So I'm driving along I-95 last night, minding my own business while in the HOV lanes. ALONE! I wasn't cheating, after hours, but I always feel like I am when I'm cruising all by myself. Halfway through the trip, I hear this BOOM CLING CLANG CLUNG come from beneath the car.
First thought: Did my engine just explode?
Second thought: Idiot, your car is running just fine.
No lights came on to warn me of impending doom to my vehicle, but the sound was enough to send me skittering to the shoulder with my hazards on. By the time I made it there, I was right beside an exit ramp, so I took it, figuring that would be safer than sitting on the Interstate.
When I found a stretch of shoulder wide enough, I stopped. That's when the Tire Pressure light decided to come on. I'd already deduced my issue was a blow out.
So, I get out of the car, in my SHORT DRESS, shake my head at my DAMN tire, then pop the trunk. Mind you, my beautiful red baby doesn't come with a spare because she needs all that trunk space for batteries. Freaking Hybrids! She does (yes, I refer to my car as a girl), however, have a fix-a-flat kit. I didn't see anything protruding from the tire, or a huge hole anywhere, so I figured I'd give the little chemicals their chance to shine--err, or inflate.
That's when I noticed Nice Guy #1 walking up the shoulder from the nearby commuter lot to come and "rescue" the damsel in distress. Now, I'm a fiction writer, I also love scary movies, and I've been known to have an overactive imagination, plus a few scars in my life from men, so what do I do?
I jump back in the car, roll up the windows, lock the doors, and call my mother-in-law. Best to be on the phone with someone who will know if something incredibly horrid happens to me. He knocks on the glass, I crack the window, and then he puts his smiling face up to the very small opening and asks if I need some help. I tell him I have a flat, and I'm okay. He asks if he can put on the spare for me--remember, don't have one--and then offers to use the fix-a-flat for me, and then offers to call his buddy who owns a tow truck to come and get me.
JUST GO AWAY, MURDERER!!
Moving on. He finally leaves while I'm sitting in the car feeling like THE BIGGEST JERK, but also ALIVE, and I go about reading how to work this miraculous kit my baby hides in her trunk. Feeling brave and in control, I set that kit up and wait. And wait. And wait. And, oh look, Nice Guy #2 is walking up to me now and I didn't notice him until too late.
Eff me. He's all smiles, wearing a suit, wedding band, and said something along the lines of if his wife was out there, he'd want someone to help her too (which my husband later said that he had it wrong; he wants his wife to be able to handle herself and not need random men coming to help her.)
Nice Guy #2 scrutinizes my use of the fix-a-flat kit, reads the directions while likely thinking I've done something wrong, then gives up when I tell him I'm calling my insurance company for a tow. He asks if I'll be okay, and I do my best to hurry him away from me. No offense.
So I'm sitting outside my car, closest to the barrier wall (do you know how dangerous it is to be on the side of the road? That's why Virginia has the whole slow down or move over.) and on the phone with my insurance company. I tell them my location, and they say help is on the way. I get a text from help, saying they'll be there in an hour.
AN HOUR! I'd already been out there AN HOUR! UGH!
Nice Guy #3 pulls up with his wife and kids and asks if I'm okay. I shoo them away just as quickly as all the others, thinking I really need to find a way to mask that I'm a woman so people will leave me alone--and my odds of a psycho coming by keep increasing!
So I'm waiting. No tow. No police. No VDOT. And decide to start Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagraming, talking to my mother-in-law, trying to get in contact with my husband, and that's when Nice Guy #4 arrived. He was carrying his motorcycle helmet, his hair long and scraggly, sporting another nice smile, and wearing a Landmark Honda t-shirt. Turned out that he worked there. He also told me a story about how this woman helped him and he thought by coming to help me he'd be paying it forward. Nice try. The kind of help I needed, he couldn't provide. We chatted, then he nodded and said something that raised all the hairs on my arms, "It's getting kind of dark. You should probably get inside and lock all the doors, no matter how much safer it is outside the car."
Point taken, buddy!
I finally got in contact with my husband (who had been coaching our daughter's soccer team), and he reminds me that I get FREE roadside assistance through Ford. Dammit. Where was he earlier when I called Liberty Mutual?? GRR! Well, where was Liberty Mutual anyway?
You want to know where their tow truck was? LOST. That's where he was. So I called Ford, and then got a text from Roadside Assistance. They'd arrive at 9:30!!! What the hell?
Several texts passed between the new driver and me, and he wasn't sure how the heck he was going to get to where I was parked. OMG. He had to call someone else from up north.
* Glares at everything while trying desperately not to think about how badly I need to pee *
Nice Guy #5 pulls up in his SMARMY car with all the lights and gadgets and gizmos on it that make me think PUNK KID ON DRUGS, and he gets out and looks like PUNK KID ON DRUGS. I cracked the window just a smidge for him--though, he's probably the NICEST GUY EVER--and explain the same damn story to him that I had every other Nice Guy.
He was the last.
Three hours. I'd been sitting on the side of the road for THREE HOURS! It was dark. I had to pee. My car stated it had only 35 miles to EMPTY! No one was coming for me. I started complaining like a crazy lady while on the phone with my MIL...THIS SUCKS. THIS BLOWS. I HAVE TO PEE. DID YOU HEAR ME? I HAVE TO PEE. THIS SUCKS. I'M HUNGRY. (Sorry!)
That's when STATE TROOPER finally arrives on scene. And magically VDOT worker arrives, and also states that he's been watching me from the commuter lot. The creep! Why not come hang out? Maybe call a tow who KNOWS HOW TO FIND ME.
THEN, Liberty Mutual's tow shows. THEN, Ford's tow calls and says they're nearly to me. Everything happened at once. But I got hooked up, joked with the state trooper and VDOT worker, thanked my lucky stars when the trooper made the tow driver provide all of his credentials, and we were on our way.
Tow Truck Driver doesn't shut up, which I like, because I love talking to people rather than sitting in awkward silence. However, he only wishes to talk about himself. Period. Every time I tried to relate to him, he'd switch the topic back to himself. Whatever. I know how to deal with people like him. We ended up chatting, and then he took an exit TWENTY MILES before he should have.
I questioned his tactics, and he responded with something about there being too much traffic on 95 that he didn't want to deal with. It was TEN at night, and for once there were no cars on the road. But we headed toward Route 1, a road with lights and a much slower speed limit, and I texted my husband to let him know this guy was possibly ABDUCTING me.
But he wasn't. We dropped off the car, I hugged my husband, paid a RATHER LARGE bill, then went to freaking McDonalds, where my hubby informed me that Tow Truck Driver only got off the highway to spend more time with a very pretty girl.
Aww. Hubby thinks I'm pretty!
Hope your night was better than mine! I'd love to hear your highway horror stories! Share them in the comments!