I have AAA Plus Membership. I think it is a necessity for people like myself, who do a lot of their traveling via car. I have used it quite a few times, for various easy fixes, mostly flat tires and haven’t thought too much about it until last week.
The AAA Plus Membership and Last Week
I’m not sure what exactly it was but last week was horribly unlucky for me. I tried to focus on the positives and keep moving but it just seemed every step I took forward there was an unlucky monster chasing me backwards. It started with the car.
Jean (the car) and I were heading back from Phoenix Saturday when, only about an hour and a half away from home, she just gave out. She broke down with what felt like running out of gas but sounded like some tube fell off. I get to the side of the freeway in San Bernardino and call up AAA. I have my AAA Plus Membership card with me, so I’m feeling okay. Not happy, but okay.
Infinite patience has been my mantra this year, so what better way to exercise that than in a situation like this? AAA seemed very helpful over the phone, I describe where I am on the freeway, tell him the next exit and say I’m on the northbound side of the roadway. He sounded confident, I felt confident, I didn’t have anywhere to be that night. Infinitely patient.
He said 40 minutes. An hour later, I’m still doing good even though I have been visited by one hopeful competing tow truck and a police officer just making sure I was alright. I receive a call from the driver and he says he is on the southbound side and cannot seem to find me. It takes him awhile to get all the way around to me on the northbound side but then we figure it out and that’s when it happens, I meet Arturo. In such a shitty situation, when I’m tired and trying so hard to maintain this patience, I have yet to realize that this will be the greatest thing to ever happen to me.
The Rest of the Week and My AAA Plus Membership
I equate this story to the caliber of The Sound and the Fury so we are skipping around in time, like Faulkner. After the events of Saturday, the best bad luck I have ever had and my hope and effort in not letting this get me down or spiral, I was visited by many more ghosts of bad luck present. I learned of three deaths of people I knew in one day, two friends were in the hospital after being struck by cars, two paychecks were less than I was told they would be and I had three minor miscommunications that led to scheduling issues. Not to mention the general life turmoil we deal with everyday, that has been a tad overwhelming for me lately.
As of this moment, I am still chalking it up to a very unlucky week. Although, I won’t say I let it get me down and I do think there were some great things that happened during that time as well. Just oddly unlucky for the overall week. This is all without the car because it ends up in the shop, getting her fuel pump fixed. However, the most important part and best thing that has ever happened to me, could have only happened had that bad luck been started by the break down of Jean and thus the necessity to use my AAA Plus Membership.
The Tow Truck and My AAA Plus Membership
I climb into the tow truck so Arturo can take me to the nearby auto shop that is AAA approved and had been ‘informed of the priority so you won’t have to wait in line.’ Arturo and I head over to this shop to get it all taken care of.
On the way Arturo mentions that with the AAA Plus Membership I can be towed up to 100 miles. I inform him I live 82 miles away and it might be easiest if we can just get it fixed up now since it was only 2:30 in the afternoon. He agrees and we head to the AAA approved auto shop about 12 minutes away. As we arrive it is very obvious that this shop is closed and may have never been open. Arturo is a bit confused but offers the long ride home again. I suggest we call the dispatcher and see what’s up.
Turns out the only other shop around closes in 30 minutes as well and what do you know? Arturo gets his wish and we have to get heading on our 2 hour drive back to my apartment where we then have to circle the block a few times to find parking, as you do in LA.
Although, it was an interesting ride filled with Drake that was playing out of a bluetooth speaker he hung from the laundry hook, I kept laughing at the situation before and after I was blessed with the best thing that has ever happened to me.
The Best Thing to Ever Happened to Me and My AAA Plus Membership
Arturo was a nice guy, he didn’t say anything creepy. We talked about music and why I was coming from Phoenix which led to my career and that chat lasted for quite awhile. He texted most of the drive while we talked about traffic and I wasn’t even mad. Infinite patience girl, infinite patience. Plus at this point I hadn’t even learned that the rest of this week would be showered with bad luck flavored sprinkles.
I always want to take away something positive and while the situation did make me laugh, it was probably more of a ‘I can’t believe this is happening, are you fucking kidding me’ type of laugh. It became extremely easy to take away a positive since the best thing that has ever happened to me happened during this unfortunate injury to Jean.
While in the tow truck, after we had gotten gas and some ‘munchies’ as Arturo put it, we were waiting at a stoplight. It was either the Universe or a god speaking to me, saying ‘hey, it’s going to be okay, maybe.’ As we sat at the light I look to my right and a homeless man walks up to the side of the truck and starts motioning for a drink. Unable to discern whether the man wanted a drink of water or wanted money for booze Arturo and I decided we would ignore him. As the man walked away we noticed he had on a denim jacket, with bellbottom jeans and long brown hair. He walked back to us again and did the same thing. I look at Arturo and we both shrug. Then, like a ray of light that restored my faith in the world, Arturo turns to me and with the innocence of a baby lamb he says “Ha! I don’t know what he wants but he looks like those funny guys from the 80s, you know Ching Chang Chong.”
All of a sudden a choir of joyful music erupted in my head! Holy shit! He totally thinks Cheech and Chong are called Ching Chang Chong. Sweet Universe, Jesus, Allah and Flying Spaghetti Monster thank you so much for this gift. I would gladly take another week of bad luck or maybe this week is just the start to a year of bad luck, I’m not sure, but it is worth it. To be given the sweet gift of having the words Ching Chang Chong fall on my ears in that exact moment, saved me. Every pinch of bad luck over the last week has been overcome by the sweet memory of Ching Chang Chong. Every time my stress level creeped closer to the edge, I became flooded with infinite patience because of Ching Chang Chong.
The world works in mysterious ways and I am eternally grateful for this gift.