But to remind Nicole that it's still a jerk, the Universe had her lose a shoe during her daring escape. One of the last things she remembers is karate-kicking the door shut with her pink-sock-clad foot.
To her credit, Ronda Rousey kicks people's heads clean off while wearing only slightly less.
"I don't remember feeling myself hit the pavement," Nicole continues. "I had major bruising on my left knee, thigh, and right shoulder from it. My hoodie and winter coat prevented me from getting any scrapes. My face had welts and swelling from being hit." Then Thomas jumped into the driver's seat and took off.
And that was it.
What? A little sudden for an ending? Tell that to Nicole ...
It Takes A While For You To Register What Really Happened
Mihajlo Maricic/iStock/Getty Images
Police arrived soon after. Remember Nicole's discarded phone? Notice that we never said she hung it up. The cops had been listening to the abduction as it happened the whole time. After putting Nicole in one of the squad cars, officers radioed in that they had the "kidnap victim" with them. For some reason, those two words really shocked her.
"Is that what I was? A KIDNAP victim?? I couldn't comprehend it. It seemed so ... bad! It felt to me like an exaggeration," Nicole admits. "I wasn't a kidnap victim. I was an idiot who tried to do something nice for someone and had to learn my lesson the hard way. Kidnapping and abduction seemed so unbelievable. My inner voice preferred to think of it as 'An asshole took advantage of my generosity' -- something I am used to happening on a regular basis anyway," said the customer service worker.
DAJ/amana images/Getty Images
"Yes, I need to see your ID. What're you gonna do, threaten to kill me? Been there, done that."
Even after the cops apprehended Thomas, Nicole still had trouble accepting that she'd been "kidnapped." It finally took a press conference for her to understand that this whole thing might be more serious than she thought. "When TV stations started knocking on my door for interviews, that was a good indicator that I wasn't exaggerating events in my head, and that they must be as bad as everyone was making it out to be."
The police weren't chasing him just to lecture him on being a better backseat driver, after all.
After a brief stint at a mental institution, Eric Thomas was allowed to plead to a simple assault and attempted robbery instead of an abduction, despite later tests showing that he was high on bath salts during the entire incident. Given his time already served, it means he should be a free man in about two years. But, hey, it wouldn't be a real thriller flick come to life if the story didn't end with a hint of a sequel.
Nicole Kauffman is a married mother of three who no longer offers rides to strangers. She's also a diehard Foo Fighters fan, and intends to meet Dave Grohl before she dies. Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at email@example.com.
Psst ... want to give us feedback on the super-secret beta launch of the upcoming Cracked spin-off site, Braindrop? Well, simply follow us behind this curtain. Or, you know, click here: Braindrop.
For more insider perspectives, check out 4 Aspects Of Hostage Situations Movies Didn't Prepare Me For and 5 Things No One Tells You About Being Robbed.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out 5 Ingenious Ways Thieves Of The Future Will Be Robbing You, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, because we don't bath salts. Anymore.
Have a story to share with Cracked? Email us here.