The planets seem to be in major misalignment in Outer Podunk.
First it was my officemate and the fish and the car.
Through an interesting series of events, my coworkers found themselves in possession of an orphaned fish -- an algae eater left behind in an abandoned aquarium. My officemate, who already owns a fish (named Lucky, since all of Lucky's tropically constituted finny friends died during a power outage awhile back), volunteered to adopt the fish. It's been very cold here, so my officemate decided to warm up her car before she began a long commute home with the fish, esconced in a Baggie. Well, in the process of doing this, my officemate somehow locked her keys in her running vehicle. When I left work, she and a coworker were standing outside the now warm but inaccessible car, trying to figure out how to jimmy open a door.
I had no expertise to lend. And, anyway, I was on a mission. Because the supermarket down the road from Fellow Traveler is having a great sale this week, and I wanted to buy some stuff; and I wanted to visit the drugstore next door too. So I drove home, picked up the dog, and headed back down the highway to South Elsewhere, Friendly Traveler's community a few miles down the road from Outer Podunk.
En route I noticed that the ol' Intrepid (for long-time readers -- I finally found the E) wasn't handling so well...but I chalked it up to the glaze of blown and compacted snow on the road. Then when I hit the South Elsewhere city limit and slowed down, I felt an ominous vibration and heard an ominous rumble. Uh-oh.
I made it to the supermarket parking lot; got out of the car; my right rear tire was pita-flat. Uh-oh.
So began the evening's vehicular adventure: Calling Fellow Traveler (who'd had a frustrating day of her own) to rescue a damsel in distress; calling one towing company that didn't want to come and help me; getting angry and flustered; the collected FT calling another, more amenable towing company; following the tow truck back up to Outer Podunk, to my mechanic's; going back home with FT; consoling myself with hot coffee, mindless television (Dog the Bounty Hunter, not the State of the Union address) and the cheerful presence of my heroine.
Ironically, I had an appointment with my mechanic for tomorrow morning anyway, to check out my wonky heater. Well, hey -- my car will be waiting there, bright and early. In retrospect, it's also almost spooky, in a good way, that I had this mishap literally less than a mile from FT's house -- I'll be on the road later this week, and I could have blown my tire on the freeway, far away. So life is good. That's what I'm telling myself.