A couple weeks ago I was driving down the highway and saw a Dodge Challenger stalled near the exit ramp. Traffic was pretty backed up and I had an hour to kill, so I figured I'd stop and see if I could help. I think it's important to note that I have the automotive knowledge of a six-year-old, so as I pulled up behind the stalled vehicle, I was really hoping the solution to the problem at hand involved crayons and a juice box.
I walked up the passenger-side window and greeted Jessica, a girl from Maryland who had a deeply frazzled look on her face. She hadn't been in town more than a week and she was on her way to pick up her boyfriend at the airport when she ran out of gas on the highway.
Now, any other jerk may have bailed at the mention of a boyfriend, but I figured a girl who would neglect the obvious warning signs of a diminishing fuel gauge needed all the help she could get in the world. So I told her to sit tight. I drove to a gas station a few blocks away, filled up a little 1-gallon tank, and returned to the damsel in the Dodge.
After I politely filled up her tank, the car started and Jessica was on her way. Now, I know what you're thinking... Where is this story going? Stick with me.
An hour later I go out swing dancing and something amazing happens. You know that scene in every movie where the nerdy White guy sees the beautiful girl across the room and the music ramps up and everything starts moving in slow motion? He's speechless as the sea of people part and the two meet in the middle of the dance floor?
Here's a video for reference. Just imagine me as Johnny Depp. Which is how I'm sure you always imagine me. Johnny Depp, but handsome. And now, imagine the girl is like Penelope Cruz but more beautiful. Not a joke. The girl I meet looks like a Mexican Scarlett Johansson. I don't really have a type, per se, but if I did, I think it would be "Mexican Scarlett Johansson". In fact, now that I think about, maybe the reason for my singleness is due to the fact that my type only pertains to maybe four people in the whole world. But the beautiful thing is that one of those four people is standing in front of me on that very dance floor.
So we introduce ourselves. And we talk. And we dance. And we dance. And we talk. She's interesting and smart and funny and kind and creative and all things good. The whole time we're getting to know each other, she's smiling and I'm thinking, "how on Earth is this happening? Is this girl aware that she's 20,000 leagues out of my league?"
And then it hits me. The heavens had opened up and smiled upon me, rewarding me for my good deed an hour prior. Not sure where I stand on this karma thing, but as I look brown-eyed ScarJo in the face, I promise myself that I will never pass another stalled vehicle on the road ever again. Not with this kind of cause-and-effect.
They say that when it rains it pours and here's where things get really surreal. The dance party wraps up at midnight and as we walk out of the building hand-in-hand, she mentions that she'd like to keep the night going. In total disbelief at how things are unfolding, I take her to one of my favorite little blues joints on the east side of town. We walk in the door and one of my favorite local acts just happens to be playing, the 524th bizarre coincidence of the night. With smiles on our faces, we walk up to the bar and order a couple drinks. The bartender says they're on the house, since I tipped so well last time.
ScarJo smiles at the mention of my generosity and as the bartender begins making the drinks, I hear a voice, "Marshall. Marshall, is that you?"
I look over and see a girl who I don't know from Adam, expecting some type of response. Is this someone who recognizes me from the internet? Wait a second- Is this a girl I took out once and never called back? Who is this woman?! I look her in the eyes, terrified that whatever comes out of her mouth next will completely ruin my fairytale of a night.
But then it hits me. It's Jessica, the damsel in the Dodge! At this point, my brain can't compute the complete amazingness that is happening before my very eyes. Jessica hits it off with ScarJo, telling her that just earlier in the day I had been a good Samaritan and stopped to help her on the side of the road, that I was a knight in shining armor. Jessica and her boyfriend buy us a second round of drinks and tell us that thanks to my kind actions they now have hope in the altruism of humanity. As we watch the band that night ScarJo thinks I'm the most admirable, popular, and handsome guy she's ever met. Okay, maybe not the handsome part...
So the ending of the night was pretty much the end of Groundhog Day, that climactic scene where one-by-one all the townspeople tell Rita how amazing Bill Murray is. And let me tell you, becoming Bill Murray is life's greatest accomplishment. As I laid in bed that night, I could only hope that I was actually living in Groundhog Day and that I would wake up in the morning to relive that day over and over and over...