Monday, October 06, 2003

All hail the Illinois State Patrol!

So, there I was, trundling down I-57 on my way to Charleston for an SCA get-together. No passengers luckily, even though I offered rides to any who asked. Whn suddenly, the car starts making a horrendous rumbling noise. I quickly sort through my mental list of "things that need to get fixed when I have an actual income" and can't come up with anything that fits the bill. I decide to pull off onto the shoulder, where I discover that my right rear tire is flat. Very flat. Dammit.

Well, fine. There goes my day of fun in southern Illinois. Being a capable woman of the 90s (what? Okay, woman of the two thousands. No, doesn't sound good.), I get out the spare tire and proceed to switch good for bad. I've got all the lug nuts loosened and see a state patrol car pull off the road, going the other direction. Since I am naturally a guilty person, I go through my mental list of "why the police should pull me over." Of course, I'm already pulled over, so that is kinda moot. The nice officer actually drives across the median and stops over on my side of the road and proceeds to take off his tie (hubba!) , explaining that he is on his way to a funeral, but that he'll help me change the tire (aw!).

We switch the flat for the donut spare, get it all screwed on, and then discover (to our mutual dismay) that the spare has something sticking out of it. He pulls it out, then hastily shoves it back in when all the air starts hissing out. God DAMN it. Now I have a flat and a....flat! Sonofabitch. Seems that some sort of plastic furniture leg slide pin-doohickey must have fallen off something while I was moving to my new place and got lodged in the spare.

He calls a tow truck for me (even though I have my cell phone along) and apologizes that he needs to get to the funeral, being that he is in the honor guard and all. I reassure him that I'll be fine. Then, a second patrol car pulls up! So they swap out motorist-watching duties. So me and the new officer have a nice chat about living in small towns versus large towns and how nice the weather is and such, punctuated by slapping the bugs that are enjoying a nice snack off us.

The tow truck comes, and the officer puts out road flares for us (aw!) before he leaves. We get the car all hooked up and proceed on our merry way to the Wal-mart in Savoy, which is where the nice officers recommend me taking the car, since pretty much everything else is closed on Sunday.

Now, I won't bore you with the interminable wait at Wal-mart, where I found out that the tire needed to be replaced, but that they didn't have the tires in question in stock, or with the phone-tag I played getting more information on new tires, but I will say that the State Patrol did a wonderful job of keepign me sane and entertained while I waited for everything to play out on the the side of the ride. Thanks guys!

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