It's half past midnight in Wisconsin. Just came home from work.

I worked 4 pm to midnight. I started driving to work around 3:40 pm but immediately noticed the rough ride. I pulled to the side, came out of the car, and there it was: a flat tire.

Normally I would call Allstate Autoclub. But this was Sunday afternoon in the Northwoods. The rules of emergency service in this town are simple: Don't let your car break down on a week-end. If you do, we'll be happy to help you Monday morning. Argh!

I called the guy at work to let him know I was going to be late. Then I called my manager at home, and got her answering machine.

So, I called Keith, a friend I can always rely on. His wife told me he was out of town.

I then called the big boss, the guy who owns the business I work for.

"Call a cab," said he. "I'll pay for it later."

"It's Sunday," said I. "And this is Rhinelander. No cabs on Sundays."

"Nonsense!" says he. Then he talks to someone off the phone. "My wife says there are no cabs on Sundays."

Isn't that what I just said???

Then he says, "I'll drive you to work, but not home. I'll be in bed at midnight!"

Hahaha. We both know that if I can't get to work, he won't be able to find anyone on such a short notice, and he'll spend his Sunday afternoon at work. (I work with the disabled, so someone has to be there all the time.)

"I'll drive you to work," repeats he. "We'll figure a way to get you back home."

So, I call work again, to assure the guy I was coming, albeit late.

I wait, and wait, and wait. Then wait some more. The temperature is 34 degrees F (1 degree C). Finally, 30 minutes later, two vans pull in. My boss's wife in the first, he in the second.

She comes out of her van, points at it and says, "Here's your coach. We figured this was the easiest way."

And that's how I got to work and back home. The life in a small town does have its advantages.