What is wrong with you???

Last week I had a simple problem – a flat tire – and a simple solution – use my cell phone to call my wife and ask her to look up the phone number of a towing company, tell them where I am, and have them come get me. Easy, right??? Well, except when the cell phone connection isn’t so great…

So I call… Her reaction was “I don’t know the phone number.” (Well, DEAR, look it up in the f*****g phone book. I mean, how difficult is that???) Then she asked why don’t I call my Mom and see if she has AAA coverage. REALLY??? (OK, I get the desire to save money, but I’m stuck in the middle of the f*****g desert with a flat tire…) Then the call dropped and I couldn’t get a signal to call back. Not that it would have mattered, I’d already learned more about how she reacts to a quasi situation than I cared to know…

After several tries, I was able to get a cell signal and call my Mom. Yes, she had AAA coverage, yes it would work on the truck, yes I had pen and paper to write down the phone and policy numbers, yes she had them to give to me (which she did), yes… and then I lost the signal again so the call dropped. Tried a bunch of times to call AAA, Mom, my wife, etc. with no luck. BUT… I have a 2 meter HT with all the local repeaters programmed in, and the 3rd one I tried resulted in a contact – “John” who took all my info and offered to call a tow truck (TT) for me. After about 10 minutes, he called back and let me know a tow truck was on the way, but the company told him it would be at least an hour before they got to me. Also told me he’d keep monitoring so if the situation deteriorated or the TT never showed up I could let him know and he’d take further steps to get me help. Fortunately that wasn’t necessary because the TT showed up just a couple minutes passed the 1 hour mark, used a proper jack to get me back on the road, so I headed home.

While waiting for the TT I was able to get a cell signal and call home to let them know I was OK, TT was coming, etc. Then I called my Mom to let her know, and since our first call had dropped and I couldn’t call her and she couldn’t call me do to lack of a cell signal, OF COURSE she assumed the worst and called the sheriff to launch a search for me. Good thing I called her while the truck was on the way so she could call the sheriff’s office back and have them cancel the search…

SO… later that night I was talking to my Mom and we were laughing about it, and she mentioned that the dispatcher she’d talked to mentioned that several cell phone towers were down due to local wild fires – which is probably why I couldn’t get a good signal. We talked about how “lucky” it was that I had my HT with me to use to call for assistance. Both my wife and mom were kind of irritated at me for “going off in the desert” without “being prepared.” Well, except for not having a proper jack I was – I had food, water, a good hat to protect me from the sun, and multiple ways of calling for help.

My proposed solution was for both of them to get their amateur radio licenses and a cheap Baofeng. THAT WAY, they can monitor the local linked repeater system and WHEN I’m out and about and IF I need assistance, they can talk directly to me without worrying about crappy cell phone reception. NEITHER ONE is willing to go there – “too much bother.” OK, so f*****g fine… just don’t expect me to sit there and listen to you bitch because you couldn’t get a hold of me when there is an obvious, easy, and CHEAP solution available. What is wrong with you???

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