If you read this column regularly, you may remember my friend, Jill. She has been the source of some wonderful stories over the years and now she’s at it again.
It seems she had packed her car for several weeks for a vacation at the Jersey Shore. She had everything the family would need and was just a part of the advance party with her mother-in-law and her teenage dughter. Her husband and son would follow later on in the week.
She was cruising down the highway and suddenly realized something sounded funny under the car. She thought, oh my gosh, it must be a flat tire. She’s a smart girl, but in things like cars and electronics she always relies on her husband, Dick.
Of course, she pulled the car over and got out trying to decide what to do about the situation. Dick was not there and there was no cell phone, but it was sort of her lucky day – there were men working on the highway nearby. They immediately came over to her rescue. Quickly, they offered to help and put her spare tire on. None of them would take money for their work, but, lucky for them, Jill she had a large supply of wine in the back of her car and she found that they would take that in exchange for the tire change. OK, the men were paid off and she headed down the road to the nearest Sears store to buy a tire.
Once there, she contacted her husband telling him what had happened and he said, “Oh no, I really did mean to get new tires before this trip.” She asked him, “Well should I get four now?” He told her to just get one tire. When she continued to lobby for replacement of all the tires Dick said, “Jill, I am working, just get one tire.”
Now let me say right here, Dick is one of the kindest, most generous men I know, always looking out for his family, so he must really have been busy to put her off like that.
She decided to do as he said and got just one tire. About an hour later the whole thing was taken care of by her new best friend, Tom the tire guy at Sears, and she was back on the road. Then it happened again. Just less than 15 minutes later, a second tire blew out. The sound was all too familiar, so she again pulled off to the side of the road, now more than a little upset with her husband.
This time there were no highway workers to help, so she and her teenage daughter got the equipment out to change the tire, but had no luck removing the lug nuts. Soon a car stopped to help them, driven by a somewhat questionable man. Jill said he had a bandanna on his head, tattoos from his neck to his toes, a leather jacket with cut off sleeves and gloves with no fingers. She just wasn’t sure and was immediately in protection mode of her mother-in-law (who is now ringing her hands) and her daughter.
But then she saw the bumper sticker on the man’s car – I love my dog – and she knew he was OK. He immediately went to work to change her tire and turned out to be the nicest person, arriving at the perfect time. When the job was done she announced she was going back to Sears to get more tires and he followed her to make sure she got there. Her new friend, Tom the Sears tire guy, was surprised to see her! The tire-changing stranger wouldn’t take either money or the wine. He didn’t want any reward. What a guy!
Jill again called her husband to tell him what had happened. She finished the story saying to him, “I am in the process of getting three more tires.” He said, “All right, Jill, all right, please stop calling me. I am so busy here at work.” I know this man and I cannot imagine him saying that. But I suspect at that point, it’s good there was quite a physical distance between them. Actually, what husband would normally survive this event! Fortunately, both Dick and Jill can laugh about it now.
So the credit card came out and three more tires were purchased. How often does this ever happen?
I’m told that later Dick felt quite bad about all this, but Jill has never let him forget it. The rest of her trip to the Jersey Shore was a smooth one. Well, why not? She had four new tires.
(Melanie Behrens – email@example.com)
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