He asked if I could call AAA and come help him. I started my adventure...
As I was driving east on Manchester towards 270, I turned on an AM radio station to see if they mentioned the stalled car on the side of the highway, but all they talked about was the normally slow rush hour traffic. I pulled down the highway entrance ramp and immediately saw Donald's car about 200 feet ahead of me, I stopped behind him, turned off the ignition, and put my flashers on. Donald got in my car while we waited for the tow truck.
Donald's car is getting pretty geriatric. The exterior is showing its age and it's had a steady stream of minor mechanical problems over the past six months. Donald explained that due to the traffic jam, he was only going about 10 miles an hour when he tried to use the brakes and didn't get a response. He maneuvered the car over to the side of the road and used the parking brake to stop it. While he was waiting for me, he talked to someone who "knows" cars. The person suggested he try to drive the car, because it could have been an air bubble in the brake line that caused the failure. Donald told me that he drove a bit down the side of the highway and the brakes seemed to work. He wondered if the car was good to go. As much as I admired his resourcefulness, I couldn't agree with his assessment, and insisted that he get it towed to a garage to get it checked.
The tow truck came, loaded the car on the back, and we followed it to a chain facility in Sunset Hills. Unfortunately, the shop had no electricity due to the storm earlier in the day, so Donald left the car there, along with the keys and his phone number. I drove him back to Kirkwood so he could complete his original errand, and then to work.
I arrived back home a little over two hours after I left. So much for my quiet afternoon!