I've been obsessed with Zelda lately.  In fact, I've been trying to tie all the Zelda games together in the proper time order... and if anyone knows Zelda, the first game is Ocarina of Time, which ends in a split timeline... so it's all nerdy and fun and awesome.

Anyway, I was looking online and found Windwaker used, and this is the one that was released with Ocarina of Time's Master Quest - something I haven't played.  I had to get this.

However, it was over an hour away but, a nice drive, good music is always good for my creative juices and I used the time to figure out how to get through this particular section of my script, Fear Between Vultures. When I got to the Gamestop, there was also a Chick-Fil-A, perfect day?

With my new game and a delicious chicken sandwich, I was ready to head home.

Traffic was going well and I crept up to 82.... BLOWOUT!

My tire - blown.

Here's basically what my tire looked like:

I pulled over, totally freaked.  Could I have just died?  People were flying.  I was shaken and I suddenly lost my cool - what do I do?  I called my Dad.  No answer.  My Mom, no answer.  My roommate, no answer.  And finally my best friend, Eric.

I asked him to tell me what to do because I was just too zoned out to figure it out.

He tried his best to explain that I needed to take my blown tire into a shop so they could mount a new tire on it.  I was trying to foolishly argue that I could just get a new tire first and eventually, I agreed with him - I was not fully in the right mindset.  

I'm usually pretty cool and collected, but I just felt... off.

My Dad called me back and I started to talk to him and he explained the same thing Eric did and it finally sunk in... such smart people in my life.  I looked in my rearview mirror and I what I thought was a police truck was behind me.  I told my Dad I would have to call him back.

The guy suddenly appeared at my passenger window and he handed me a paper.  I didn't read it but only his shirt which read Something Something Tow... oh great, a tow truck guy is trying to sell me something.

In fact, it was not the case.  California has a Freeway Service Patrol, which during busier traffic hours assists (for free) those in need in order to alleviate potential traffic jammers...

He asked me to pull up to a safer area, I agreed and went to get into my driver's seat, to scared to open my driver's seat, I've been maneuvering between the passenger seat.  I was just about to start the car when...

"Where are my keys?"

I looked down, between the seats... they were nowhere.  I felt like an idiot.  I then thought this guy might think I was some homeless dude cruising around and I found an unlocked car.  I couldn't believe it.  I looked up and down all around.  In my jacket pocket, my jeans.  The FSP was friendly and joking.  He laughed that I might of left it in the Chick-Fil-A bag, I think he was calling me fat...

10 minutes go by.

Finally, in the crevasses of the darkest pits of my truck my keys lay hiding like a scared puppy.  I grabbed them sheepishly and drove ::crunch crunch crunch:: to a safer area.

I then had to explain, which I did to Eric and my Dad that when my car was broken into a few years back, the IDIOT thief stole my Ford Ranger manual, including the key that got me into the spare tire.  Not only was my spare tire unobtainable, it was also flat and useless anyway.

He asked if I had anyone helping me out, which I explained my buddy would be here soon... an hour.  So, as they didn't want me on the highway that long, they gave me a free tow - yes... free tow.

While we waited, I started to call tire shops to start seeing how much this was going to cost me and I found America's "AMERICA!" Tire just down the street on the exit that I was going to get towed too.  Perfect... but, they were closing in 20 minutes.

As I was beginning to get another tire place from them, the tow truck showed up.

And, like magic, I was in front of America's "AMERICA!" Tire with 2 minutes to spare.  They came out and looked at my tire and I had to explain for a third time about the IDIOT thief who stole my Ford Ranger manual, because of course he might need it while he listened to my iPod... does he even like Radiohead and the Strokes?

Anyway, they looked my blown, scary ass tire over and went into the back to see what they had.

Then, as if awesome town was all over this day, they came out with a brand new looking (used tire) that they were going to mount and change for free in order to get me home.  


The tire's only problem is that it's from 1998, so he warned me not to ride it more than I needed too and to get a new tire on soon.  

And I got home with the only charges to my wallet were the new Windwaker game and my delicious (no gone) chicken sandwich.

Big props to America's Tire & the Metro Freeway Service Patrol... both of whom made a scary situation very pleasant.

These Guys are Awesome!