Today, I was late for work. My depth perception left me temporarily and I nudged a curb. And when I say nudge, I mean with the gentleness somewhere between a WWF body slam and a pile driver. But whatever. I immediately sensed my tire was flat given my car was leaning forward and to the right. What I did not know, after taking a right at the next street 10 yards away was that I had blown the tire out completely. It looked like the debris pile after Edward Scissorhands went after the shrubs. Since I was about 1.8 miles from the nearest Discount Tire, I thought it’d thud-ump-a-thud-a-dumpa my way there. On the rim. That is, until a car stopped. IN MY LANE. In front of me. I started to go around her, but since I was driving like 2 miles per hour, the middle-aged woman put her hand out like a school crossing guard and breathlessly suggested I should NOT drive like that. !. But I have my hazard lights on!, I say. No, she says, you shouldn’t drive on the rim. Oh. She asks if I have a spare. And I said yes. She asks if I want her to call her husband. I say no, I’ll handle it. But I promise not to drive anymore! Seeing that I was being honest, she left.

So I park the car. And I slowly, and I mean S-L-O-W-L-Y open my trunk and pull out the spare. I fumble around in the trunk for the tools (or at least give the perception thereof) and, almost as if on cue, a black Tahoe pulls up behind me. The handsome, fit gentleman gets out and says “Do you want some help with that?” And almost too cheerily, I say “Of course!”

I didn’t give the oh-poor-me-I-am-incable-and-need-the-help-of-a-strong-man impression. Not at all. In fact, I was quite honest in telling him that I KNEW how to change a tire, had changed tires on a winding mountainous road on a dark night in Colorado, I simply DIDN’T WANT TO right then. Because I had on heels. And a new blouse. And I didn’t want to kneel on the wet road. And I was honest with the fellow because HE WAS CARRYING A GUN. Tends to make you want to be honest. Because he’s either on one side of the law or the other. And I might have started just confessing to all kinds of things except I stopped short of that, thank God, and instead asked what he did for a living. FBI, he says. Turns out he heads up the bomb squad, kidnapping, and serial killer division. Which made me a little (?) more relaxed. Nice guy. If I was doing something illegal…AND I’M NOT SAYING THAT I AM, but if I was, he’s the kind of guy I’d want talking me down.