No Truckers Were Harmed In The Telling Of This Story
A true story by Chad F. Green
It was December 17th 2011, after a heavy night of drinking in the city. Four of us woke at the crack of dawn with two objectives on our minds... curing a hangover, and crushing a four hour drive and getting back home as quickly as possible. You see, the day before, myself and my two good friends Darrell and Ron took the drive to Halifax to pick up our buddy Mike who was coming home for the holidays from Fort McMurray. As we made good time racing the morning rush hour traffic, we stopped only for fuel and coffee.
The hankering for grub started to rumble in the pits of our stomachs after about an hour and a half. In all good road trip fashion, this is when the debate for where to eat began. As ideas flew, we decided finally on the Antigonish McDonald’s as we pulled into the scarcely populated parking lot just shy of 6:00am. We finally got out of the beat up Grand Am too stretch our legs. As Darrell and I quickly took the time to spark a smoke, Ron and Mike made their way inside to grab breakfast. Darrell and I talked shop as the morning cigarettes burned down. Soon, we could see that Ron and Mike had already gotten their food and found a corner booth to eat, so Darrell and I flicked our cigarettes and made our way into the restaurant.
As we stood trying to decide on what to eat, an elderly man entered the store and stood silently behind us. It was clear we were either too tired or too hungover to function properly, so we insisted the elderly man go ahead of us. As we did the man proposed a question, “You boys must be on your way to Cape Breton?” As we confirmed his suspicions, he ordered his food and patiently waited. As Darrell ordered his meal, I took notice of the elderly man. He was roughly 70-75 years old, about 6’1, bald, and of a stocky build. His prominent nose and furry brows were the dominant features of his familiar looking face. I noticed his attention was often averted to his old wrist watch, as if he was nervous of running late, or he was counting down the minutes.
Ron and Mike had already finished their breakfast and made their way outside for a smoke by the time our food arrived. As we stood, tray in hand, the elderly man piped up once again, “You guys must be on your way back from Halifax, eh?” As I assumed it was a lucky guess, I agreed. As Darrell and I both tried to politely end the conversation, the elderly man anxiously kept staring at his watch while conversing with us about the weather. As we waited impatiently for him to finish his last sentence, he looked at his watch once again and said, “You two are eating that here before you leave, right?” We nodded yes.
“Perfect! Alright Chad and Darrell, have a safe trip home! Say hi to Mike for me!” he spoke as he left his full tray of food on the counter and walked out the door into the morning mist. As we sat eating wondering how he knew our names, we shrugged it off as a creepy coincidence. We ate, lit a smoke, and hopped in the car to head on home. As Ron and Mike complained about how long we took, we turned off onto the highway East bound to Cape Breton. We weren’t five minutes outside of Antigonish before we came upon a police car freshly arriving at the scene of an accident. Apparently, just a few minutes prior to our arrival, a transport truck had lost control, crossed the medium, and landed in the ditch on our side of the road.
As we passed the scene of the accident, reality didn’t exactly hit us right then and there, likely due to the hang over or the terrible gut rot from the McDonald’s breakfast. It wasn’t until later that night that I realized that if we had not of spoken to that old man, we could of very well been involved in that accident. He kept us talking, watching the clock as if he knew what was going to happen. We may have never made it home. I didn’t ever speak of this to anyone else for many years. Just thinking of it is like a crazy vivid dream. I had imagined the elderly man was a time traveling Mike (primarily due to an uncanny resemblance) who traveled back in time to save our lives.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2017 after telling the story to my future wife that I spoke of this. She convinced me to speak to Darrell about it. Almost immediately when I spoke about the McDonald’s in Antigonish he nearly fell from his chair exclaiming, “The time traveling Mike!” It was then when he told me his version of the story, which was more or less an exact word for word retelling that I knew this wasn’t some dream, that this happened, and it was weird. I cannot tell you if this was a case of time travel or eerie coincidence, but what I can say for certain, is that the breakfast, though terrible, may have saved our lives.
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