Our weekend schedule was just too intense. Â The car couldn’t take it. Â It survived Saturday, took us to church Sunday morning, then died in the middle of the road on the way to Gigi’s party (click the link and see all the people, food and fun we missed). Â The car stalled just over the rise on Salt Lake Blvd, which means cars cresting the hill had only seconds to react after seeing our emergency flashers. Â Amoeba went out and stood in the road at the crest of the hill directing traffic. Â I realized that might keep me alive, but I was worried that it would do the opposite for him!
I called our insurance company to get a tow. Â The operator answered, “Thank you for calling Insurance X. Â What can I do for you today?”
I said, “Our car has stalled and we need road side assistance. Â We are in a very unsafe place.”
She said, “Are you safe?”
I said, “No. Â We are blocking traffic and there is no way to get out of the road.”
She said, “Can you push your car onto the shoulder of the road?”
I said, “There is no shoulder. Â There is road, a very high curb and a cement wall.”
She said, “Oh well then, I will send a tow truck. Â That will take about an hour.”
I said, “An hour? This is not safe. Â We can’t do this for an hour.”
She said, “You’re not safe? Do you need a fire truck or an ambulance?”
I said, “Not yet, but soon, I’m sure.”
She said, “Should I call the police to direct traffic?”
I said, “Yes please.”
And if ever we’re in a similar situation I’m calling the police first. Â The first police officer arrived and chewed Amoeba out for trying to direct traffic. Â I say Amoeba did better than try. Â He’d succeeded, the proof of that is the lack of dead bodies scattered about.
The second police officer arrived and asked us when the tow truck was coming. Â I told him what the insuranceÂ companyÂ said. Â He called a tow truck and itÂ arrivedÂ within minutes. Â I called the insurance company and they said we’d have to pay for this truck then send in the paperwork to get reimbursed. Â I figured that would be easier to do if we were alive, so we went with the tow truck on hand.
The guy towed our car — and toted us — to our mechanic and left us in the lot. Â I called several people, my mind on how I was supposed to manage the rest of my Sunday schedule without wheels — and I found someone willing to pick us up at home and take us to church, but we were still miles from home! Â That’s when I thought of Â Thom. Â It was Sunday, he wouldn’t be a work. Â I just hoped he wasn’t busy.
Those of you who know Thom won’t be in the least surprised by what I am about to say — but we were. Â Thom not only picked us up, he gave us his car. Â “Here,” he said. Â “I don’t need it until noon tomorrow.” Â Â That means we got to and from church (where I had a speaking engagement) without having to scrounge rides, plus I got Amoeba to the airport this morning for his day trip to the Big Island, then I bought groceries because I didn’t know how long we’d be without our own wheels.
Here is an email exchange between Thom and I this morning.
Me: Nice car. Â I like. Â I keep. Â Thanks.
Thom: Fine. Â You can have the car payments, too.
Me: Oh. Â When did you say you wanted the car back?
Thom: I’ll walk up and get it in about 20 minutes.
Right this very minute Amoeba is on his way home in our car. Â Upon arriving back at our airport, he rode the city bus to within a few blocks of the car repair place, then walked over, paid for the repairs — new fuel pump harness & connectors — and called me to say he was on his way home. If traffic is kind, he might even make it on time for orchestra practice tonight.