The story of a Tire.


Saturday was exciting.

My sister and I went to a birthday party for a baby. On the drive home, we were about a quarter of the way across the Ross Island Bridge when there was a loud popping sound, and the car lurched to the left. Using her super driving skills, Jessie kept us in the proper lane as a flapping sound emanated from the front driver’s side tire. We pulled into the right lane and stopped. She flipped on the hazard lights and I closed my mouth.

“Who do we call?” I asked.

“Triple A,” she responded, “But you’re going to call them while I call Chris because my phone is out of battery.”

I called and punched buttons until I got a real person on the line. I explained the situation to her, (“Hi, we’re on the Ross Island Bridge with a blown out tire,”) and she told me that a tow truck would be sent to take us to a safe spot for the AAA dude to change the tire. “I’m making you priority one,” she said, “We’ll send the closest available truck.”

While I was on the phone, a policeman pulled up behind us, assessed the situation, and put out some flares after Jessie told him we had AAA on the way.

Or so we thought.

We sat and waited for about twenty minutes. First, an AAA tow truck passed us going west while we were pointing east. We speculated that he was the closest truck and had to turn around to help us, but he didn’t. Then, another AAA tow truck passed us, eastbound. We watched his approach in the rearview mirror, (me grumbling about how it took him so long,) waved as he drove by, and fell silent as he continued across the bridge.

I called AAA to complain, and tell them to get us the hell off this freaking bridge, when a car slowed as it passed and pulled into the right lane in front of us and stopped.

A man in a day-glo green t-shirt stepped out of the car, followed by his wife. The neon man and Jessie conversed for a moment while I was still on the phone with the AAA operator, and I canceled our request for a tow truck when the neon man offered to change our tire.

He was shockingly quick about it. The entire process only took him about five minutes. His wife mentioned something about him working at Les Schwab for years.

Then the tire was changed and they drove away. We followed, and then I started freaking out.

Although I was late to work, things could have been a lot worse. I  mean, of all the bridges in Portland, we probably picked the safest one to break down on.

But still. Breaking down on a bridge was probably the most exciting thing to happen to me this month. At least it makes a mildly interesting story.

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