I'm talking about the American Automobile Association here, the letters not to possibly be misconstrued as Alcoholics Anonymous or any other such similar-sounding names.
I was a member for years and years, and always thought highly of them. There was a branch office located not far from where I lived here in Houston, and I often went there for free maps and assistance. Wonderful, wonderful!
But then I started driving a taxi, beginning with Yellow Cab. I didn't see the need to continue my relationship with AAA because Yellow Cab could - and would! - respond to my emergency needs much quicker than AAA.
One night, however, after having a most enjoyable game of duplicate bridge with Tom Jahnke - who was one of my regular partners at the time - we came out to the parking lot only to discover that one of the rear tires on my taxi (the right, I think) was flatter than a pancake.
I knew that I couldn't change the tire (I was driving a full-sized Chevrolet Caprice at the time) - I had a good spare in the trunk - and hoped that maybe Tom could help me.
Well no, he really couldn't, he said. I said, "That's OK. I'll call Yellow Cab. They'll come over and change it for me. It'll only cost me $35."
"No, don't do that," he said. "I'm a member of AAA. I'll call them. They'll be here quickly and it will cost us nothing!"
Sure enough, it didn't take AAA very long to arrive at the scene. However, they refused to work on my taxicab because it was a commercial vehicle. !!!!! Nowhere in their literature - even today's, I've checked - does it say that if your vehicle is a commercial one, it is excluded from their services.
And nowadays membership in that (what I call "hoity doity") illustrious organization costs upwards of $100 per year.