Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Flat Tire Blues

No “flat tire” story ever goes this:

“So I was driving on a mildly warm Saturday afternoon, when I got a flat. I said, ‘Gosh darnit. Fricken A.’ Luckily I was next to parking lot, and I pulled in. By pure luck, a AAA truck guy was eating lunch in his truck, I waved him over, and he happily agreed to help me. Whole thing took five minutes, tops.”

Not that there’s anything over the top about that story. No Playmates were involved, no findings of a fifty-dollar bill or winning scratch-it tickets.

It’s just that in my experience, changing a tire doesn’t involve sunny weather (or daylight for the most part), quick response of AAA (if called), or an adequate shoulder to pull off a freeway. It is a time-consuming process that happens at the worst time and gets your clothes dirty. And it usually involves a small amount of swearing.

I’ve had a few bad ones:

1) The time back in high school when I got a flat on the first day of owning my car. And having learn how to change a tire for the first time, on gravel and on a hill nonetheless.

2) The time I had a blowout on I-5, pulled over to the gravel shoulder, had a RATTLESNAKE greet me while I was lying on the ground! Yeah that was fun. Not to mention semi trucks blazing by at 70 mph three feet from me. Always a safe feeling.

3) The time we were driving to our Wednesday night poker game on a rainy night in Eugene. I pulled into a Red Lion parking lot to change a tire in the rain and got drenched. Had local rent-a-cops, Securitas, question what I was doing. What does it look like I’m doing at nine at night in the rain under my car with a jack and a lug wrench? F U Securitas. Oh and having Kirk, Jolly, and Hocka watch me change the tire in the rain. I don’t know if I ever thanked you all for your help.

4) So that brings us to last night. JJ and I drove to our casino, Chips Casino, up in La Center, WA. (Talk to Will, mention our names, and he’ll hook you up.) Anyways, it’s 2am and we’re on the highway a quarter-mile heading out of town and we hear “that noise.” Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Awwww fuccccckkk.

Nowadays, I have AAA, for situations just like this. We call and then say they can probably be there in an hour. I decide that I’m too tired and impatient to wait that long, turn them down, and try a go at it myself. After getting out the jack, cranking down the spare from under the car, and all that stuff, I find that my new Explorer has independent rear suspension, not your regular wheel-and-axle setup. Well crap, I don’t know exactly where to put the jack, and I don’t want the car crashing down on me, so fuck it. We drive back a quarter-mile to the casino, park in front, and wait an hour for AAA. Didn't get home until after 4am.

But there is some good news to this story I guess. JJ went back into the casino to play Pai Gow for that hour, and won back most of the money he lost earlier playing poker. And today, Les Schwab Tires didn’t charge anything to fix the hole in the tire. Les Schwab rocks.

Giraffe. What.


Pedro said...

Dude, I helped out so much with that flat tire, it was ridiculous.

You need a new damn car.


Giraffe said...

I did get a new one. Upgraded from a 1991 to a 2002 Explorer.

Come out to the Pacific Northwest sometime. We'll hang out and you can see the new wheels.

Roo said...

Flat Tires. What.

Marla said...

I miss Les Schwab so much! I have to pay $30 if I want the jackasses at Jiffy Lube to rotate my tires...plus the extra $5 or so when they strip all of the bolts on my wheels.