I can see that he fully appreciates the doofus-like quality of my predicament. He doesn't want to risk getting likewise stuck, so, remaining at the top of the driveway, he hooks me up with a long cable and slowly winches me out.

The charge was $75, and I throw him an extra five for a latte el grande.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Jernigan Pontiac

About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Bio:
Jernigan Pontiac is a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column has been appearing in Seven Days since 2000. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Hackie

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation