Like most stories, it starts at the beginning...
It's been a busy but wonderful day together, and Aaron and Amanda are sad to see them go. When the three grandchildren are tucked in for the night, the couple stands on the front porch waving good-bye.
Note: This movie is not intended for human consumption.
They drive over a set of train tracks and the jolt from the bump is enough to snap the front left tie rod. The tire pivots sideways, making the truck swerve wildly with a trailer attached to the back. The tie rod is pressed into the rim of the wheel, carving out a deep groove and finally splitting the rim into two pieces. To summarize: violent swerving, tires squealing, trailer bouncing, tire popping, and Bapa and Mini are now stopped on the side of the road.
As they climb out of the vehicle to survey the damage done, a very drunk young man swaggers up on foot. He's concerned for their safety and asks, "Hey, are you guys okay? You need help? I'm Dave, the neighbourhood watch!"
Bapa and Mini explain the accident to him and he says that he is about to start the two-hour journey to rescue them. Thinking it might be an adventure, Aaron has the idea to bring the entire family along.
Amanda is generally an extremely incomprehensible human being upon waking. She has no idea what is going as Aaron begins explaining the accident to her.
"Amanda, Amanda wake up."
Aaron, trying not to alarm his wife says, "I was just talking to Mom and Dad, their car broke down. I need to go help them. I was wondering if we should all go and then we can all keep going to Bapa and Mini's!"
Amanda, sitting up, groans, "Whyyy do you keep telling me this?!"
Aaron has definitely only told her once.
He realizes that Amanda has neither really understood his nor her own words, so he tries again.
"Amanda, Mom and Dad's tire broke on the way home. They're near Corbeil. I'm gonna go help them, I was wondering if we should wake up the kids and all of us go since I'm making the drive anyway."
"Okay, yeah, okay, we can all go, yeah. I don't really want to wake up the kids, though. I wanted to sleep. But yeah, let's all gooo!"
Aaron moves to his dresser and opens his drawer to find some clothes.
Amanda flops back to her pillow and mumbles, "Bye, Aaron."
Aaron rushes out, full of adrenaline, and drives away, eager to be the hero with a noble mission to rescue the people he loves. His quest begins!
And lasts about two minutes, because as soon as he gets to the highway he notices that he has less than a half of a tank of fuel.
He sits at the intersection for a couple of minutes, debating what to do. It's a long weekend and nothing in town is open at this hour.
So he does what any man would do: he asks Siri how far it is to his parents' destination three hours away. Siri responds that it "is about 158 kilometres away, Aaron." Aaron looks down at the dash.
Pathfinder says it has about 197 kilometres' worth of fuel left.
Aaron looks down the highway at the dark buildings. He remembers that he has a jerry can of gasoline in the garage at home, but it has very little in it, about a couple of dollars' worth. He decides to go back home and grab the jerry can, just in case.
After reassuring him for the second time that help is on the way and they are fine, Bapa and Mini are given Dave's phone number and he continues on his (unsteady) way.
He flings open the garage door and flicks on the light, but then he remembers that it is the most useless light ever.
He uses the flashlight from his iPhone to search the garage, tripping over garbage and sending items clattering as he does so. As he rushes around with his light he hears distant neighbours' voices in the night and thinks, "I totally look like a sketchy burglar right now."
Aaron can't find the jerry can in the garage so he scurries around the perimeter of the house. He checks the deck and walkways, trying to keep his light low so he doesn't wake his sleeping family.
He ends up finally locating it back in the garage. He grabs the plastic red container and swiftly makes his way back to the car where he empties the meagre contents into the gas tank, tossing the can to the ground outside the garage.
Optimistic, Aaron jumps into the driver's seat and discovers that...the fuel has done absolutely nothing to affect the gas mileage available to him.
Determined to succeed, the valiant knight drives off anyway, hopeful that there will be gas in Mattawa.
"Hey, are you guys okay? You need help? I'm Dave, the neighbourhood watch!" They once again let him know they are okay, and he continues on his faltering foot-patrol.
No gas stations are open.
He anxiously notes the amount of fuel he has left and the kilometres remaining to get everyone home. It's going to be close.
Aaron remembers that his wallet should be in the car. He searches for it without luck, mainly because it is not in the car, but at home left behind on the kitchen counter.
Okay, it's going to be really close.
"Hi Dave, we're fine! Do YOU need anything?"
"Good evening. Have you seen a young man walking around here this evening, he's been drinking?"
"Oh, Dave? He went that way. He's the neighbourhood watch around here."
As we know from earlier, Amanda is not fully functioning at this point in her slow journey to wakefulness.
She thinks, "Why is Aaron knocking at the door? He can't have locked himself out since the doorknob doesn't even latch on the front door..."
She peeks her head out from her bedroom doorway to the top of the stairs and looks down at the front door's bright window.
All she can see is a flashing light in her eyes. She pulls her head back in, like a sleepy turtle creature.
She decides that if she sticks her head out again the person with the light will see her face and, if it's Aaron, he'll just say, "Amanda, open the door!" No big deal.
So she sticks her head out. Just a blindingly bright light. This isn't Aaron, something isn't right.
Panicking, she jerks back behind the doorway and as she does, hears a commanding, "DEEP RIVER POLICE!" as the front door bursts open.
Instantly alarmed that the local police will continue their way up the stairs before she finds something decent to wear, Amanda sharply scolds, "Just a MINUTE!" down the stairs.
A mother first, she darts around in the dark bedroom trying to find anything to wear without waking the baby in the nearby crib.
"Why did I tidy this room today?!" She agonizes. "There should be clothes all over this floor!"
Finding purple pyjama shorts which she later realizes are both inside-out and backwards so that the tag is sticking out at the front, Amanda adds an aqua tank top to her outfit. Like a proud toddler who has dressed herself for the first time, Amanda feels a surge of triumph.
She rushes down the stairs to the officer who is waiting patiently at the door.
Then it dawns on her: something must have happened to Aaron!
It's after midnight.
A Deep River police officer is driving down the alley behind the Nicholson's home. He notices a garage light on with the side door swinging open. He decides to check it out. It is the long weekend, after all, and this looks a little fishy.
He pulls out his flashlight and sweeps the garage with it. "It's a mess in here," he thinks. "Looks like someone was rummaging around, tearing the place apart looking for something. We could have a theft on our hands, I'd better check with the owners to see if anything's missing..."
The officer heads across the yard to the back door. He sees that a TV is on in the living room. "Oh good, someone's still up. We can get this sorted out right away. Wait, are they wasting their time watching Ex Machina?"
He knocks on the door. No one answers.
He moves to the walkway and using his flashlight, picks his way across strewn kids' toys, making his way to the front door.
Light can be seen through the living room curtains. Someone's evidently awake in there.
He knocks at the front door and waits. No one answers. He knocks louder, a little suspicious. Still no answer. He shines his flashlight through the door's window, attempting to look into the home.
As he bangs on the door again, it easily swings inward and for the first time, he notices that the door knob is dangling, broken.
Long weekend mischief, garage torn apart, lights on, no answer, door knob smashed and door open...
how our house was raided by the police.
Amanda turned off the garage light and closed the door.
Aaron, Bapa and Mini gave a cheer upon reaching home without running out of gas.
Amanda stayed up for an hour and a half, completely freaked out, and then barricaded the front door with a wooden rocking horse and a stool before retiring for the night.
Aaron and his dad had a great time fixing the truck together the next day.
Not sure what happened to Dave, but we do have his number, so I guess technically we could ask him.
Although we find this story very entertaining, and have made light of the events, we are thankful for the vigilance of the Deep River police!
The circumstances of our home, although unbeknownst to us, truly did all point to a break-in, and we are impressed that the local police would be so attentive to have noticed things were out of place that night.
Thank you, our little boys were very excited to hear that you had been to our house while they slept to make sure there were no "bad guys"! (Although a little disappointed that you didn't wake them up, too)
Thank you for living out your motto, "Serving our Community"!