OK, I wasn't going to talk about this â a shame thing, really â but I unloaded at the edit meeting this morning and it felt better, so here goes: If you were trying to get to the Grand Prix festivities last Friday night, and you were late because some dumb-ass in a Mini Cooper ran out of gas in the middle of the Howard Frankland Bridge, I apologize. Because that dumb-ass was me.
I don't know how I managed to ignore the red light on my dashboard, or the signage reminding me that I was about to cross a long bridge. I was headed to a birthday dinner for my 89-year-old mother, and maybe was so preoccupied with getting there on time that I forgot the small matter of fuel. Or maybe it's just that I'm a dumb-ass. But let me tell you, there are few things more terrifying than being stuck in the middle of the Howard Frankland Bridge expecting that at any moment a semi will come along and flatten your Mini, with you inside. I resorted to something resembling prayer for the first time in, oh, 40 years.
Maybe it worked. Because â no help from AAA, who sent their dispatcher to Howard AVENUE, not the Howard FRANKLAND â I was saved by Dan the Repo Man, who towed me to a gas station on Ulmerton for 40 bucks. A friendly guy with the sideburned hipster look of a drummer in a garage band, he told me later that he avoids stopping for breakdowns; it inevitably leads to trouble, or pleas for free auto-repair advice. But he made an exception in my case because of the look on my face: pure panic.
So that's another reason for me to write this post â to thank Dan the Repo Man once again. And to alert any of you in imminent danger of getting your vehicle repossessed, that if the repossessor is a friendly, sideburned guy who looks like a drummer in a garage band, please don't shoot.