Reprinted from Crimson Mango Magazine, July, 2007.
It was just last week that I decided to opt for roadside assistance when I bought a new auto insurance policy.
So I decided to put it to good use, since my car died right next to pump number 3 at the Turkey Hill mini-mart on Progress Avenue. Then it started to rain. Hard. The kinda rain that makes it seem as if God was spitting right in your face. And naturally my car died with the power windows in the down position. So I'm sure God was both spitting and laughing at me at the same time. For a guy with a long white beard, he's not very jolly.
The operator at the insurance company apparently wasn't familiar with Pennsylvania. I tried to give her my location, explaining that I was near Harrisburg. I'm guessing she's never visited here before.
"Ok, Mr. Bre...Brest...Breasty?"
"Umm, no it's Bressi"
"So you say you're in Harrisonford, PA?"
"Huh? Harrison Ford? He's an actor, not a city. Yeah, I'm in Harrison Ford right now...I got stuck up his rectum looking for the Temple of Doom so I decided to call roadside assistance."
"In order to pinpoint your location, I need to know which direction you're travelling."
"You see, that's the funny part, ma'am. I'm not heading in any direction, if my car was still operational, I wouldn't be calling roadside assistance."
"So is your car in a safe location?"
"I guess so, I'm in the parking lot of a gas station right now..."
"Wait, you mean you're not alongside the highway?"
"Umm, no, why?"
"Because this is roadside assistance, meaning your insurance only covers your towing if you're broken down alongside the road."
"Oh, well if it helps, I can put her in neutral and push her outta the parking lot and out to the highway..."
"That won't work, Mr. Breasty. If perhaps your car broke down alongside the highway, I could help."
"And if that were the case, what would you do then?"
"Well the first thing I would tell you to do is to see if you could push the car into a safe location, like a parking lot."
"But I'm already in a parking lot....."
"Yes, but your car didnt break down on the road."
"Ok, for the sake of argument let's just say my car broke down on the road and I pushed it here to this very parking lot."
"Too late, you already said it broke down IN the parking lot. The best I can do is give you the numbers of towing services in Harrisonford, Pennsylvania."
"Well how do you propose that I get home?"
"I'll also give you the numbers of all the taxi services in Harrison Ford as well."
"You mean Harrisburg."
"Yes, Mr. Breasty, Harrisonford. Harrisonford, PA."
So I called the tow truck. He pulled up just in time to see me jumping up and down in the rain like a madman, running from a rather large spider I had found
in my car.
"I thought you were supposed to do a rain dance BEFORE it rains, not while it's raining."
"Well, what may look to you like a raindance is actually a complicated survival maneuver designed to outwit a rather large and potentially venomous octo-ped arachnid."
"A spider, you moron."
So I give the guy the keys, half expecting to never see my car again....the towtruck guy looked like the type who would steal it and sell the good parts for a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a lapdance from a middle-aged stripper named Bambi.
"Hey, by the way, any chance you can give me a lift back to my house?"
"Where do you live?"
"Enola, on Wyoming Ave."
"Oh, cool. That's right down the street from where I
"So you'll give me a ride?"
"No. But I can give you the numbers for all the taxi
services in town."
So, I proceeded to call all four of the taxi services. Naturally, every single one of the numbers were no longer in service. But as luck would have it, I saw a
taxi driving down the highway and I managed to catch the telephone number. So I called.
"Hello? Yes. I'd like a taxi. Yeah, I'm in Harrisburg."
"We're sorry, but we're not running any taxis out of Harrisburg tonight."
"But I just saw one on Progress Avenue....."
"Must not have been one of ours."
"Right. I guess some other taxi company decided to put your phone number on the side of their car...."
So the douchebag hangs up on me, but the towtruck guy comes over to me with some interesting news. As he was pulling away with my car in tow, my car magically sprang to life, the headlights came on and the engine started, all by itself. Naturally, my first thoughts were of that Stephen King movie...the one about that car that comes to life and kills people.
Turns out the wire that connected to my battery had loosened itself, and with a quick twist of his wrench, Mr. Towtruck Man fixed it for me. All free of charge
Now I just have to figure out how to get that enormous spider out of the backseat....
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