Original post, by email from cell:
Beside frwy, crunched rim+tire, waiting 4 tow truck for 4 hrs so far!
A bit of explanation. Houston flooded today. Parts were bad; parts were not. I waited until the NWS said the flood danger had abated, then headed out to my business appointment.
I never made it there.
Just north of I-69 (US 59, the Southwest Freeway), after managing a string of deep puddles south of the freeway without serious incident, I went through one more puddle.
It wasn’t a puddle. It was part of the median.
My left front tire burst, and the rim of the wheel was in pretty bad shape. I turned into what I thought was a service station, but there was no service to be had, only gas, beer, candy and crackers. Nonetheless, they were not pleased to have my ancient Chevy sitting square across the door to their convenience store. I phoned AAA and arranged a tow.
Two hours, three hours, four hours later, still no tow. Each hour I called AAA again, asking where the tow was. For four hours, they gave me an apologetic non-answer about how busy they had been because of the floods.
After five hours, I read them the riot act. Can you imagine that? me? complaining that I didn’t get what I paid for? 😈
Their reply was infuriating: their service provider in the area in which I was stuck was refusing to dispatch trucks, citing dangerous road conditions. By the time they told me that… five hours after the original call… the gas station manager complained to me that I had to move the vehicle or the Fire Department (which indeed came over earlier) would ticket them. I resisted the temptation to say, “Or what? You’ll have me towed?”
By this time, Stella had gotten off work and wended her way through rush hour traffic to meet me, bring me food, caffeine, a cell phone charger, etc. As it turns out, she succeeded in flagging down an unoccupied flatbed tow truck. It’s amazing what a cute woman with a nice smile and a (completely misrepresentative) helpless look can do to a fellow who looked a bit (and sounded a lot) like Arnold Schwarzenegger. At last, my car was towed to my regular shop, which literally held the door open 15 minutes late on my behalf.
Of course, one last thing had to go wrong. The ATM in the same convenience store/gas station was faulty, apparently having burned out when the transformer blew up in the next block, with a sound like a large bomb. What? did I neglect to mention that? So we had to find another place to get cash.
I do hope the events of the day are truly over now!