Monday, January 12, 2009

A possible life-saving tip

I received the following e-mail last night from one of my friends ... ...

Your Texas driver's license: This was news to me. And trust me, I got my license out and looked. It's really there! It's very, very small, but it's there. Something all Texans should know, as this has received very little or no publicity. Your Texas driver's license has a phone number on the back, just above the bar code on the lower left side: 1-800-525-5555. (It's in VERY SMALL PRINT, but it IS there.) This number can be called for emergency assistance on the highway or wherever you might have trouble while in your car. A service truck will be sent to you. This service is state operated and paid for with your tax dollars. If you are ever stranded, just call the number on your driver's license ... help is on the way. A state trooper will be sent to make sure all is well. This one is worth passing on, especially to all the women you know.

I seem to remember hearing this before, but it would have been years ago. For those of you who live in other states, I imagine that the same service is available for you. Certainly worth taking a look at the back of your license to see if an 800 number is there for emergency assistance.

Now, I doubt if help would be readily available in times of area crises - hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, blizzards, and the like - but I can easily see how this would be especially useful in an isolated instance.

I can remember one such instance, in particular, when this would have been wonderful information to have. This was probably 33 or 34 years ago. My daughter and I had been enjoying a day in one of Texas' many state parks. It was getting on towards dusk, and we needed to find our way back to where I'd parked the car while we could still see to navigate the route.

We found it! Ours was the only car still left in the parking lot, so that part was easy. There hadn't been that many cars there when we first arrived, either, I'd noticed. Evidently that park was one of the less visited ones, but it had been well worth the trip. We'd had a very nice outing together.

Upon arriving at our car, however, I couldn't help but see that the right rear tire was flat. No problem. There was a spare in the trunk, and I knew how to change a flat. And so I began.

At first I had a little trouble with some of the lug nuts. So there I was outside - daughter was inside the car and watching, just in case a wild critter came out of the woods while I was distracted with the tire change. Finally, I had all of the lug nuts off except for the last one. Try as hard as I might, however - and those were the 'good old days', when a tire-changing tool was actually one that could be of use and was of really heavy duty, I couldn't get that last lug nut loose!

Soon it would be fully dark. My husband would be at first only mildly concerned, but that concern would eventually graduate to an extreme state of worriedness when we didn't arrive back home at a reasonable hour.

I didn't panic, but was really trying my darndest NOT to have to spend the night in the car. Sure, we would have been all mosquito-eaten/sucked, hot, hungry, and really cranky - not to mention 'smelly' from having to spend the night there, but we would have been "OK" long-term.

FInally, in utter rage, I stomped up and down on the lug wrench - all the while shouting vile and utterly unrepeatable epithets, I'm sure! Guess what? The nut 'gave'. I completed the tire change and off we went.


Craig Peihopa said...

its ALWAYs the last nut that gives you the grief! But those epithets and persistence meant the difference didn't it! Good on you for not giving up. I am very proud for you.

Great tip on your license. Here you have to pay to join a road service body that comes and helps if you break down, but if you need to be towed they charge you per kilometer of distance.

Same as our ambulance service. they have a pick up fee and then a rate per kilometer of distance. And if the helicopter is needed, take out a mortagage, (I overstate the reality, but it isn't cheap) The argument of course is always how much is your life worth?

Sorry for getting carried away off topic there!

Goldenrod said...

Hi, Craig!

Got your comment, and am going to try and respond quickly while you're (possibly) still at your computer.

Just got off of the phone with my daughter, and she thought she remembered some sort of road service coming to our rescue. No, no, no, and no again! No such thing!! I mean, I STOMPED on that ***-**-*-***** until it loosened!!!

We have road service 'bodies' (AAA comes to mind, first off) here, as well ... all of which cost mucho dinero ($$$) and then you have to wait for - what seems like - forever for them to come! Actually, I discontinued my long-time membership in AAA years ago, because - it didn't matter how long you had been a member of same - if the vehicle you were driving was a taxicab, you weren't covered. (!!!!!!!!)

You didn't get carried away 'off topic' there at all, Craig. You were en pointe, I'd say!! I'm kind of sorry to hear that the same sort of c r a p exists down there in Oz!

Tammy said...

Huh. I looked on my driver's license, front & back, and there's no emergency phone number. Bummer. However, my insurance pays for a tow job, so that is good. Well, it's good so long as you have a cell phone handy. I'm still amazed at how many people don't have cell phones.....

Craig, I hear you on the helicopter service. I've had a friend who had to have her daughter life-flighted from Idaho Falls to SLC Primary Children's hospital. It cost $100,000. They had to have her life-flighted twice, so that cost might have been for one flight or two...I can't remember. They had to file medical bankruptsy. :(

Goldenrod said...

"Medical bankruptcy" ... that's a 'downer', to put it mildly, Tammy! How can it possibly cost $100,000 to take a helicopter??????????????????????????????????? I mean, where did they take her? From Idaho to the moon?!?

Goldenrod said...


Tammy said...

Yes, it was outrageous. I'm wondering if it cost more simply because it was a life-flight. Lots of medical personnel on board, machines, etc. Their baby was born at 2 pounds I think it was, 16 weeks early. Very scary. And yes, bankruptsy 8 years ago. In addition to a life flight, months in Primary Children's, oxygen and dr. appts for months afterward, another life flight, more hospital time, etc... The upside is that their daughter is as healthy as can be now, and Colleen & Jaromy moved ahead with life. They've since moved into a new home and are doing ok financially. All is well. :)

Goldenrod said...

Their baby was born at just two pounds, 16 weeks early, and is now doing well?!? That's a miracle, Tammy, an absolute and utter miracle! As Craig said, "How much is your life worth?" Well, the answer - of course - is it's worth everything!

Am really sorry to hear that you don't have an 800 # on the back of your driver's license. Was kind of hoping that it was not just a "Texas" thing.

Tammy said...

Yes, nothing short of a miracle. The placenta came completely unattached from the uterus, so they had to do a c-section. I was there when she was born and there to hold Colleen's hand as her baby and husband were life-flighted to SLC. Very touching, and I'll admit I didn't think Jayda would make it, though she fought hard and did indeed make it. I went with Colleen one of the times she went to Primary Children's and am still tingly when I think of all the miracles I heard of while there that weekend. It is a place of miracles, and the staff could not have been nicer. Wonderful place. I'll shoot you an email of Jayda. She was so teeny. Check your inbox. :) Sorry....this got completely off-topic, lol!

steven said...

goldenrod, i went looking for my driver's license. i searched high and low and then i remembered - oh yeah! i don't have one!!!!!

so what happens if i fall off my bicycle? what happens if i have a flat tire? what happens if i decide to have any sort of medical emergency on a bike? you know what happens?! i flag down someone with a car and hopefully a driver's licence that has a number to call in case of an emergency!!!!! ha!!!

hope it's toasty warm down there golenrod - we're headed to minus twenty nine this thursday!!! ohhhhhh noooooo!!!

Goldenrod said...

Now you know very well, Steven, that I could easily have "excepted" YOU, in particular, from this post, but I didn't want to unnecessarily draw other bloggers' attention to your (seeming) inability to procure a driver's license - albeit in Canada!

HowEver, since you have brought the subject up, how is it that you are able to cash a check or even buy groceries with payment via a check, for that matter, w/o a driver's license or some other form of identification (not that it's really any of my/anyoneelse's business) ... or, perhaps, does everyone with whom you regularly shop know you the very instant you walk in the door?

[Not not that you're undistinguishable, I hope you understand. On the contrary, imo you are quite the distinguished-looking gentleman!]

You think you're going to be able to "decide to" have some sort of medical emergency while on your bike but then still be able to stand up and flag down an actual driver of a 4-wheeled (or more) vehicle who has a license and/or a cell phone? Puhleez! Gimme a break here!! What if the first driver you flag down doesn't even have a license, much less a cell phone? What then??

Oh, Steven! I laughed and laughed and then laughed some more when I read your comment!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again, dear sir!!!

And NO, we're not 'toasty warm' down here. I'm - as one might say - "freezing my arse off" (in fact, my fingers are so cold it almost seems like they're about to freeze!) ... well, not really, but it's not toasty warm, either!

The only thing really toasty warm in my house right now is an absolutely luscious bathrobe that my daughter gave me for Christmas ... scrumpdeliocious, Steven!

I'm trying to send some 'not toasty warm, but toastier than YOU are' thoughts your way.