She shouldn’t have been working a call center for AAA and he shouldn't have been the driver called to assist me. But she was and he did.

Just before Christmas, I went out to my car and the rear right tire was flat as a pancake. It was raining and dark and I pay for AAA so I called, rather than tend to it in the dark rainy night on my own. Yvonne, my customer "service" rep didn't listen to a thing I said. She kept to her script ignoring me completely. "I need to have my tire changed."

"Where do you want to be towed to?"

"No, I just need the tire changed."

"Thank you, Ma'am. I'm happy to serve you. We have service guarantees at several locations close to you, for instance, Blah-blah-blah and Blah-blah-blah, which are mere miles. Would you like to be towed to either of these locations?"

On it went. Finally I said that if I needed towing for any reason, I would like it to be America's Tires so that we could move on.

Mike should not have been sent to me, as he isn't supposed to change tires. He had part of a lung removed four years ago and so they like him to just tow and not do heavy lifting. But he said he could do it; he'd just have to take it slow and I'd have to chat with him and hold the flashlight. Not a chore in the least, as despite his looking more like a 62-year-old hippie than my nearly 70-year-old republican dad was, he reminded me so much of him.

We chatted for nearly 45 minutes while he changed my tire into the tiny donut and filled the donut with air. He hates the donuts, too, and longs for the days when you held back the best tire for your spare when you got a whole new set. He works hard, loves his job and his family, and had that quiet all-knowingness about him like Dad did.

So Yvonne shouldn't be working the phones and Mike shouldn't be changing tires, but she was and he did and I got a lovely Christmas gift of spending 45 minutes with my dad just one more time.

Thank you, AAA, for being slightly incompetent.

So much in my life is still entirely still unresolved, but I have to say one thing that is comfortable is my memories of Dad. I smile when I think of him and sometimes shake my head while smiling, as he sure was something.