Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas, You Ol' Internet!

Instead of a snarky diatribe about the commercialization of Christmas or a whiny dissertation 'bout why I.ain't got no spirit this year, I decided to relate to you a little tale that may or may not be related to the holiday season. However, it occurred at this time of year, so it shall suffice, m'kay?

Driving home the other night from the northeast side of Portland to my home out in the 'burbs (a cruel act of fate from which I may never recover), I had my radio tuned to KNRK, what passes for an "alternative rock" station in this day and age. Listening to this keeps me young, yo...and apparently in denial. Anyhoo, the volume was cranked as I was singing along with my man Cee-Lo Green's sweet tune "Fuck You"(censored to simply "F You" here or "Forget You" everywhere else or "Fudge You" if you're Ralphie from A CHRISTMAS STORY). Naturally, I had been emphasizing my preferred nomenclature at the top of my lungs to blow off some necessary steam after the stress-o-rama known as the workaday world. Once the song ended, I heard something not quite right on the right of my car, sudden vibration with a noticeable deceleration of power.

"Hmmm...what could THAT be?"

Several possibilities ran through my head, most actually involving NOT pulling over with the stupidest scenario being:
"I'm only ten miles from my house। I can probably make it!"

It should be noted that I was dropped on my head when I was a baby. How many times, I'm not sure, but it must have been daily at the very least.

My car decided for me as something began to seriously start rapping up the right side o' my front end. Okay, could very well be a flat. Great! Thanks for playing, dumbass! I had already made my way over to the far right lane ever so carefully with the next exit just a few hundred feet ahead. I made it, turned and parked. My tire had shredded like so much black licorice right down to the rim. I swear on a stack of pancakes that it didn't feel like a flat tire at all. It didn't veer to the right at all and it just felt like a vibrator having a seizure. I thought it might be the tranny or a loose belt of some kind, maybe Grandma got run over by a Honda Civic but not a flat friggin' tire.

The question was: What to do NOW?

Sigh. Well, I'm in a well-lit area. Gotta change the tire, but first, call the wife. Phone. Where would a pay phone be? No, I don't carry a cell...DON'T YELL AT ME! I HAVE MY REASONS! NO, THEY'RE NOT BASED ON PRACTICALITY!...there's got to be a pay phone somewhere, right? I wandered the neighborhood, a series of strip malls. Hmm, the rain stopped. it's almost warm outside. Where in the hell is there a goddamn pay phone in 2010? Not at Home depot. Not at Taco Bell. Plaid Pantry (an Oregonian convenience store)? No pay phone, says the clerk. Could I use their phone? I could? Really? SA-WEET.

"Hi, honey. I'm going to be a little late. I got a flat tire."

"Oh, that's too bad. What are you buying at the Plaid Pantry?"

"Nothing! Gotta go!"

As I head back to the car, a Washington County Sheriff's car pulled up right behind my car, lights a blazin'. Friendly chap. Shone his flashlight as I started to dig out the doughnut sized spare, the first time it's been removed since I first bought the car back at Stockton Honda in 1997. I had a bit of difficulty with the jack when the officer suggested we use his. Okay by me. Before I knew it, here was Officer Friendly changing my tire for me and I was holding the flashlight for him.

Say what?

When he finished, the officer noticed there wasn't much air in the spare, so he offered to follow me to the Chevron station around the block. Upon arrival, he asked if I had any change for the air since, in this day and age, you have to pay for air. I'll be damned if the air wasn't free.

I asked my new best friend his name and he told me he was Officer Morris. I shook his hand, thanked him again and again, then wished him a Merry Christmas as he resumed his patrol, already in progress.

So let's review:

I got a flat and drove on it for at least two miles, working it right down to the bone. It had stopped raining. I was able to use a phone at a convenience store. Officer Morris of the Washington County Sheriff Department changed my tire for me. My mechanic told me the brake line was undamaged . I didn't have to buy a whole new wheel, just a replacement tire.

Come on, people! If this was not a Christmas miracle, then I don't know what is. It works in my book. More likely, it's the best thing of all, an act of human kindness that restores more than just a little hope in my heart that somehow balances out the rest of the michegoss from the rest of the year. Let's not forget a big dose of faith too. Aren't those the two main ingredients of the season- Hope and Faith? Just to complete the trilogy, don't forget their lil' sister Charity either, me hardies.

As for the other bullets I dodged-the weather, the lack of damage, the free air?

I'm not above believing in a little holiday magic.

So there you have it. If you don't think this is much of a heartwarming tale, then try to imagine it in Claymation with songs by Perry Como, Toby Keith, and Ke$ha.

Or would you like to hear Cee-Lo Green again? 

Merry Christmas, y'all to y'all, a g'nite!
Post a Comment