It was impossible to ignore the ugly sound coming from what seemed to be the belly of my car, but I turned up that glorious Bruce Springsteen song and kept driving anyway.
"Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / I went out for a ride and I never went back / Like a river that don't know where it's flowing / I took a wrong turn and I just kept going."
Another ugly sound.
"Shit," I said. "Shit, shit, shit."
The sound suddenly sounded floppy . . . floppy as in, I needed to pull off to the side of the road as soon as possible.
Flat tire. My first one. Ever. It looked pretty rough, and it was making me late for work. Stupid flat ass tire. I jumped back into my car, called my insurance company and waited a lengthy 15 minutes until an agent found someone to tow my car.
"Thanks for waiting, Ms. Pongrac. I've got Russell on the line for you, and he will help you out from here. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
"Nope, I think that's everything," I said. "Thanks."
Oh. That must be Russell.
"Hi. I'm Kayla. My car needs towed."
"Does your car need towed?"
"Yeah, my car needs towed. Can you tow it for me?"
"Are you gonna pay me?"
"Sure, I'll pay you."
"Be there in 10 minutes," he said.
When Russell and his "buddy" came to rescue me and my darling Pontiac Vibe, I immediately felt as if I should be on some kind of TV show. I mean, if they can have TV shows such as Storage Wars and American Pickers, they can surely have a show called Towing Trips. The concept of the show would be simple: the camera crew would follow around guys like Russell and his buddy as they pick up people who are stranded thanks to a flat tire. What could make the show successful is filming where people get stranded, how long it takes Russell and Co. to find them, and what happens when the towee meets the tower(s).
Audiences will absolutely love the awkwardness that ensues when the towee has to hitch a ride from the tower(s), and sit in between them. Kind of like what happened to me.
"So . . . do you do a lot of towing?" I asked.
I couldn't handle the silence between all of us.
"Cheapest towing around."
Cheap. Like Russell's cologne. Meanwhile, Russell's buddy was sporting some serious cowboy boots. They looked like two camera-ready pals. Maybe someday soon they'll be featured on Towing Trips. As soon as I pitch the idea to someone in the television business, that is.
"Lay down your money and you play your part / Everybody's got a hungry heart . . ."
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .