I was on-schedule to be at work by 8:15 this morning when - POW - my tire went flat.
It didn't go completely flat before I exited and pulled into a hoity-toity side street in Highland Park. Bonus: I was in my mom's mini-van.
Fortunately, I'm one of those suckers who pays $3.99 for Roadside Assistance, so I called and the kindly but daft operator told me she'd send somebody out.
Boy, did she ever.
Have you ever seen The Big Lebowski? Imagine The Dude - sandals, beer gut, red watery eyes - after 15 years and a stint in the State Pen, complete with prison tats. That was my Roadside Assistant.
So he wasn't the most presentable helper, but he was courteous and quick, and that's all I needed at that point.
I got to work at 9:20.
There went being able to leave at 5:00 after taking a 45 minute lunch break. Instead, I would have to take a 1 hour lunch to get my tire changed and not be able to leave until 6:20.
I left the office at 11:45 to go to the tire store in the vain hope that if I arrived earlier than noon, I wouldn't have to wait as long.
It was an insanely naively vain hope.
There was a 90 minute wait before the tire-patching would be finished. I was starving. I decided to wander across the parking lot to tempt fate at Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store.
For the record, I rarely eat fast food. I might eat a fast food hamburger once every two months. I tend to want to curl up into a ball and die about 30 minutes after I do so.
However, I didn't have any other choices. Starbucks was farther downt he block, but I was afraid I'd pass out from heat exhaustion before I got their. Besides, their delicious pre-made ciabatta sandwiches have as many calories as a burger and fries.
I should have gambled with heat-induced death.
Being in the building profession, I'm accustomed to being around construction workers. But I'm used to being around them when they know I can have their ass fired if they even think about cat-calling or wolf-whistling.
Not the case at Braum's, which is apparently the eatery of choice for construction workers near Lemmon and Inwood in Dallas. I was leered at, said "hey baby" to multiple times, and whistled at. The whistler was at least still wearing his safety-orange vest, so I could see him coming from a mile away.
Alas for poor me! There was no newspaper stand at this particular Braum's, so I couldn't even hide behind a thin screen of world events!
What did I do to keep from bursting into flames of embarrassment?
I wrote this blog entry.
With a pen and paper.
And I prayed no wolves tried to join me in my booth.
(Wikimedia Commons image found at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canis_lupus_lycaon_03.jpg and courtesy of user Christian Jansky, who has graciously shared the image using a Creative Commons Attribution license).