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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek fucking silence

A Smokey saved my life today.

No shit. There I was.

Okay, maybe I should start a little earlier.

So I decided to drive up to Mansfield today and visit my favorite ice cream parlor. Except along 195 I suffered a flat tire. Well, yanno, First I noticed that the truck was pulling to the right. Then I noticed that it was really pulling to the right. Then I found the driveway of an abandoned Pick Yer Own Punkin Patch to pull off into.

Thank GOD for cell phones.

Well, normally this would not be a problem, as I have a jack and a spare and the usual accoutrements. Except the spare...

...was flat.

I swear I had it checked in December.

So I called Triple A. And after an hour (thank God, I never leave home without a book) a truck showed up. There was much rejoicing, until I realized that the driver of said truck had, at best, a room-temperature IQ.

That's if you are in a Commonwealth country.

So, over my protests (polite protests: I'm a Yankee. even when it hurts.) he attempted to put air in the flat tire. And then he tried to take the lug nuts off and change the tire. Except he hadn't brought one of those air power operated lug nut tighteners, and when I got my tires rotated, apparently they used the hydraulic thing. Which means, no mortal hand will shift yon lug nuts.

So he called back (on my cell: he did not have one) and the gah-rahge sent out another guy with The Tool. (as opposed to the tool I already had.) Who delivered the item and then abandoned us to our fate.

RTIQ got the tire changed. But it was still flat, and he was out of canned air, having (over my protest) put that air in the flat tire.

This time, I called the garage.

They sent out another guy with another can of air.

Did I mention it was raining? *Bear stands in the cold rain for about two hours, give or take.*

Anyway. Eventually the tire is repaired, and I get on my way again. Except now I notice that the battery light is on. Well, thinks I. The truck was just worked on last week. Something maybe jiggled loose.

I will bring it in on Monday, because Friday is a fucken ice storm, yes?

So I have my lunch, and arcaedia comes out to meet me, and there is ice cream. And Boxing Frog pens are purchased, and some of you know why.

And then I cancel my archery date, because I have had enough, and drive home.


My electrical system is getting distinctly weird. Wipers sluggish, CD player cutting in and out, and so on. and it's rush hour and I am sitting in stopped traffic behind a semi. So (on headphone! legal! even!) I call my garage and make arrangements to bring Eunice back in Monday AM.

And then traffic starts moving again.

I drive a five speed manual.

I was on the headset, which is legal but of course empirically not any less distracting than a hand held, but since I drive a standard, well, the headset is the only option and I usually do not use it because it is dangerous.

Reader, I stalled it.

And it stayed stalled.

In the exact middle of the Bulkeley Bridge. At rush hour.

In the worst traffic in months, because a semi rolled it on the 15 offramp today.



And I had no flashers, because the electrical system was ded. D.E.D.


Oh yeah.

My karma is CLEAN now, baby. Scrubbed shiny and white.

I am a fucking lucky broad. Because not ONLY did the Competent Yankee (TM) behind me put his flahsers on, pile out of his vehicle, and try to push-start me (failure), but after I said "This is too dangerous" and sent him back, he then sat there with his flashers on until I called 911 and the Staties arrived.

I've only called 911 before twice in my life. There's a mental disconnect involved, you know, where you tell yourself "This isn't an emergency, call the non-emergency number..."

Well, just as I was thinking of doing that, a semi rumbled past and rocked my poor little truck onto its knees.

Reader, I dialed 911.

And I said, "Hi, I'm sorry to call the emergency number, but I think I'm in serious trouble. I'm in the center lane of the Bulkeley Bridge, and my truck won't start."

And the 911 operator said, "Whatever you do, don't do anything. I'm sending a trooper right now."

Something to be said for a semi jack-knife just at the bottom of the bridge. Because there were three troopers there in under 5 minutes.

And one of them had push bumpers.

And Reader, they shoved me off the bridge.

Onto the second-next exit.

Because the next exit was blocked.

Because it was rush hour.

Reader? If you never have this experience?

Count yourself blessed. Because being pushed through rush hour traffic through the Canyons in Hartford on 84 westbound at rush hour is not something I would wish on anyone.

I have in fact been that scared before in my life. I still don't recommend it.

Anyway, there was another Triple A call, and a ride in a flatbed, and rescue driving by taichigeek and netcurmudgeon.

And so the ranch was saved.

And Eunice is back at Glastonbury Oil and Sevice.

And I am going to pour a third stiff drink now and climb into the tub. Because that was an awful lot of adrenaline, and it really kicked my ass.


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Have another drink on me.

I'm glad you're okay.


This was the worst day in a long time, gotta say.
I swear.

I am on the phone tomorrow.

I suspect the alternator shook loose.
Uff da my God.

amen dat.

It was a long day.

Thank you for Being Safe

Well, yanno, Eunice (if needs be) can be replaced. You cannot.
Thank you for making the 911 call. Many fans (I'm in that crowd) are pleased that you wrote that note because it means that you survived to write that note.

Re: Thank you for Being Safe


I am still shaking.

Seriously. You kind of sit there and check your seatbelt and wait to hear the brakes squealing behind you, and the guy who can't stop because of the rain. :-P
oi god.

just glad you're home safe.

Me three.



Not the easiest way to get re-ahl-life experience in case you ever need to have a character's space ship get stuck in rush hour at Tau Ceti, huh? Glad it worked out and you are safely home.

Re: Wow!


yeah, me too.

Don't tell my mom, okay?
Yikes! As someone who is intimately familiar with rush hour on the Bulkeley Bridge AND someone who's had that very electrical crash/get pushed out of traffic situation (though not in combination), I cringed just reading that.

Thank the traffic gods for Competent Yankees and push-bumper patrol cars! Very glad to hear it was an adventure and not a disaster.
I even got a really charming flatbed driver.

Nice man.

I tipped heaily.
Cruddy experience. Glad that your story had a happy ending, though!
Glad it came out okay.

Have you thought about writing a mystery story? One in which the POV character murders incompetent mechanics?


So now I'm absolutely dying to know on what other occasion you've had the privilege of being that scared?

Re: egad.

I'm an adult survivor of child abuse. And I experienced a racially motivated assault (I'm white. It's a long story.).

I was, in fact, that scared for like, consecutive years, when I was in grade school and junior high. The nice thing about post traumatic stress is that it comes with mad coping skillz.

Also, I had the fun of blowing a tire at 75 last summer. *G*
Man, I'm glad you're safe. Welcome home.
Thanks, man.

Not a cheap trip out to the ice cream place!
Oh, Bear. I am glad you are home safely. That is a horrible day!

I once had a series of car troubles that left me stalled on the shoulder of a highway, and that was terrifying enough. I hope I never have to go through what you just did.

A hot bath sounds like a good idea. I hope it helps!
Beware the ides of fucking march. :-P

Still, yanno. I got pushed! That was kind of neat, in a omgimgonnadie kinda way.
Oh, augh! I'm glad you came through it all ok. Hope that bath works out great!
until I realized that the driver of said truck had, at best, a room-temperature IQ.That's if you are in a Commonwealth country.

Can I please steal that? Please?

PS - when are you coming to California again, dammit?
You shure may.



Wrong end of the state, tho.
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