The phone rang at 7:30 AM.

“Uh, hello, Anna,” said the extreme country accent. “This is Bones. I’ll be there in ’bout 15 minutes.”

“Huh?” I muttered, half-asleep. “But you’re not supposed to be here til 8:00-ish!”

“Mah ETA is 7:43, ma’am.” And then the AAA tow driver hung up.

I heard Bones arrive. It wasn’t necessary that he call to announce himself. I could hear his radio blaring some kind of whiny country music throughout the entire hotel parking lot. Bones of Bones Towing was a young man in his early 20’s. His country accent was so thick, I noticed, because he barely moved his mouth when he spoke.

I explained that I didn’t necessarily need a tow, but he couldn’t find his jumper cables, which I thought was sort of odd. He proceeded to try to help me pop the clutch of my car by pushing it across the fairly level hotel parking lot instead of down the hill, which was not only completely ineffective, but also another oddity.

Then I hopped into the Bones Tow Truck and we were off. I’d given the address to AAA the night before, but I knew roughly where we were headed. And when he took a left to go toward downtown Albuquerque instead of a right to go toward the Firestone service station, again, I thought it was a bit odd. “Hey, man, it’s down the other way,” I said.

“Naw,” he replied. “I punched the address here in my GPS, we’re on the way.”

I decided to let it go. I’d get there eventually.

Albuquerque’s morning sky line is filled with hot air balloons. I’ve been wondering why, but haven’t had the chance to ask a local. “Hey, Bones, why all the hot air balloons in Albuquerque in the mornings? What’s that tradition all about?”

“I don’t know. I’m a tow truck driver, not a balloon driver.”

He drove quietly for a few moments, then out of nowhere, flipped a bitch in a church parking lot, exclaiming “Mah GPS fucked me over!,” and headed in the direction I wanted to go.

UPDATE: Here’s my driver and his GPS!