I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
January 26, 2021
You might assume that because of Pandemic Times, I no longer have any interesting adventures to report — and you would be right, barring That Time I Took a Walk and Saw a Really Big Turtle in the Pond. (Expect my memoir with that title from Doubleday in Spring 2022.)
However, a couple of nights ago, Dennis and I had what could only be called a Harrowing Experience. A Close Call. A Brush with Carlessness. I feel compelled to share it with you now in the hopes that it won’t ever happen to you. Consider this a cautionary tale.
We had eaten dinner in Germantown (in our own private plywood cabana plunked down in a parking lot, which was… interesting) and were headed home when we came upon a polar bear in an empty parking lot. As would anyone who saw a polar bear in a parking lot, we stopped for pictures. Dennis pulled up right next to the big bear and we hopped out of the car, leaving the doors open and the motor running. We were only about 20 feet from our car and no one was around — No sense in turning off our seat warmers, right?
Except that it turned out there was someone around. As Dennis snapped a couple of photos, a leprechaunious older man came out of nowhere and shouted something unintelligible. Something like “YOU’RE TAKIN’ PICTURES,” or it might have been “YOUR BACON ITCHES,” I’m really not sure which, but I will say that his comment put me on high alert, because if years of city living have taught me anything it’s that if someone is going to attempt to commit a crime against you, they always, always say something weird like “Your bacon itches!” first. Not even kidding. So even though I’m smiling in the above photo, I’m also keeping an eye on the man, which was a good thing because right after this photo was taken, he made a beeline for the open driver’s-side door of our car.
I did the only thing I could do in that situation — I made a faster beeline. You could have even called it a hornetline. I wouldn’t have corrected you.
“What are you doing?!” my husband sputtered as I sprang from the polar bear’s clutches and sprinted for our car. I gave him an incredulous look as I flew past him — WAS IT NOT PERFECTLY OBVIOUS THAT I WAS SAVING US FROM BEING CARJACKED BY A LEPRECHAUN?
I flung myself into the passenger seat and turned to face the wee man, holding up my two palms and giving him a menacing glare. My stance was intended to say, ‘Just try to get in the driver’s side and I WILL PUSH YOU SO HARD WITH THESE TWO HANDS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN PUSHED BEFORE.’ But I worried he would interpret it as, ‘I am a mime inspecting the invisible fourth wall.’ Either way, it worked because the man stopped short.
Dennis, sort of realizing what was happening, walked over and stood between the man and the car. And then the man, surprise surprise, asked him for money. He said “I want me gold!” KIDDING. He said he had given his last dollar to his sister’s aunt etc. and needed gas money to get to Dickson etc. And then Dennis gave him some money. I figured he was offering it as a consolation prize, since the whole car theft thing didn’t work out.
Dennis joined me in the car and we left, and while I had initially thought I would keep this story to myself because it’s sort of embarrassing, I really felt like I had to share it as a public service, because we did exactly what every expert tells you NOT TO DO and I don’t want a single one of you to make the same mistake we did.
You guys? If you ever see a polar bear? Don’t stop and try to get pictures with it. Even if it seems ‘friendly’ or ‘tame’ or ‘made of fiberglass,’ it’s a really bad idea. You could get scratched or mauled or bitten or even carjacked. Help me help you. If you see a polar bear, for the love of God, STAY IN YOUR CAR.
You may now resume your doomscrolling.