Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thank God for AAA

Now, I know I'm getting REALLY old...I mean, old as DIRT kinda old!
I'm so old that I actually remember a time when service stations were just that, Service Stations.
I remember a rubber hose that ran along the ground & as you drove over it it would ding,
alerting the Service Station attendant that he had a customer.
He'd come running out, smile on his face in his clean, white uniform, hat cocked
to one side & yell out "What can I get ya?", & as we all sat comfortably in the car
my Daddy would yell back, "Fill her up with Ethel please."

I never knew who Ethel was until I got much older, but I figured she was a nice lady cuz our
car always ran down the road perfectly after we got filled with her.  ;)
These gentle men not only filled your car up with gas, but they also:
washed your windshields spotless,
checked your oil,
checked the radiator,
checked the air pressure in your tires
& if any of these were amiss, they fixed the problem immediately, with a smile.
I MISS those days, I really do. Life was just SWEETER.

Fast Forward fifty years...
Yesterday, I had a tire blow out. Not just a little, I came out of the store & my tire was flat
or a small, slow leak of air as I was driving down the road & had to pull over.
I had a going, 65mph, on a 2 lane HWY, in the middle of NOWHERE
'Shut the Front Door', I'm surprised I didn't die.
It was 6:30pm, I didn't know what city I was in cuz I was in the middle of the desert,
the shoulder WAS the desert, I was an hour from home, an hour from my friends house,
cars & semi's were flying past me at the speed of sound, I was freaked out, a little stupefied
& the one thing I AM GRATEFUL for in these modern times, is my cell phone.
So, what do I do first...
Call my Hubby & what does he tell me to do, call AAA & call him right back.
I called the emergency hot line & talk to Angie.
I gave her my card number & she then asks, "Where are you?"
I panicky answer like the brilliant woman that I am, "I don't know!"
She asks "What city are you in?" I answer, "I don't know, I'm in the middle of a desert."
Brilliant, right?
Long story short, through my vague ramblings & inaccurate information, she decides my
location & sends a AAA tow truck out to help me. It will take 54 minutes.
Call Hubby back, we decide it's silly for him to drive that far, I will wait.
He tells me there are crazy drivers out there, not to wait in the car...
I say I'm scared of someone seeing me & kidnapping me {oldnapping me}
or maybe even worse, getting bite by a snake.
He says, just take my water & take a little walk off the road & make it a pleasant wait.
I say ok...I stay in the car & put my seat belt on, Angie calls again to check on me.
An hour later as the sun is getting lower in the sky, I hear the sound of a truck
pulling up behind me...yipppeeee, I'm saved!!!
I hop out of the car clapping my hands & all women do this
or am I just a moron? The sun is now slightly behind the driver as he jumps out of the
truck, clipboard in hand, blue one piece uniform on & a smile on his face.
"Are you Susie?", "Yes, yes, that's me...I've been waiting!"
"Can I see your card Mam?" "Oh yes, here it is, I've got it!"
"Thank you Mam, no worries. I'll take care of everything. These drivers out here
are crazy! If I could have you step back & away from the car for your own safety,
I would really appreciate it."
"Certainly, certainly, why didn't I think of that!"  ;)
He now went to work & with the sun setting behind him, there was a soft glow of light
surrounding him. His skin glistened & his hair blew softly in the desert breeze,
at least that's the way I remember it.
He mentions that he was leaving to go home when he got the call, but was concerned
about a women being stranded out here alone...I think he's my savior.
As he finishes up, I thank him profusely & run over to my purse to get him a tip.
I only have $3 & I fold it up & put it in his hand. He says no, he can't except it. I say
he must. He says he can't take my last few dollars & I say he has to take it. I say he saved
me & it's the least I can do & wish it were more.
He shakes my hand & says, with a smile on his face,
"It's just my job."
I get in my car & slowly merge back out into the traffic, finally heading for home.
I think, I hope he stops at a bar before he goes home & has a beer on me.