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<p>The Arizona Wildcats scraped past the Gonzaga Bulldogs <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=234000003">96-95</a>. My world is made normal again.</p>
<p>About two weeks ago, Chris, in all good intent, gave me two tickets to the Renaissance Fair near the town of Florence, a good hour and a half's drive from Tucson.</p>
<p>Having made arrangements to meet Chris and his friends at the fair, my sister and I drove toward Florence last Sunday. The rain came down in torrents, but I drove on in the hope that Florence would be outside the humongous stormcloud that besieged Tucson.</p>
<p>I was wrong. The rains just got heavier and heavier, and we decided to turn back almost two-thirds of the way there. We didn't want to waste the tickets on a rained-out parade.</p>
<p>This morning, we decided to head to the fair, it being the last weekend and all. We missed the turning onto highway 79 and drove an extra ten miles or so, but we figured out our mistake soon enough and headed in the right direction.</p>
<p>Florence – 42 miles, the signboard said. Then it started.</p><p>A small rattling noise, almost inaudible to the human ear. It grew louder. I checked the temperature gauge: Normal. I looked in the rear-view mirror for signs of any leakage: None. The rattlings grew even louder.</p>
<p>We decided to pull up the next chance we got, and when we did, the temperature gauge went ballistic. I stopped the car and turned off the engine. Great. We were in the middle of nowhere.</p>
<p>Milestone 102. The Arnold Family adopted this portion of the highway. Where're they when you need them.</p>
<p>This was one time I really wished I had a cellphone. Being the anti-technologist (at least when it came to phones), I found myself helpless and stranded. There was a small tent and an RV (recreation vehicle much like a caravan) in the distance.</p>
<p>We walked around the barbed wire and looked around for any sign of human life. Windchimes sung but no one answered us. A rather large dog barked and started to walk toward us.</p>
<p>No chain. No fence. Min cringed. The dog looked like Barkley (Sesame Street) to me.</p>
<p>Huge refrigerators and propane tanks lay all over the place. A man walked out and greeted us, and we explained our plight to him. Borrowed his phone and the Yellow Pages. Called a tow truck. 40 minutes.</p>
<p>David (that was his name) showed us around. He had built the whole place up with his own hands. Two huge buildings that were to be a restaurant and bar, the larger a dance hall. From the ground up. Electrical systems, plumbing and a large commercial-sized kitchen. Two hands over a few months. Wow.</p>
<p>We had the nicest talk about his upcoming business, the Iraq War (who could avoid that topic), satellite television, phone bills, and of course, Jose his big yellow dog.</p>
<p>Jose was a joy. Half coyote, so we learnt. He had that sad doggy eyes and was a nice huge cuddable size.</p>
<p>Our tow truck came and loaded the car on the flatbed. It took us all back to Tucson at 75 miles per hour, much faster than I drove towards Florence (and still overheated). $155. Thank you very much.</p>
<p>The mechanic then told me that a Ford Escort, similar to mine, was brought in only a few days ago, also a case of overheating. $2300 and a new engine later, that Ford Escort rolled out of the workshop.</p>
<p>I'd be lying if I said I wasn't petrified at the inpromptu assessment. My small web projects can hardly afford that kind of expenditure. My dreams of getting my 12" <a href="http://apple.com/powerbook/">Powerbook</a> took a hefty beating.</p>
<p>It's only been a few weeks since my car got broken into and my stereo stolen. A few months since my house got broken into and DVD player stolen.</p>
<p>So, the Wildcats beat the Bulldogs 96-95 in double overtime. The earth is round once again.</p>
<p>Throw in a few pictures of a tow truck, and a few happy licks from Jose, I'm a somewhat happier camper.</p>
<center><img alt="View of car being towed through the side mirror of the tow truck" src="http://www.tribolum.com/images/posts/car_towed.jpg" width="400" height="300" border="0" /></center>
<p>At least that's what I'm telling myself.</p>

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