Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Excitement in the Garage

It all started well really. Mr. and Mrs. Swiss were preparing for a morning's shopping, hunting for enough food to get them through the week-end. It had snowed two days before, but today there was just a thin layer of snow, or was it ice perhaps, still covering the village streets. Luckily the main roads were good, as far as possible. Temperatures were below 0°, around -6°C to be exact.

Wrapped in their winter clothes with suitable footwear they descended to the garage where they had their private parking place. It was a large garage, shared with other members of the commune, everyone having their own private space for their car.

The entrance and exit to the garage is wide enough for one car and is sloped. There is a road which passes by the exit, meaning that care is called for when driving out of the garage that nothing is approaching from right or left. That is the situation and here is an photo, taken by Mrs. Swiss this morning when they returned home.

As can be seen from this illustration, the slope was covered by a layer of snow. Mr. Swiss was driving and when he reached the top of the slope Mrs. Swiss looked towards the right, as usual, checking that no traffic was approaching. It was then that it happened. The car, which was perched at the top of the slope, did not move forward to leave the garage, but its tyres decided to turn on their own axis, being trapped in the snow, which was actually ice to a large percent. Another try was made, and the car decided to make itself independent and attempted a zig-zag direction. It was then, thanks to the reaction of Mr. Swiss, that he decided to reverse the car and try again. Alas the tyres turned again on their own axis. In the meanwhile a neighbour was also ready to leave the garage, waiting behind Mr. Swiss.

Eventually Mr. Swiss managed to back down into the garage again and Mrs, Swiss left the car and walked up the ramp to guide Mr. Swiss out of his predicament. Unfortunately there was nice shiny ice on the road surface, and Mrs. Swiss had to be very careful that she did not, again, break an arm if she fell down. With more luck than judgement, she managed to reach the top of the slope, stood on one side (crossed her fingers) and beckoned Mr. Swiss to leave the garage in one run. With much tyre vibrational noise, the task was a success.

In the meanwhile the neighbour, who had been observing the situation, decided to attack the slope. Mrs. Swiss remained where she was and beckoned the neighbour to advance with her car. The neighbour left the garage safely, rolled her window down and thanked Mrs. Swiss for her help. Mrs. Swiss had to walk over ice and snow to reach Mr. Swiss who was waiting for her in the car. Luckily he reversed the car towards Mrs. Swiss that she did not have far to walk.

It was decided that salt should be spread on the exit, although it is not really work that Mr. and Mrs. Swiss should carry out. There are people employed and payed for the job. Unfortunately they were nowhere to be seen. Tomorrow Mr. Swiss again has some shopping, but he decided he will our local train into town. Who knows what dangers awaiting the car tomorrow morning.

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