Man, was I looking forward to the Green Bay show. It has been years since I last set up in Green Bay. I had planned to bring all of my baseball and football binders. I really wanted to head up to Green Bay Friday after work but I was just too tired.
So, I woke up at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, showered, loaded the car and was on the road by 5 a.m. Then around 6 a.m. all the dashboard lights came on in my car and the engine shut down. I rolled off the highway at the Elm Road exit in Oak Creek.
I figured maybe I just needed a jump and I could be back on the road to Green Bay fairly quickly. I called AAA. I had just renewed my membership in March. I told the lady at AAA where I was located and that I needed a jump. She sent me a link to the technician stating time off arrival -- 8:12 a.m. Ugh! Well, Green Bay was out of the question, I was still a good two hours away.
I messaged Matt, the promoter, to let him know my situation then laid back in my car and tried to fall asleep. I was so disappointed and was unable to relax. I really wanted to do the Green Bay show. I was in my car, filled with cards, ready!
I thought maybe my engine needed some oil, which I keep a bottle in the car. I put some oil in. The car almost started, it just wouldn't kick in. The battery seemed okay so I called AAA again to let them know that I no longer needed a jump, I needed to be towed to a mechanic. The AAA lady said she put an order in with a tow company nearby and they would tow my car to their shop.
I hoped that I could get to the shop soon and they could fix my car so I could drive home. A little while later the technician, who AAA first contacted at 6 a.m., called me. I told him what had happened to my car. He said I needed a tow. I told him I agreed and already put the request in. He advised that I call AAA and make the request again.
I did not take his advice, figuring a tow was on its way. At 8 a.m., after two hours sitting in my car on the exit ramp, I figured no tow was on its way. I googled the tow company and saw that they were closed on Saturday. I now knew that the tow was not coming. I called AAA. The lady told me my tow request was cancelled. I responded that I never cancelled the request and I am still stuck on the side of the highway on the exit ramp. I also told her the tow company was closed and asked that she find me a tow that was actually open.
She found another tow company and put in the request. The link showed that this tow was not coming until 9 a.m. I kept checking on the link showing the time of arrival and realized the AAA lady ordered the tow company to take me to that mechanic that was closed. I googled nearby mechanics and saw that a Meineke was open and figured I could ask the tow guy to take me to Meineke.
At hour three on the side of the highway, seemed like the second tow guy was not coming. Then a county sheriff came by to check on me. The sheriff gave me a printout of tow companies. She told me AAA is bad and I should call one of the tow companies on the list.
I called the first tow company on the list and they wanted $180 to tow my car to Meineke, about 5 miles away. I said thanks but no thanks. I freakin' paid for AAA, they are supposed to show up and help!! I was not paying a $180 for a tow. I figured I would owe a few grand in repair costs.
I called back AAA. The AAA lady said the tow was on its way. I explained that I had been waiting three hours. She asked if I wanted to talk with her manager. I said only if that would guarantee that the tow would arrive. She did not have a response. I hung up.
At hour four along the side of the highway, the tow guy called and said he was on his way. He showed up around 11 a.m. and towed me to Meineke which turned out to be closed. Ugh! My wife showed up to take me home and we just dropped my key in the Meineke mail slot and left.
I was starving and we stopped for some food then gas, because gas is 60-cents cheaper in Oak Creek than by my house in Illinois. I got home around 1 p.m. and wondered what I missed in Green Bay.
Can someone who attended the Green Bay show let me know how it was? Is Matt going to do another show up there? I promise to make the next one!
So, Monday morning rolled around and I called Meineke. They said they checked out my car and it is $%^& up. Ugh! They said they could put in a new engine at an astronomical figure but advised that I junk the car. They gave me the name of a local salvage company. So now I gotta track down the title, junk the car and buy a new one. Ugh!
What really gets me is that I just spent $3K in repairs only a month or two ago. I got hustled by that mechanic -- About Automotive, Inc., in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Avoid this company at all costs!
Oh well. Such is life. Time to look for a new car. In the meantime, I'll be driving my wife's car so I should not have any issues making it out to any upcoming shows.
I used her car to get to Root River on Sunday. Not much to report on Root River because the show was like all of my shows so far in May, attendance was way down. This was actually my worst show of the year. When it rains, it pours!
Something is up. I don't understand why attendance is down at every show. Attendance was fine in April. Is it the weather? Is the great COVID Card Boom finally over? Maybe there are just too many shows right now. There seems to be multiple shows on every Saturday and Sunday. It looks like the hobby cannot support all of these shows.
Another thought is that maybe we are heading back to pre-COVID times in the hobby. Prior to COVID, I always saw a slow down in June but not May. Maybe the pre-COVID June slow-down has come a month earlier.
Next Root River show is July 17. I plan on setting up at that one and hope attendance picks up. I brought out a lot of good stuff out this past Sunday. Where were you guys?
Now I am a little concerned. I am setting up this weekend in Madison on Saturday and the new show in Janesville on Sunday. I hope I have a much better weekend! I may rent a car this week because my wife's car is gas-guzzler and I don't want to leave her without a car all weekend. Maybe my good buddy Dave McDonald can come pick me up Saturday morning? Come on Dave!