Woman Proud: Didn’t Poop When Brakes Failed

Sometimes I’m an enigma even to myself. Occasionally, some weird feat I perform astounds me and fills me with pride. For instance, I just learned that I can drive a large SUV with no brakes and not soil myself.

During a routine shopping trip with Lil’ K. and Lil’ P. last Saturday, I attempted to slam on brakes behind some douchebag who stopped suddenly to turn and didn’t give a signal. Instead of feeling that comforting pressure the brake pedal usually exerts, my foot got a speedy trip to the floorboard.

I swore loudly.

“Don’t say that, Mama,” said Lil’ K.

“Oh, dit, dit, dit, ditty, dit, dit!” called Lil’ P.

Luckily, my brain flipped to autopilot, and I spied a gap between the stopped car and a deep ditch. I eased the wheel to the right and rode the high side of the gully on two tires. The speedometer read 45 mph. Grass and mud flew behind me like a cigarette boat rooster tail.

“WAHOOOOOO!” Lil’ K. hollered from the backseat, “Go, Mama, go!”

“GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” added Lil’ P. “Dit, dit, dit!”

“My sentiments exactly, Buddy,” I told him, as we hit a pothole and caught air.

We landed back on the road with only a modicum of swerve. Luckily, there were no other cars in front of me. Unfortunately, I was heading down a steep hill. Noticing the speedometer creeping up past sixty, I threw the truck in the lowest gear.  It moaned in protest like an angry tractor trailer and reluctantly slowed enough for me to get it off the road. I finally remembered the emergency brake and mashed it before I crashed us into a cornfield. I could hear carseats jerk forward and hit the backs of the seats.

“Mama, you jerked us!” cried Lil’ K. Lil’ P. cackled and squealed.

I breathed slowly, leaning my head back against the seat, while my children laughed in the back.

“That was fun,” hollered Lil’ K. “Can we do it again?”

48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamyka Bell
    May 10, 2012 @ 11:31:17

    Congratulations on not pooping! That’s a terrifying experience and I like how you’ve written about it—I really get a sense of time warping, and your subconscious mind leading while you follow. Of course the kids would think it’s fun.


  2. English Rose-C
    May 10, 2012 @ 11:53:01

    Excellent reactions – and I hope you thanked that guardian angel!

    I have made a 30 minute journey without operating footbrakes (on my way to the garage to get the brakes fixed) – and boy was I glad to drive a manual (stick-shift)! Mind you, that didn’t really help when I rounded a corner to find a horse and rider ahead; high revving engine to reduce road speed not recommended there!

    I hope Mr Jenn was suitably impressed!


  3. rich
    May 10, 2012 @ 12:13:46

    atta girl.


  4. twisteddomesticgoddess
    May 10, 2012 @ 12:54:01

    OK that would’ve been the end of me I would’ve peed…I agree with your youngest,”Dit Dit Dit.” Good job on keeping control!


  5. Annabelle
    May 10, 2012 @ 13:40:10

    Wow, terrifying! I’m not sure I’d be able to keep my head enough to figure out what to do under those circumstances. I guess you never know what you’ve got in you until you get there.


  6. Libby
    May 10, 2012 @ 15:19:45


    Good job though! I’m glad the kids were having a good time!

    I think this was really well-written :)


  7. jannatwrites
    May 10, 2012 @ 16:55:41

    Hmmm…is Lil K a boy? I could picture my sons wanting to go on that ‘ride’ again!

    That would be terrifying (thank God nothing like that has happened to me.) I’m glad your guardian angel was with you and you guys are okay. I have to ask, though – how bad was the SUV damaged?


  8. Gina
    May 10, 2012 @ 17:40:38

    Sorry for the scare but I laughed (only with you not at you)! I do that when I’m panicked so maybe I was for you and your kiddies, too. My daughter would have been so all over that roller coaster ride! Fun, sorry, story!


  9. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen)
    May 10, 2012 @ 18:14:52

    Oh my GOD that’s terrifying. Well done keeping your cool. In fact, you kept it well enough that one of your kids never even noticed the near death experience. He just thought “MAN Mama’s got the cool down today, let’s go around again”.


  10. braintomahawk
    May 10, 2012 @ 19:43:25

    On the lighter note, since they don’t quite meet the height requirements for the exciting rides, I’m sure they were glad to get a taste.

    Seriously though, good reactions on your part!


  11. Sandra Tyler (@SFiberworks)
    May 10, 2012 @ 20:34:32

    lol, hate to laugh, but shoot, great post. I never think about brakes actually failing. Please tell me you have more than what I have 90,000 miles on that thing. Good enigma!!


  12. gene3067
    May 10, 2012 @ 23:09:21

    Great job on downshfting and swerving! Was the brake fluid bad as well or a crack in the line?


    • Jennifer Worrell
      May 10, 2012 @ 23:41:26

      Crack in the line–Mr. Jenn thought it was a failed master cylinder, so we bought one and put it on in the auto parts parking lot. When we went to bleed the brakes, fluid dripped out right under the door. We had to take it to a garage and have them put it on the lift to find out that one brake line had cracked–corrosion from driving on the beach and having road salt fly up on it…grrrrr. All fixed now, though—with a new master cylinder we don’t need…


  13. Jen and Tonic
    May 11, 2012 @ 05:08:04

    How did you not crap your pants? I dropped a load in mine just READING this.


  14. doncarroll
    May 11, 2012 @ 09:15:03

    it’s good that you had a good reaction to this. one thing is for sure, one needs a lot of luck when the brakes fail in a spot for one to contend with it.


  15. trifecta (@trifectawriting)
    May 11, 2012 @ 10:01:17

    I can almost guarantee you that I’d have crashed the car. At least. I own no set of emergency operating procedures. Nice job with the prompt. This was certainly an engaging read. So glad you and the kids made it out of that dit okay.


  16. craftcrazygran
    May 12, 2012 @ 21:52:23

    “That was fun,” hollered Lil’ K. “Can we do it again?”
    The blessed innocence of children. DIT!


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