My Sunday started out to be a very promising day. I was up before 8, so I had time to do some laundry before church. I went over to the laundry room and found it to be absolutely foul. A couple of the washers leaked again, people threw lint on the floor in the water to make a linty, icky mess, and some cretin stubbed his cigarret out in the change slot of one of the washers. Still, though, I managed to find a couple washers and loaded my laundry. Well, when I went over to put my clothes in the dryer, the coin slot jammed on one of the dryers. I had to put two loads of laundry into one dryer, since there was only that one other open. My laundry didn't quite get dry enough, and it is currently spread out on the living room floor.
So then I go to get in the shower, something I do at least once a day, every day. You would think that by now I would have mastered the art of climbing into the tub. You would think wrong. The side of my tub is really high, like above my knee high (the bottom of the tub is elevated about 8 inches off the ground). I missed getting my foot all the way over the side, and smacked it into the edge of the tub instead. It hurt, but it wasn't until I tried to move it and realized that that hurts a whole, awful lot that I realized that I probably broke my toe (if I'm lucky - HA!) or my foot (if I'm not - which when you read the rest of the story you will realize that is probably my fate). Still, I've broken toes and feet before, and I'm OK with that - not much you can do about it, anyway.
Well, I get dressed and leave for church, leaving my cell phone behind (remember that, as it is a key part of the story). I get out on the road and realize that my ball joints sound really, really bad now, so I decide to skip church and take my car to the car fixing place instead. Well, just as I got to the place where I turn on to the street where the car fixing place and my office are, I felt a huge thump and the right side of my car dropped and started smoking. I managed to get into the parking lot shared by a pizza place and Taco Bell.
A guy standing at a bus stop tried to help me change the tire (at this point, that was all that appeared to be the problem). He tried to loosen my lug nuts, but they were on too tight and ended up stripping my lug nut loosening thing (I'm all about the technical terms today). So I thanked him for trying to help me, then went to Taco Bell to ask for a phone book and to use the phone. It was probably about 11:20 at this point. They wouldn't let me use the phone, but they would call someone for me. I gave her my boss's number, because I had to work today (that's where I am now), but there was no answer. I didn't have my cell phone, so I had no one else's number (I had to look his number up). So I looked up a few other numbers, but rather than have the counter person there do my bidding all afternoon, I went to the pay phone at Albertson's, which is in the same parking lot. Keep in mind that it is about 95 degrees and I am dressed in church clothes (fortunately, I brought my tennis shoes with me, because the only pair of sandals I could find this morning hurt my feet). I called my boss's office phone and left him a message, then I tried to call a co-worker who I knew was in the office, but I couldn't remember his extension. Finally, I called this emergency assistance place here. They do simple stuff like unlocking cars (remember that), jumping batteries, and changing tires. Well, that guy got there fairly quickly, but he couldn't loosen the lugs either (and honestly, didn't try that hard) and told me I had to call a tow company.
By this point, I'm pretty much drenched in sweat, but I went back to Taco bell to use their phone book again. A couple was in the restaurant heard me telling the counter person about my plight, and he offered to try to change the tire for me. I told him what the RA guy said, and said I was just going to call a tow truck. They left while I was looking up numbers, but then the wife came back in and said that her husband wanted to take a crack at the wheel anyway. I agreed (because, really, who wouldn't if they could save $86 bucks on the 3/4 mile trip to the car fixing place). He pulled two different lug wrenches out of his trunk, and with a combination of willpower, weight, and skill, he managed to loosen the bolts (I had to stand on one end of the lug wrench to do it.). He changed the tire, and I thought all was well.
The couple's names were Alfred and Coretta, and I'd appreciate it if those of you who are of a praying persuasion that God that they were there for me today, and pray for Alfred's continued recovery from a stroke he suffered a few months ago.
Well, I got in the car, started it up, and put it in gear. I made it about two feet before the wheel fell off. Yeah, the ball joint totally broke. So now I had to call a tow truck. So I walked back to Albertson's, called the first number on my list (thank God I had some laundry money left), and she told me that they were really busy, and she couldn't even dispatch a truck for at least an hour. I called the other two numbers, and got no answer, despite the fact that they advertised 24-hour towing. I'm in tears at this point, and called my boss's work phone and sobbed into his voicemail. Then I went into Albertson's and used their phone book to get the number of the car fixing place to find out if they had a towing company they frequently used. They did, and I called them and sobbed to the lady on the phone. She said that she would get a truck out as soon as possible. That's when it started to rain.
So I walked through the parking lot in the rain back to my car, where I discovered...I locked my keys in the car. At this point, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry, so I did a little of both. I went into Taco Bell and ordered a Pepsi so I could sit in the restaurant while I waited for the tow truck. As I went into the restaurant, I passed a mother and her son waiting for the rain to stop for them to get to the car, and the little boy asked his mother, "Mama, what's wrong with that lady?" Yeah, I was looking rough at that point.
Well, the tow truck arrived and I informed the driver that I had a slight problem. He did not have any lock-out stuff with him, but he suggested I go and ask the pizza place if they had a hanger so that we could maybe unlock the door through a slightly open window. The did, and we worked on it for about 25 minutes...until the hanger broke. So then I had to call the roadside assistance people again, and the same guy came. He said to me, "You aren't having a good day, are you?" I wanted to smack him.
By this point, I'm drenched with sweat, dehydrated, and miserable. Keep in mind I still have to work, and that I haven't been able to find anyone to give me a ride to work. The tow truck guy said he take me to my office after we dropped off my car. That was nice of him.
When we got to the car fixing place, my boss showed up just about a minute or two later. I wanted to cry with relief. Then I went into work and worked 9 hours on a proposal that was supposed to be due tomorrow and has now been extended until Friday.
Most of the above was written yesterday, but I didn't have the stamina to finish it until today. The previous post tells you how things stand right now.
Monday, August 20, 2007