Monday morning, as I arrived at my car parked in the street, I was quickly made very aware that my tire was flat to the max, at which time I let out a string of expletives and probably stomped my feet. A: it's cold outside. B: I couldn't change a spare right now in the dead of winter and snow and ice to save my life. C: I'm totally going to be late to work. D: fuck.
So, I did as any irrational, 27-year-old, clueless woman would do, and sloooooowly drove around the corner to the gas station where I could fill the tire with air. I know the tire's had a slow leak, and it hadn't been driven all weekend, so I figured filling it up would at least get me to work so I could deal with it later. I pulled the remaining quarters from my laundry fund (also, fuck) because air, apparently, is not free. Which I think is absolutely ridiculous, by the way, but that's another story. But when I finally got to the gas station, there was a fatty "Out of Order" sign taped to the air pump.
Oh my god, WTF, I hate my life, seriously, shit.
I stood outside my car and just stared at my tire, maybe willing it to fix itself. Random people looked at me, puzzled. One man asked if I needed help, but then quickly told me there's no way he could change a flat. Neat. Helpful. By this point, because I'm a girl, the tears were starting to well up. I had NO one to help me. I know NO ONE in this city, I realized. I AM ALONE.
Cue dramatic music.
The one handyman I know was working. As was everyone else in the world. OMG. I seriously have NO ONE. I was stumped. Had no idea what to do. Still just stood, freezing, staring at my tire, pretending I wasn't about to cry.
Sigh. Pout. Sigh. Tear.
I then realized I live across the street from the fire department. As if I could forget. Have you ever been awoken, night after night, at all hours of the night, by the wailing of a fire truck? Because I do. It's almost endearing now. I'm all, "Aw. How neat. They're going to save lives. AND I'M TRYING TO SLEEP." But I figured if anyone was able to help me, it was them. Plus, firefighters. Hello. So, I tip-toed over to the door and rang the doorbell. It was quickly answered by a quite good-looking, albeit short, fireman. In my best damsel in distress act, I explained my situation. There were a lot of "helps" and "please" and "wanna go out?" OK, I lied about that last bit. But still. HELP ME.
And, as expected, he brightened with a huge grin and welcomed me inside. I was greeted by about four more, definitely a boys' club, but all of them more than excited to help out the pathetic girl that was now standing inside their turf. To make a long story short, they loaded up the FIRE TRUCK with a huge air pump, loaded ME into the fire truck and hauled me down the block to the gas station, and my car. So here comes this ginormous fire truck trying to maneuver into a tiny corner gas station, all the way to the back corner, so they can pump air into the car tire of a pathetic, lonely girl.
I AM SUCH A BAD ASS.
When we got to the gas station, all of the people - every last one who didn't offer to help - watched, bewildered, as four firemen and a pathetic, lonely girl leapt out of the gigantic, out of place, huge, red fire truck and pumped air into the empty tire. Turns out, my tire rim is bent, and any time the tire pressure gets low, air slowly starts to leak from that nook. My heroes pumped the tire up, made sure I was aware of the rim situation, and graciously sent me on my way. And now, unbeknownst to them, I have four new best friends forever across the street at the fire station. I'll never curse them again at 3 a.m. when they sound their sirens. OK, maybe I will a little, but with less gusto.
And that's how I rode in a fire truck.