The TOLL guys rock!

“BUMP BUMP BUMP”  “RATTLE RATTLE”….  :::  WHOLE CAR NOW SHAKING:::… trying to AVOID it… but…  sadly.. you have gone your last 1/2 mile with the dreaded FLAT TIRE.

This happened to me Friday night as I was on my way to meet friends at my favorite pizza place in Addison.   It was friday night without the kids, I had on some new clothes, I was feeling groovy.. and my 1988 Sundance decided that maybe I was feeling a little too groovy in my new shorts and high heels.

The tire took a dump. At first I thought the whole road was splitting open until I realized it was just my little slice of universe.  Everyone else seemed to be sailing smoothly on by me at 80 mph.   So I pulled over to the side of I-90 with the big yellow IKEA words staring at me and started to panic.  I made the call.  Picking which friend to call in a “broken down car” moment is not an easy task.  It ranks pretty high up there wtih picking which friend to call from the slammer.    My call and my desperate plea for help was immediately followed by “well my pizza just got here”.   REALLY?

So I decide to take matters into my own hands.  I open the trunk because I have watched countless times as somebody else has changed my flat tires.  I knew it was back there under the carpet.  I have to first move the cooler, the printer (why am I still driving around with this two weeks after a friend gave it to me?), the towels from the beach trip last week.  And when I do finally get to the tire, I see that the screw holding it down is all corrided with rust.  So I start hitting it with the crow bar.. and what do you know? It works!  As I lean in to take the tire out.. and the jack.. I am sickened by the horn toots I get with NO offer of help.  As I stare at the jack on the ground..  I suddenly see my friend…  a.k.a. the call… climbing over the fence from Ikea to help me.  He has come to save the day!  I feel like sweet polly in my underdog adventure.I can’t help but laugh as he falls when he hits the ground from his 5 foot jump.   He sees me and immediately tells me to take my shoes off because I look ridiculous trying to change a tire in heels.

An hour later, still no tire on the car.  There is apparently a rust problem with all my car parts, and we can’t get the lugnuts off.    I can’t believe I actually knew that those are really a car part and not just a stupid name that big muscle heads call each other.

We finally realize we have to call in for backup.     911 informs us that the Illinois Tollway people can come help us.  And within 10 minutes, there they are!  It’s my knight in green pants with an orange vest.  And a big toolbox!

Did you know that the tollway workers can change your tire for free?  I for one did NOT know this.  Why isn’t this common knowledge?   They will also let you sit in their nice warm truck  if you break down and its too cold out.  They can also sell you 2 gallons of gas for $10 bucks.    Did any of you know this?   As he was infoming me of all these things he can do for me, I felt a little better about giving him my double payment in tows because I don’t own an IPASS.

This whole ordeal took four hours friday night.  It also took me climbing over a chain link fence 3 times in my new shorts.

If you get a flat on the toll, don’t freak.  You don’t even have to get out.  Just call 999… (I think).. or 911.  They will get you the toll guys and they will change the tire or sit with you and talk about Six Flags Great America until the real help arrives.

Thank you ILLINOIS TOLLWAY.    From now on when I break down on the toll, YOU will be the one I call.


**ps.. my friend split his pants climbing over the fence… that will teach him to put a slice of pizza before me!


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