Sunday, March 18, 2012

A St. Paddy's Day Miracle

That's right. A real miracle. It involves my car breaking down. Seriously. The ball joint on the steering column broke--a major expense.

So how is it a miracle?

Let me tell you.

It's a beautiful Saturday, this St. Patrick's Day, the first really warm day of spring. All the snow is gone, the streets are dry, the sky is crystal blue and not a cloud. But I realize I have a mailing deadline to meet; something must arrive in Missouri on Monday or my client loses out her application.

So it's off to the office I go, bringing Paul (12) and Philip (9) with me.

A beautiful drive. 90s music on the stereo. The boys are happily boop-boop-booping on their gameboys as we go.

I stop at the office; run inside, prepare the mailing, then we come out again. So it's off to the post office. The time is about 2:45.

We pull into the parking lot; the right front tire strikes the smallest of potholes right before we pull into the parking spot. I get out, go inside, mail my mailings, and come out again.

The right front tire is flat. Damn. Just bought it, too.

So I change the tire.

And the car is STILL not drivable.

Hokay. I call AAA. The tow truck is on its way. And Trish is coming with the car to pick up the boys. It continues to be beautiful. We buy an ice cream, the boys play their gameboys, I sit on a park bench and watch the pretty girls go by in the center of my home town. It's a perfect Saturday spring day. And hey--if I have to have a broken down car, what better time and place than a Saturday afternoon in the spring? No rain, no snow, no misery, no angry court or client to explain my absence to; I'm in blue jeans and t-shirt, so I don't care if I get covered in grease.

Time passes. Trish arrives. The boys get into the car; Trish drives off. I continue to wait.

The AAA truck shows up, and the guy starts to do his stuff to load it on the flatbed.

"You have any idea how lucky you are, pal?"

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"That ball joint. You gotta know it's been dying for ages. You know what would have happened if that thing had given way while you were on the Interstate at sixy plus miles per? You'd be dead. Broken ball joint is a leading cause of accidents arising from mechanical failure. You would have flipped about four times and died quickly."

...and the boys, too.

Fixing it will cost me about $500. Fine by me.

Miracles don't always come in the form of reluctant fishermen walking on water, yanno.

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Keep it clean for gene.