I had a hectic day yesterday. I had to run my son up to Boston Children's in Waltham to get more X-rays of his recovering broken leg. He is in a walking boot now and is almost mended, but not quite there yet.

After we got out of the orthopedic appointment, my son was looking for some food. No problem, I thought, I have to get gas anyway, so I'll swing through the drive-thru when I do. Since the appointment was during my busy time of day, I was conducting business on my phone for most of the way up and back. Needless to say, I was so engrossed in my call, I completely forgot to get gas after we went through the drive-thru.

Not good.

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A few miles up the road, I felt the engine give out a conk. That might be one of the worst sounds in the world. That sound is immediately followed by one of the worst feelings in the world – that moment you realize you need to get to the breakdown lane quickly because you're about to run out of gas.

Luckily, we had just enough momentum to get us over to the side of the highway.

"What are we going to do?" asked my son. "Are we going to call mom?" Not a chance. She's the absolute last person I want to know about this situation.

"I'm going to call AAA," I told my son. "They can help us out."

Less than five minutes later, as I was explaining to AAA where we were, a big tow truck pulled up right behind me. It said MassDOT (Department of Transportation) and the Mapfre insurance logo on the hood.

That's when I met Mike.

Mike was my guardian angel. He told me that he could hook me up with some gas, then gave me directions to the nearest gas station. I've never been more appreciative of a total stranger in my entire life. I apologized to him for not having any cash with me, as I would have loved to give him a few bucks. He waved it off and told me that it's a free service and, "it's just my job."

What an awesome job that must be, showing up out of nowhere when people are at their most vulnerable. I'm so thankful to Mike, MassDOT, and Mapfre for sponsoring this incredible public service. Mike completely solved what could have been an incredibly painful situation.

P.S. This led to a whole thing about the proper pronunciation of the insurance company named "Mapfre." Listen to the audio above all the way through to find out how to say it.

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