Wending Home

In which nothing at all disastrous happens.

So there we were, driving along the highway, just like we’d been doing nearly every day for almost two weeks. It was a long stretch of I-10 that runs from New Orleans all the way through the Florida panhandle, and it would be a while before we drove on any other roads that day. I was in the passenger seat, and traffic was moderately heavy, the kind where it seems like you should be able to move faster than in reality you can. We were stuck behind a truck, waiting for the traffic to clear in the other lane. Then all of a sudden, it happened.

Plink.

A tap, a richochet, a tiny rock flying off into the distance, and we were left with a little shrimp shaped dink in our windshield. I took a picture of it.

Well now what? — the inevitable next question. We decided it was better to get it fixed sooner rather than later, and figured we should find a body shop in the next large enough town. Which led to the next question.

Where are we?

We were a long way from New Orleans and a long way from where we were going. We were pretty sure that we were still in Alabama, but didn’t know precisely where or, as would turn out to matter, what time zone. Time zones – tricky things.

A sign loomed up. We were nearing Mobile. Excellent. They definitely have body shops there. We used all the gadgets to call one, and a very nice man told me that they didn’t do windshields, but he could direct me somewhere that did. I ended up on the phone with a very nice lady somewhere in the upper midwest in their centralized scheduling center. She didn’t know what time zone we were in either, but had a map of time zones (yes!), set us straight and gave us an appointment in Mobile.

We kept driving as I talked to our insurance company, who said that it would be covered and transferred me back to my nice lady friend in the midwest. I had a slight problem I needed to clear up with her.

By this point, we were waaaaaaaay past Mobile.

She was unfazed, set us up with another location in Pensacola, and we drove on. We got there, they had our paperwork, and fixed us right up while we ate lunch. We were both thrilled and flabbergasted. Because all this bureauacracy worked just like it was supposed to! That shouldn’t really be flabbergasting I know, but come on, it totally is. Everyone was pleasant, everyone did their jobs, no one gave us a hard time, and the windshield looks awesome.

It totally takes the drama out of the story that we didn’t have to contend with more bothersome people, but it restored my faith in humanity just a little.

So thanks, nice lady on the phone at Safelite. And thanks, nice man in Mobile that had us call them. And thanks to you too, giant insurance company, for covering the repair. Sometimes, miraculously, it all works out.

And that’s the story of our very mundane road trip miracle. See you never again, shrimp-shaped dink! Vanquished.

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