02 March 2014


Assistance. In America's highly polarized political scene, the word 'assistance' is a highly-profane, dirty four-letter word, so to the Mittites and Beckians, this isn't a post about providing assistance to the poor, so calm down. No heads need to explode this Sunday morning.

Rather, this is about roadside assistance and my steadfast rejection of it until an incident this past Friday night. The stunningly patient SML and I had gone to see a movie (Note - the movie was 'Non-Stop' and it was mindlessly entertaining and it has the Beckians all up in arms - good times) and upon leaving the theater and slipping into yet another freezing night that has characterized this endless winter in Connecticutistan, we discovered that our Yukon had a flat tire of epic proportions. Not Awesome!

Now it's no secret that I am, at best, mechanically challenged and at worst, with a power tool in my hands, am a danger to society like unto Jason Voorhees with a blood-soaked chainsaw. That said, I've always managed to change a tire on any of the cars that we've owned. Until now. I thought I'd be able to do this job. I could not have been more wrong. I knew it wasn't happening when I opened the owner's manual and saw the instructions for the first step of the process, the removal of the jack. It looked like a schematic for the repair of the Fukashima Nuclear Power Plant and it clearly required the commensurate Doctorate to get the job done. And that was just the first step. I was done. So we called The Boy and had him come pick us up.

As we drove home, pondering just how I might be able to change the tire in the following morning in the freezing light of day, I remembered that our insurance company had enrolled us in their roadside assistance program. I may or may not have heard a choir of angels singing an ode of joy at that moment. The path to salvation, or at least flat repair, was now clear. I would call them first thing Saturday morning.

Call them I did. In less than ninety minutes, they were on scene with all the requisite equipment. It was clear that there was no way I could have done this job. Note to GMC - um, you might want to rethink your whole spare tire process on your SUV's trucks for its current state is a nightmare of Biblical proportions. It was all done at a very reasonable cost and with minimal fuss for me, the owner. What a relief!

That relief was a tempered with a sense of regret as I pondered why I had waited all these years to take advantage of this kind of assistance. In the 'post-game' analysis, there are a couple of drivers (ugh, bad pun) here - A) being cheap and for so many years, particularly the early years of our marriage, roadside assistance plans were a luxury not in the cards for us; B) ego - I'm a man! I can fix a car. Um, no I can't. But I could change a tire; and C) another thingy on my key ring with the assistance phone number on it was the last thing I needed. OK, "C" is not valid. It was the first two that kept me from enrolling all these years. Seriously dumb. Now I've been chastened and know better.

Roadside assistance - I salute you!

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