Tire Biter

Remembering with sorrow those lost on 9/11. And remembering those who struggled to save them. And prayers for those who still suffer.

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty much lost causes. I forgot my volunteer jacket when I went to the hospital on Tuesday and was debating whether to go back home and get it or wing it without my badge and grab a jacket from the volunteer closet. A guy walking by pointed at my car and mouthed something I couldn’t make out. I thought he meant I’d left my gas cap open. Since I hadn’t bought gas in forever, I thought that was a bit suspect. Plus my car yells if the least little thing is left undone, and it hadn’t been shrieking at me. Of course the seat belt warning and the lights-left-on warning don’t seem to have worked in a while but the door- and trunk-left-open signals still yell with gusto.

I got out of the car and discovered I had a seriously flat tire on the rear passenger side. I have no idea when it happened and I didn’t feel it when I was driving. So I went in and told the secretary in the volunteer office that I might not make it. Then I called AAA. The service facility happens to be the same place where I take my car for oil changes, etc., and it’s within walking distance of the hospital and of my house. Anyway the AAA tells me the guy will be there in 45 minutes. I call Larry to let him know and while I’m on the phone, the guy from AAA calls and says he’s 10 minutes away. Then he says, “Don’t I know you?” I said, “Yeah, I spend far more time at your place of business than I would like.”

He shows up and pulls the spare out of the trunk. It is – be still my heart – a full sized tire and not a “doughnut.” Not that it matters since the station is so close. Then he asks me for the key to unlock the lug nuts. I had no idea what he was talking about, didn’t even know they were locked. He said check the glove compartment. I knew it wasn’t there. It’s full of old insurance cards, even older maps and deposit envelopes for the ATM. So he’s getting ready to put air in the flat so I can drive down to the station where they do have a key, when he feels in the little plastic packet that holds the jack – and voilà! a key for the lug nuts.

He pulls off the old tire and there is a nasty looking nail in the tire. He says the service folks can fix it. So I drive down and leave the tire. They say it’ll either be later in the afternoon or the next morning. And that they’ll have to put that tire back on because the spare is a steel wheel and the others are alloy. I say fine. By this time I’m hot and tired and need to get on with my errands. So I go mail my cousin’s birthday present and return a couple of books to a couple of libraries. Now I’m even hotter and tireder [?!] and hungry, too.

So I’m home having a large restorative cup of tea when the phone rings. The guy at the repair shop says “Ooops – can’t fix the tire because it was driven on too far when it was flat and it ruined the inside.”  At least I think that’s what he said. I just heard that it was going to cost me more money. And it wouldn’t be ready till the next day because they didn’t have that tire in the shop and it was getting late – it wasn’t 3:30 yet, but I didn’t argue. So they’d call in the morning. I said fine.

Next day, the morning passed and I was wondering if they’d forgotten me. They finally called about 12:45 and said they had the tire. They prorated the cost of a new one because I had bought the tires from them and there was a partial warranty. So I got about half off the price. The culprit turned out was a large industrial staple, which I’m sure I picked up in our garage.

Hoping that’s the end of this set of gremlins.


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