Monday, July 16, 2007

Down and Conked Out in Los Angeles


We had tickets to a Dodger Game last night - outfield tickets where you get a seat and all-you-can-eat. No, we are not a family of Weebles - heck, if we were, we wouldn't fit on the bench seats. My husband's work place had a special group night, and we got a really good price for the seats. Plus free parking!

I picked up my husband from work, the kids were in the back, we're headed for the stadium - and my van dies in the middle of Adams and Figueroa.

People are not kind when they're trying to get home and your car is sitting in the street like a beached whale. They honk and cuss at you. My poor husband, who pulled a groin muscle playing softball earlier this week, had to push the car to the Mobile station across the street. Huffing and puffing, he was able to heave the beast up the driveway and off to the side. Then, he had to walk back to work to fetch his car. Rather than call AAA right away, we decided it might be better to wait until he came back with his car - I didn't want to be standing around on a street corner with two boys in that neighborhood once the tow left. My son, his friend and I hunkered down in the van.

Hub called when he got to his car, so I phoned AAA. The tow was scheduled to come within 30 minutes. 45 minutes later, it was getting dark, and still no tow. We had some snacks, but after awhile, even those weren't enough for the kids. We decided to venture across the street, through the homeless gauntlet, to a Quiznos, leaving hub with the van.

The kids wanted to bring their bats with them. I drew the line there, but I was a bit nervous, especially when all manner of street personnel were hanging about, looking for handouts. Fortunately, a car full of police officers pulled up, and engaged the neighborhood characters in conversation.

As we left Quiznos, I noticed the tow truck had arrived, an hour after my initial call. The nice driver apologized for the delay. It was pretty apparent those Dodger tickets were headed for the round file - but at least the Dodgers were winning. The van was towed to our mechanic's, and we headed home.

In retrospect, I'm thankful that the car didn't die on the freeway. I'm thankful that my hub was in the car at the time. I'm thankful we have a car, albeit it one that needs fixing. I'm thankful we don't have to pick through the garbage cans for food, cans or bottles, or beg to get our next meal. I'm thankful for our less-than-timely tow truck driver. And, I'm thankful for my home and warm bed.

Amen.

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