"Mom, I've got a problem." #1 Son, age 22, was calling, which is unusual, as he generally sends me short texts and maddeningly long intervals.
What's up? i asked, hoping it wasn't major.
"Well, I'm on my way down to visit for a few days, and I just blew a tire, I mean it shredded, and I have my cats with me, and when I looked at the spare, it has a bent rim, and I'm in the middle of nowhere on a highway in Arkansas! I mean, I haven't even made it to the Louisiana border yet."
Are there any exits nearby where you can walk to a gas station and get help? i asked.
"I'm about a mile from the Ferguson exit, but I've gotten off on that exit before and after you get off the highway, it's ten miles or so before you get to anything. When I tell you I'm in the middle of nowhere, I really mean it!"
Great, i noted.
"So, now what do I do?" he asked.
Good question, i thought to myself. What i said was, call 911, tell them you are stranded on the side of the highway a mile from that exit, and ask them to get the highway patrol to send a tow truck. You will have to be towed to the next town to get a tire.
"Will the 911 call go to the local area?" he asked.
It's supposed to, i told him. Each 911 call is supposed to be routed, no matter where you are, to the nearest emergency center. And if not, explain what's going on and get them to give you the direct number for the Arkansas State Highway Patrol or whatever it is up there. They can send a tow truck to you, and our insurance reimburses for towing when you break down.
"Okay," he said, "I'll try it."
A couple of hours later i received a text that he was back on his way, and he arrived hours later than he had planned, but at least he arrived, and his brother cooked steaks i in his honor. (There was a beautiful eye of round roast marked down to affordable when i went to the MomAndPop Store on Wednesday, and we sliced it into very pretty steaks, the kind i would never bother buying because they are $6-8 a pound most of the time.)
It had been a rough trip, and he needed the steak. The cats had freaked out on him, with SissyCat even "soiling" him (if i may put it delicately), necessitating that he dig through his bags and change clothes.
Let's hope this visit home ends up being worth all of that.
24 Hours of LeMans -- Le Mans, France (the biggest sporting challenge for car manufacturers, as they have to be the best over a 24 hour period; through tomorrow)
Anti-Fascist Resistance Day -- Croatia
ARRL Field Day -- American Radio Relay League'swww.aarl.org most popular on-air operating event, in which amateur/ham radio operators practice and drill for communications during emergencies; through tomorrow
Baymen's Seafood and Music Festival -- Tuckerton, NJ, US (this year including a micro-brewers tent with the seafood and music; through tomorrow)
Bouphoria -- Ancient Greek Calendar (sacrifice of an ox to symbolize social order dissolving and being restored; date approximate)
Dairy Queen Day -- the first Dairy Queen® opened this day in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois
Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Great Patriotic War -- Belarus
Elfin Music Festival -- Fairy Calendar
Festival of 1 Lithe -- Hobbit Calendar
Galesburg Railroad Days -- Galesburg, IL, US (celebrating the city's railroad heritage with carnival, exhibits, and more; through tomorrow)
GRABAAWR / GReat Annual Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River -- WI, US (fun bicycle adventures for all ages, levels, and abilities; through next Saturday)
Great American Backyard Campout -- sponsored by the National Wildlife Federationhttp://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout.aspx
Lailat al-Bara'ah (Shab Barat) -- Islam (Night of Forgiveness, a preparation for Ramadan; begins at sunset, local custom dates may vary)
Levitt Pavilion Performing Arts/Music Festival -- Levitt Pavilion, Westport, CT (50 nights of free or low-cost high quality music and performing arts)
Long Beach Bayou and Blues Festival -- Rainbow Lagoon, Long Beach, CA, US (celebrating Cajun/Creole culture, food, music, arts and crafts, and even a Mardi Gras parade; through tomorrow)
Mermaid Parade -- Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY, US (wacky and wonderful and worth every wild moment)
Midsummer's Day -- Aland; Finland; Sweden
Napoleon Bivouacs -- Waterloo, Belgium (reenactment of Napoleon's battle against Allied forces led by the Duke of Wellington; through tomorrow)
National Chocolate Eclair Day
National Onion Rings Day
Norskedalen's Midsummer Fest -- Coon Valley, WI, US (celebrate summer solstice and Sankt Hans Dag[St. John's Day] the way pioneer Scandinavians did; through tomorrow)
Pixie Day -- Ottery St. Mary, Devon, England (reenacting of the "Revenge" of the Pixies who bothered the town until midsummer in 1454; now fun, games, music, pageant, and more)
Polar Bear Swim -- Nome, AK, US (since 1975, as soon as they can break through the ice! part of the midnight sun festival)
Quad City Air Show -- Davenport, IA, US (large aviation weekend, with fun fr the whole family; through tomorrow)
Soap Microphone Day -- grab your soap in the shower and pretend you are on stage! (promise i won't tell)
Solennität -- Morat, Switzerland (on Morat Commemoration Day, a Youth festival remembering the pivotal role this tiny town playes in winning a battle in 1476)
St. Nicetas' Day (Patron of Romania)
St. Thomas More's Day (Patron of adopted children, civil servants, difficult marriages, large families, lawyers, politicians/politicos/statesmen, step-parents, widowers; Arlington, VA; Ateneo de Manila Law School; Pensacola-Tallahassee, FL; University of Malta; University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters)
Stupid Guy Thing Day -- included under protest; "guy things" aren't necessarily stupid, it should just be Guy Thing Day; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays, who want all women to just not count anything against guys today, but chalk it up to being a Stupid Guy Thing
Teacher's Day -- El Salvador
Eric Stretch, 1980
Donald Faison, 1974
Carson Daly, 1973
Mary Lynn Rajskub, 1971
Kurt Warner, 1971
Amy Brennenman, 1964
Dan Brown, 1964
Freddie Prinze, 1954
Cyndi Lauper, 1953
Meryl Streep, 1949
Lindsay Wagner, 1949
Todd Rundgren, 1948
Pete Maravich, 1947
Ed Bradley, 1941
Kris Kristofferson, 1936
Joseph Papp, 1921
Billy Wilder, 1906
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 1906
John Dillinger, 1903
Today in History:
Ptolemy IV of Egypt defeats Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom, BC217
Bilbo Baggins returns to his home at Bag End, (Shire Reconning), 1342
The Jewish quarter of Prague is burned and looted, 1559
Galileo Galilei is forced by Inquisition to "abjure, curse, & detest" his Copernican heliocentric views, 1633
A poisonous cloud from Laki volcanic eruption in Iceland reaches Le Havre in France, 1783
The British Parliament abolishes feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America, 1825
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee procession in London, 1897
The Flag of Sweden is adopted, 1906
The Flag of the Faroe Islands is raised for the first time, 1919
Erwin Rommel is promoted to Field Marshal after the capture of Tobruk, 1942
The Cuyahoga River catches fire, which triggers a crack-down on pollution in the river, 1969
The Canadian House of Commons abolishes capital punishment, 1976
Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, is discovered, 1978
The largest hailstone ever recorded falls in Aurora, Nebraska (7inch diameter, 18.75 inch circumference), 2003
Eastman Kodak Company announces that it will discontinue sales of the Kodachrome Color Film, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon, 2009
Fences around the world
27 minutes ago