Friday, January 28, 2011

Time of Need

I don't know what made me think of this, but I need to tell this story somewhere, and I thought, "What better place to share it than my "Chandler the Robot" blog...

The year is circa 2004. I was attending the University of Utah and living up in Salt Lake City. Somehow I had managed to become part of a circle of ruffians for friends. 

I'm driving to this party somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly I hear this "Pow!" and a sound like air hissing out of a tea kettle. Well, there weren't any tea kettles on the freeway, so I wisely figured air might be coming out of my tires! I quickly jerked my head out of my drivers side window. As bugs and a giant icy sheet of winter air hit my face, I confirmed that my tire truly was...completely flat.
Great, no "fruit punch surprise" and chatting with random strangers about our own favorite ways to cook ramen (add eggs and cayenne pepper). 
I pulled over to the shoulder of the freeway. Actually, I remember, for some odd reason, there was a little dirt road that led off into the nothingness right where I pulled off. I bundled up in a thin sweater, barely able to fend off the chill of the Salt Lake air. I stepped out of my car, walked over to the problem, and checked it out.
Yup, my tires' rubber face completely blasted off the metal skull. Let's see. How did my dad tell me to do this? 

Back up 1 year. After high school, I stayed in my parents' house and bummed around for a bit. I was their first-born, so I believe they hoped I was going to stick around forever. After I had exhausted every means of entertainment I could possibly have devised within the four walls of my bedroom, I decided it was time for me to "fly away from the nest". I  stepped out into the kitchen and I told my father, "Dad, I'm going to go to college" in the abrubt, straight-to-the-point manner my dad and I have all of our conversations.  I walked into my room, packed a few belongings, stuck them in my trunk and told my family "farewell". (Strange, how I always seem to leave a setting this way...) My dad silently gave me a map of the state ( I had never been up to Salt Lake before), and then he showed me how to change a tire. 


Back to my story on the side of the freeway. I called my bum-for-a-friend. Of course he was plastered by then. He was my only option though. I figured it would take him about an hour to find his car at the party, an hour to start his car, and an hour to find his phone to call me to ask me, once again, where I was. It didn't even occur to me that he absolutely should not be driving. I was sort of naive back then.

At that point, I folded my arms, leaned on the side of my vehicle, and stared up into the night sky. 

And then...

A mini van pulled up. I remember it just appearing out of thin air.  A cheerful, well-dressed man, with an impeccably neat hair cut skipped out of the van. "Well, what happened here?" He smiled at me.( I remember him winking at me at that point, but I believe I might have fabricated that detail?)I was speechless. He turned back to his car and hollered "come on kids!" A lovely looking lady and 5 spritely children, all resembling their father in attitude and "clean" appearance, joined their father at the side of my car. One of them held a giant allen wrench (or whatever the heck you call those things that screw off the tire pegs. Nick! I need your mechanical technical terms for my blog!) Other children were holding other tools needed to help a "poor girl in need on the side of the road".
Now this next part is the part that seems unreal, but I kid you not. They all lined up and took turns screwing all the screws off to take off my blown out tire and put the new tire back on, and THEY WERE SINGING WHILE THEY WERE DOING IT!
     When they were done they all smiled at me, giggled, hopped back into their car, and drove away (probably back to Candyland). 

I didn't say a single word the entire time.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story! I honestly enjoyed reading it. The "Time of Need" works a lot better than any morning news broadcast or daily newspaper. Love your choice of words and great use of detail as well as all CAPS.

    The mini van family is the best. They're are a mobile AAA ready to stop and serve anyone who crosses their path!

    By they way this is an Allen Wrench.
    I had no clue what an Allen wrench was either so I goggled it. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but I hope you find it humorous instead as I did when I realized it was the wrong tool. And I believe the proper name for the tire-peg-changing tool is Lug Wrench. =D

  3. LOL that's hilarious. I wish I could've watched this, it sounds so entertaining. But hey, at least the tire was fixed right?

  4. Tire iron... Your dad is rolling in his bed. Lol. I'm surprised you never used an allen wrench on your guitar

  5. I do use an allen wrench on my guitar. That's why I called it an allen wrench because the tool looks like that just in a HUGE version. Ha ha.

  6. ah. i see. i just re-read that part of the story and it makes sense now. lol

  7. That sounds oddly like something my neighbors down the street would do.

    I can totally picture it.

    Haha. I love this story, thanks for sharing it! It made me smile.

  8. HAHA I love this! Silly Meg, those "tire pegs" as you called them are "lug nuts" the tool used to remove the "lug nuts" can be referred to as a "lug wrench" "tire iron" socket wrench" "wheel lug wrench" etc...
    I realize that Meg not knowing the proper names of tools makes her sound totally helpless in a automotive situation, but let it be known that the last time the van & trailer needed tires changed, Meg was there, hands dirty and all, and quite a fit grease monkey! I mean that as a compliment Megan!

  9. Thats crazy, Meg. Sure you weren't on drugs?