Friday, December 16, 2011

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night...

So yesterday I was talking about my tire problems. I said, “it’s December and I’m having tire issues ‘again.’” I’m sure you were sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what other tire issues I’ve had in December, weren’t you? No? Well, too bad because I have a doozy to tell you.

It was a dark and stormy night…

No, seriously, it was. And it was also Christmas Eve. I was on my way home from work and looking forward to spending my first Christmas with Vince. As soon as I arrived home, we were going to pack up the car with gifts and head to his dad’s house for a family celebration.

So I was racing home and was nearly there. The windshield wipers were thumping across the glass trying in vain to keep the water off my windshield so I could see the road in front of me.

And then I heard a loud pop.

Not knowing what it was, but knowing that my car doesn’t normally make that sort of sound, I pulled off the road. So even though I knew I was going to get pummeled by the rain, I stepped out of my car and walked around to see what might have caused that sound. And there, on the passenger side, was a flat rear tire.

So I did what any normal woman does in this sort of situation. I called my boyfriend.

Vince asked me if I thought I could get it up the street to the gas station where I could fill the tire with air enough to get home. And he would take it from there.

Yeah, right.

I did manage to make it to the gas station. Air, as I complained about yesterday, cost 75 cents. And I had to scrounge around in my car to find three quarters. So out into the cold deluge I went with the three quarters clutched in my shaking fingers. So I slid the first quarter into the slot, and then the second…but the third quarter fell out of my icy fingers and rolled under my car. Seriously?

Rather than kneel on the wet and muddy pavement to search for it, I trudged back around my car into the driver’s seat to see if I could scare up another quarter. Fortunately, I found one and managed to insert it into the slot without dropping it. And the air machine whirred to life.

Since my tire was flat as a pancake, I decided not to bother finding out what the air pressure was – I knew it was going to take a lot of air to get it reasonably full enough to drive. So I crouched there squeezing the handle of the air pump. By this point, my hair was dripping wet and it looked as if I’d just gotten out of the shower. I was freezing cold and getting, well, just a tad stressed out. But I kept trying to fill the tire.

After three minutes the air machine shut off, but my tire was still flat as a pancake. And I had no more quarters.

So I did what any normal woman would do in this sort of a situation.

I got back into my car and cried. And then I called my boyfriend.

By the time Vince answered the phone, I was sobbing into the phone – so his first thought might have been that I’d gotten hit by a Mack truck in the gas station parking lot or something. But, no. I just couldn’t get the tire to fill with air. He may have decided that I just didn’t know how to fill a tire with air – but he (fortunately) didn’t suggest any such thing.

So he did what any normal boyfriend would do in this sort of situation.

He drove over to the gas station to rescue me. I think he was a little shocked to see the soggy pitiful state I was in with dripping hair and eyes and running mascara – but he hugged me and told me he would take care of it. Then he steered me over to his car and told me to go home and take a hot shower and get ready to go to his dad’s house.

Which we were late for, incidentally.

So I called his dad’s wife and – still sniffling – told her what had happened. She reassuringly told me it was going to be fine and to just get there when we could. And to bring an extra large bottle of wine.

Turned out that the tire had actually exploded and there was no inner wall – so that tire was never going to fill with air no matter how many quarters we put into the air filler machine. Vince took the wheel off and put the little donut on the car and drove home – pretty drippy and freezing himself. But rather than complain about anything, he just held me close and told me how lucky I was that nothing worse had happened when the tire blew.

Probably if I’d known that was what was happening, I would’ve panicked and rolled the car or something.

Nevertheless, the tire was replaced a couple days later and all was right with the world again. Especially after I drank that extra large bottle of wine all by myself at his dad's house on Christmas Eve.

I kid. (Sort of.)


  1. Contact attorney re catastrophic tire failure. :-)