The Pink Elephant Super Car Wash is on the north side of downtown Seattle. Shortly after taking this video I had to make a u-turn. In doing so the rear tire barely brushed the curb, but the minor collision was too much for the low profile tire and I had a flat.
I pulled into an adjacent parking lot and called the rental car company. They gave me a choice of getting a new car or sending someone out to change the tire. I was flying back to New York the next day so a new car was overkill. I could have, and in retrospect should have, changed the tire myself but I got them to send someone. The dispatcher couldn't find Denny Way on her map, which was odd since it is a major street in Seattle and is easily found on Google Maps, so I had to tell her I was in a parking lot on Aurora between the giant rotating pink elephant and a hotel. She called me back to verify my phone number and said that it would be 45 minutes to an hour before someone could get to me. That gave me plenty of time to stew.
Forty-five minutes pass and an angry Russian guy pulls into the parking lot. He wants to know if I, the guy standing next to a car with a flat tire, is the person who called for assistance with a flat tire. I assured him that I was that guy and the flat tire on the car I was standing next to was the car with the flat tire. He complained that he had been trying to call me for 20 minutes but could not reach me. He showed me the number he was dialing and, sure enough, it was not my number. Only the first two numbers were correct!
Then things got really strange. He started complaining about how I didn't give the dispatcher the street address. I apologized for not knowing where I was in a strange city and pointed out that we were in a parking lot with no visible street address. He complained again that I didn't give a proper street address. I again pointed out that there was no street address visible. I also mentioned that there can't be too many parking lots on Aurora just north of a giant rotating pink elephant car wash sign. He then complained that I did not give the proper street address, that I should always give the street number when calling for assistance, and that in the time he spent looking for me he could have been helping another customer on the highway. I replied, in much more colorful language than I'll use here, that if I knew the street address I would have given it to the dispatcher but there was no street address visible, and that he was welcome to continue to his next customer without changing my tire as I would just call the rental car company and complain about his poor behavior.
I then walked away to cool down and to put enough distance between us that he wouldn't bring up the stupid street address again. I also took the opportunity to put the twenty dollar bill that I had taken out of my wallet for a tip back into my wallet.
Finally, he changed the tire. I returned to sign his paperwork and he again complained about not having the street address. I just signed the paperwork and grabbed my camera out of the car to take a picture of his license plate. He was in his truck getting ready to drive away but he saw me, turned around and called out that he had a camera just like mine and it was a great camera. Did I like the camera? He loved his camera. With a big smile and a wave he was off. I didn't bother taking a photo.
Did I mention that before all this happened that I was really hungry? I was in the car because I was leaving the EMP and going to find something for dinner. Now, more than an hour later, I was even hungrier but not really in the mood to look for a place to eat. Because the car now had one of those little spares on it, I couldn't get on the interstate so there was a long, slow drive back to the hotel.