So, just when I think that paying $144 to park at O'Hare International Airport will be the biggest shock of my recent traveling experience, my car started making all sorts of noise. On I-90. Two miles from my exit.

A flat tire. And not just a little flat. BlackJack started barking from his crate in the back seat.

So, I did what I do whenever I don't know what to do. I called my mother, who suggests calling 9-1-1 or a tow-truck. Neither sound particularly pleasant. So I called my roommate, who informed me she was working. More than 45 minutes away. I dug for my insurance card on the off-chance I had decided road-side assistance was worth paying for and then forgot about it.

I couldn't find the current insurance card, just old ones from a company I no longer use. Can't imagine they'd be willing to help.

Luckily, by this time, a state trooper stopped, but he needed to see my driver's license before calling a Nice Man to change the tire. I looked in my purse. No license. I looked on the front-passenger floor (where much stuff had accumulated during the ride home from my parent's). No license.

I explained to the trooper that the last time I had seen my license was when I boarded the plane Sunday. And then I put it in my jeans pocket. Different jeans from those I was wearing.

He kindly explained that he couldn't help me unless he saw my license. So I hauled my suitcase out and opened it ON THE SIDE OF THE INTERSTATE. Luckily, those jeans were on top. Unluckily, so were a bra and underwear. I figured a 20-something woman digging through her dirty laundry on the side of the interstate couldn't be the weirdest thing this man had seen in the last week - he was a state police trooper, after all - but the look he gave me didn't do much to confirm that. No driver's license in any of the jeans pockets.

So, I asked if he could recommend a tow company to call if I couldn't find my driver's license. He asked if I had a credit card or something to pay the tow truck driver with. I opened the car and reached for my phone and credit card -- and hallelujah, my driver's license was in cup holder, right next to the credit card and phone.

The trooper didn't crack a smile when I presented it to him. Now that the worries had passed, I kind of thought the whole thing was funny.

So, it took all of 20 minutes for a Nice Man in a maintenance truck to come and put my spare tire on for me. I dropped BlackJack off at home and took off for the tire store. The Boss Man there didn't think it weird that I had no idea how old my tires were or what kind/size they were and sent an employee out to get the info and my old tire.

The Tire Guy took one look at the old tire in the trunk and said "We can't fix that." With a straight face.

Finally, a man with a sense of humor!

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