The Long and Winding Road…

As promised, now for the story about our road trip home from Alabama.

We arrived back home in Chicago at around 11:30pm Thursday night. We had planned to arrive home sooner, but fate had other things in mind.

As we drove north along the I-65 in Tennessee, my right rear tire blew out not far from the Kentucky border. We called for a tow and got a lift to a town outside Nashville (I don’t remember the name of the town, and I don’t care enough to check). We stayed the night at Rodeway Inn and had the rear tires replaced Thursday morning.

Before we went back on the road, we stopped for lunch at the Hooters by the hotel. To our delight, it was their School’s Out Theme Day. Lincoln must have thought he was at a buffet! Little dude was squirmy as usual, so I gave him my car keys to play with. During our meal, a staff member went around asking if anyone owned a PT Cruiser. That happened to be me.

Look, the PT Cruiser was far from my first choice at CarMax, but the price was reduced because it had unidentifiable stains on the seats. Anyway, turns out Link had pressed the panic button on my car remote, and the alarm was activated. I promptly turned it back off. It must have gone on for a long time because when we tried to leave, the car wouldn’t start.

I have a battery jumper kit in my car for such an occasion, but that only works sometimes. Now was not one of those times. I needed someone to jump me, but that couldn’t work due to how my car was parked. So I put the car in neutral and pushed it out of the parking spot it was in. I didn’t realize how quickly the fairly large vehicle would pick up momentum until my failed attempt to stop it from coasting into another car parked in the lot. But hey, at least someone was now able to give me a jump.

After I got the engine running again, I moved my car into the spot next to the car that it hit so I could check out the damage done. The car I hit had a barely noticeable dent in the fender. My car’s left brake light got all jacked up. The owner of the car I hit finally came out. He didn’t see anything happen. He wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t said anything. But every once in a while I hear a voice that nags me to do the right thing. I don’t hear that voice very often.

I told the guy what happened. Luckily the damage to his car was small, because he didn’t seem too upset. I discovered that’s because he owns a collision company. He took pictures of the damage to his car as well as mine. I gave him my insurance information. He said, “normally I would say ‘fuck it’, but that piece costs $350.”
The Long and Winding Road
After that we finally were able to continue driving home.

One event snowballed into a chain of bad luck. Has something like that ever happened to you?


  1. Wow. Just wow. That is awful. Those kind of bad days where everything just seems to steamroll are the absolute worst. All you can do is force yourself to breathe and avoid sharp objects. Glad you made it home safely! 🙂


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