So where we we? Oh yeah. Sunday morning. Car is bucking, no electrical instruments are working. We pull off. No mechanic shop is open. We end up stopping (actually the car died) at a oil change/ car wash place. The people inside spoke a little bit of English, but not enough to help us out. I call AAA again.
Where are you located? (Like I know this place!)
On route 17.
Ma’am, where on Rt. 17?
At Spic and Clean Car wash.
Ma’am, we don’t have anything like that in our directory…can you go inside and ask them what their address is?
No, there is a communication problem.
Well ma’am, I can’t send anyone out to you if I don’t know where you are.
In my head I am thinking, I am hot, I need to go another 800 or so miles to get to my new home, and my poor cat is sitting in 90+ degree heat with a fur coat on. I take a deep breath…George is scouting out the area.
Ma’am, what is your nearest cross road?
Ha! This place is on a corner…..I read the side to her.
OK ma’am, hold on and let me call the tow company in that area.
So here I am, on hold, in the heat, with a cat who is none to pleased that his mama put him into this situation.
The tow truck driver will be there in about 30 minutes.
Thank you very much. Have a good day.
OK. George was back in the car. He went into the place and managed to communicate I have my cat in the car, and if it was ok if we brought him in. It wasn’t air conditioned, but it was cooler than the car.
Bucci and I were sitting on the floor in the waiting room of the car wash when the tow truck arrived. OK… do we need to get a cab, and I will follow the tow truck with the cat to where ever the car is getting towed to? Nope, you can take Bucci into the tow truck with you.
Now I must say, the stereotype of tow truck drivers is wrong. Whenever I have needed a tow, they were more than kind, humorous, and willing to help in any way they can. This one was no exception.
Can I call you guys a cab to meet us at the Ford dealership (where the car was going).
Are you going to stay in a hotel in the area.
I guess (what was our other choice).
So he brought us to the Ford dealership, and there was a taxi there for us. The place would not be open until tomorrow. OK. We’ll stay here for the night. We grab some of the stuff we will need out of the car, lock it up, and leave the key, with a note of what was wrong on the dropbox.
The taxi (another nice person) brought us to Howard Johnson’s. They have rooms available tonight, but there won’t be one ready until 1pm. It was about 10. Damn.
Can we wait in the lobby, with Bucci?
So there we are , me, George and Bucci, waiting in the HoJo’s lobby for 1pm to spend the night in Middletown, NY. Wait! George starts thinking this situation through. All I want is for Bucci to be ok, comfortable, and go through as little stress as possible.
Even if they get a chance to look at the car tomorrow, it wont be ready until the afternoon, and you (me) have to work Tuesday morning. I think we should rent a car.
We get a phone book and start calling around to car rental places. Nobody is open. He gets in touch with Avis. The only branch that is open is the one at the airport, about a half hour away.
We’ll take it!
We call the taxi company again. We’ll be there in about ten minutes.
About 20 minutes later they pull up. Into the car we all go.
Airport please. We look around. Damn, we forgot out cooler with our road rations in the first taxi. Not good. Oh well.
We get to the airport and get a car, no problem. Crank the air conditioner, position Bucci in the back seat, and driving into DeKalb Illinois at about 4:30 in the morning. And Bucci was home.
So, all in all, he now can brag about being a well-traveled cat – George’s car, a tow truck, two taxis, a rent-a-car, a car wash, and a hotel lobby – all in one day! And he still loves me. What a guy!
OK…more reading to do. Tomorrow I would like to discuss hurricane Katrina…but until then, Ciao!