Damsel in Distress, Part Two

I’m sure there are women in the world who can change the oil in their car and put on a spare tire in less than two hours. If you are one of them, I’m not talking to you. For me and most of my friends, car trouble ranks at the top of the list of things we want to avoid at all costs. It has been exactly a year and a half since I was stranded on the side of the road with a blown fuel pump.  Prior to that, the last incident that interrupted my travels was a flat tire in Oklahoma almost 30 years ago.  I guess that many years of incident-free driving has caused a back log of bad Karma because it happened again as I headed out pulling the camper on July 1st for a weekend of rest and relaxation with some extended family.  John wasn’t able to come along for the entire weekend because he couldn’t find anyone to feed and water the pack for that many days.  This meant I was traveling alone about 30 miles from home when one of the tires on the camper blew out.  You’d think I would have learned by now, but once again I immediately called John, or rather John’s voicemail because that’s what I got after frantically hitting speed dial. With the last strains of “…please leave your name and number…” echoing in my ear, I calmed down and began to figure out how to rescue myself since Sir Galahad was otherwise occupied.

Since it was 110º and I suck at changing tires, I found the roadside assistance card, dialed the number, and discussed the list of options I had with the operator. She just finished telling me that it would probably be at least an hour before they could get someone out there when a good Samaritan stopped by to offer help. I told the lady I would call her back if things didn’t work out. My errant benefactor helped me locate the jack in the pickup, but we quickly discovered that the tire tool didn’t fit the nut that had the spare securely attached to the back of the camper. I was about to send him on his way and start the roadside assistance process again when a McPherson County sheriff’s deputy pulled up to join our efforts. I’m not sure what made him think to try his tire tool, but it happened to be the right size, and the two of them had the tire changed in short order.

As they worked, the officer asked me where I was heading for the weekend. When I told him I was heading to the lake, he commented how much he loved to fish and wished that’s where he could be as well. After the spare was in place, I gave the officer my business card and told him he was welcome to come fish in our ponds anytime he was in our area. I made the same offer to the other man and slipped him a $20 as well. I told the officer I wished I could give him a $20, but he quickly said that wasn’t a possibility. As he headed back to his patrol car, he also mentioned that I might not have a completely uneventful trip if a highway patrolman noticed that my tag had an expired decal, but it wasn’t going to be a problem for him. I assured him I had a current decal at home somewhere and took his good humor as a sign my luck was changing. I felt so confident that I drove the rest of the way on my spare and waited until the next day to buy a new tire!

About an hour after I got back on the road, John returned my call with a lame excuse about leaving his phone in the garage. However, he was very apologetic and relieved to hear that I was back on the road. He has some redeeming qualities, but accessibility in a crisis will never be one of them which limits his ability to be my knight in shining armor. To be totally fair, I’m not much of a princess, but I would consider letting my hair grow long if he’d just keep his cell phone in his pocket.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to RSS feed