We’re riding yet another heat wave in St. Louis. (Well, it is July so I guess that comes with the territory.)
On Tuesday, I managed to get out of the office almost on time! It was blasted hot (set a record with 103 degrees) and all I wanted to do was get home. I hustled to the train – which also was on time – and scrambled aboard. Ah! Even IF I called home and discovered I needed to make a stop, I should be home by 1:15 at the latest. Yeah!
Except that when I got off the train and arrived at Pearl, I was greeted by a FLAT rear tire, a screw head protruding just above the surface. Sh*t! And when I opened the trunk and pulled out the donut, my spirits were quickly more deflated than the tire on the car: it was too low to get me home. (VERY NASTY expletives) So, even if I changed the tire, I was going nowhere.
OnStar to the rescue! Especially since it was 103 outside. (Pearl told me it was 105.) In any case, BOILING HOT! I was immediately relieved that the two six-packs of paper towels I’d bought over the weekend had not made it into the house. I cracked one open and began blotting myself as I waited for the operator.
Within minutes, OnStar handed me off to Cadillac Roadside Assistance. From there, I was told the name of the company that was responding and to expect a text or an automated call letting me know an ETA. My cell rang 20 minutes later. No automation, but another OnStar operator checking on my status. When I said I’d not heard from the responder, he put me on hold and called them. ETA is 18 minutes or less. By this time, I’m completely drenched, to the point of dripping. Five minutes later: “Hi. This is George from X. I’ll be with you in 20 minutes.” Five minutes after that: “This is George from X again. I can’t get across the bridge. My super has called another tech who is already on your side of the bridge. I don’t want you to have to wait any longer. His name is Jamal. He’ll be calling you.” By this time, I’d been waiting 45-50 minutes already. I was roasting.
I started Pearl and cranked the A/C. The cavalry is coming, so hang on! Twenty minutes later: “This is Jamal. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.” Seriously? I would have thought he’d BE there by now! A minute later, another OnStar operator called. She was dismayed that no one was there. “Believe me, if he’s not here within those 20 minutes, I’ll call YOU back,” I said.
At 1:55, almost 90 minutes after it began, the ordeal was over. Almost. Donut on, but Jamal has no air tank. WTF? This IS WHY I CALLED FOR HELP! “You can’t drive on that,” he says. Thank you, Captain Obvious! Um, yeah. I kinda knew that. “So, what? I wish myself home?”
The final solution: I limped her along several blocks to a gas station with an air machine. From there, the tire store! (We’ve done business with these people for as long as I can remember.)So, less than three hours after the ordeal began, Pearl was safe in the driveway with her tire repaired, the donut stowed. I had showered, put on cool, dry, clothes and gulped down two bottles of ice cold water.
In the end, I’m glad it wasn’t the following day. We hit a record 106 yesterday and today is more of the same.