Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wild Ride

So, I was driving home from a friend's kids' birthday party tonight. I was WAAAY out in the suburbs and I was taking the side streets because its construction season here - BLAH!

So about 45 minutes into my drive (with at least another 30ish to go), I notice a car driving in front of me very slowly. Now, I have a lead foot and have no patience for traffic - so I change lanes to go around the car.

Just as I whoosh past the car I notice that it has a flat tire. Not just a low tire - a really flat tire. Flop, flop, flop kind of flat.

Now, I have been living on my own, far away from my family for over 10 years now. My brother lived somewhat near me for some of those years -but not for the last 5ish. So, I have a lot of experience with cars breaking down.

So, I slow down so that I can at least make sure that they get pulled over safely. I figure as soon as I see them pull over I can keep on keepin' on.

But they don't pull over.

So, I keep driving slowly. We are on a road without any shoulder to speak of, so I am figuring that the driver is hoping one will come up soon.

But after the car continues on past a couple of small business parking lots and such, I get more worried. I know how freaked out I got the first time I had a flat tire - I drove on it just long enough to completely ruin the rim. (Never made that mistake again!)

So, I slow down even more and keep driving super slow until I'm pretty sure the car is stopping. We both come to a stop and I back up far enough to not cause complete confusion to the other cars that are going to be coming up on us. It wasn't a super busy road, but I didn't want to have to get to far away from my car. I figured I'd just make sure the driver had a cell phone and someone to call and then I'd be on my merry way again.

But as I approach the car, the driver rolls down the window and I see a youngish girl and she looks pretty panicked. So, I approach her with a smile and my cell phone - I didn't want her to think I was a serial killer!

She spoke English pretty well, but it took me a couple times to really get her story. She's just moved into the area. She knew the tire was low, but had asked a co-worker where she could go to get that foamy stuff you can put in tires to make them last a little longer when they are low. But she never could find the place they'd directed her to and when her tire got really flat she just kinda freaked out. It was well after closing time for any tire places and I asked her if she had roadside assistance - Nope. I asked if she had anyone she could call to come get her. She didn't.

So, then I asked if she had a spare tire. I've never changed one completely by myself (lets be real - when a girl is changing her own tire on the side of the road, some guy always stops and takes over!) but I know how to do it! She didn't think she did, but I also knew that I never knew I had a spare tire until the first time I needed it. I told her to pop her trunk and that I'd check. Sure enough - there it was! She didn't have a jack, but I knew I did. I told her we'd get the spare put on and that would at least tide her over until tomorrow.

Of course, I didn't even get the jack completely situated under the car when a truck pulled up next to us with a young man and woman inside. They asked if we needed any help, to which I replied, "If you'd like to be the one to change this tire!". They laughed and backed up up to get behind us.

A short while later the guy had the lug nuts off and was working on wrestling the remnants of the tire off of the car when a police car finally pulls up behind the three of us! The policeman gets out and asks if everything is okay. We quickly explained the situation and he said he'd stick around with his flashing lights just to make sure no one got hurt since we were literally still in the road due to there being no shoulder.

We finally got the spare on and started loading all of the stuff back into our cars. I thought I was finally going to be getting on home albeit with a story to tell.

But, when the guy went back to turn on his engine - only to find it was dead! We'd been using their headlights to see during the tire changing and it had drained his battery! We all just busted out laughing - the cop included. The poor girl with the flat felt soooo bad! But we reassured her it wasn't a big deal.

I had jumper cables and the policeman blocked off our side of the road just long enough for me to pull a U-turn and get in between the other two cars. A few minutes later their truck was running! I joked that we could practically start our own auto shop here on the side of the road - I do need new brakes ya know?!

A few more laughs, thank you's, and we all made sure the girl with the flat knew where to go for a new tire tomorrow - then I was FINALLY on my way home!

Seriously, this kind of thing only happens to me right?

1 comment:

  1. Oh that is so funny! And so cool that you were all able to help out. I agree, I have never had to change a tire by myself either, some kind soul always seems to come along. I actually have roadside assistance and a cell phone now but it was only in the past year that any of those things came into my life.