An old friend asked me to drive his Mom's car up to West Virginia last week.
It was a nice Lincoln Town car, and I agreed to do it for a reduced rate.
He also agreed to buy me a plane ticket back to Florida, and said that I could spend
the night at his Mom's house up in West Virginia.
As I drove along, I noticed that the car was missing.
Which usually means it needs a Tune up.
I had told my friend to be sure that the car was fully serviced
before I took it on this long trip, and he told me it was all taken care of.
Late in the afternoon, the missing turned into jerking and jumping.
When I drove at 70mph on cruise control, everything was just fine.
But in stop and go traffic, it was like a bucking Bronco.
I called the Mom and told her what was going on.
"Yeah," she said, "It will do that sometimes. Is it smoking yet?"
I looked out the rear view mirror, and sure enough there was white smoke billowing
up from the exhaust pipe.
I told her, and she didn't seem at all suprised.
At 4pm, when I was 99 miles south of her house, the car stopped running completely.
The transmission was completely burned out, and I was stuck on the very narrow shoulder of Interstate 77 in West Virginia, on a steep hill and at a curve in the road.
Lucky for me, Mom called her eldest son, and he jumped into action.
He found a tow truck to come and get me, although it took 7 hours for it to arrive.
In the meantime, I was stuck in the middle of nowhere.
And having an upset stomach, with a strong need to go sit in a bathroom.
After a few hours of holding it in, I decided to climb over the guardrail and climb
precariously down the steep hill so as to be out of sight.
I dug my feet into the dirt, dropped my pants and squatted.
Suddenly, the dirt under my left foot gave way, and I fell flat on my butt and start sliding very fast down the hill.
Crapping all the way down.
I was grabbing onto plants and roots and anything I could to try to stop my rapid descent, and every single thing I grabbed was covered with stickers.
It took me a long time to climb back up, and when I arrived at the top I stood up just as a big semi flew by, and the strong gust of wind made me lose my balance and go sliding down the hill again.
The tow truck driver dropped me off at his wrecker yard at 1am.
Mom's eldest son was there and took me to his house, fed me, and gave me a bed to sleep in.
The next morning, he drove me 30 miles to the airport.
Times can be tough on the road, but its good to know that there are kind and caring people out there.