Monday, August 10, 2009

Commuting Blows... Your Tires Out

I was on-schedule to be at work by 8:15 this morning when - POW - my tire went flat.

Sort of.

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 and courtesy of user Christian Jansky, who has graciously shared the image using a Creative Commons Attribution license).

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