Instant Car . ..Ma

June 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | 5 Comments
  So I worked late last night, because there were some things I had to take care of, which in fact will require me to work a lot for the next several days to catch up.  That’s entirely okay–overtime is cool.  I was supposed to pick up something on the way home from work, and in fact, this is my excuse for not doing it, so pay attention.
I was on the highway, on a big wide spot where another highway merges onto it.  There are about one, two, three…seven. Seven lanes in one direction for a couple of miles.  I was just to the left of the middle, making good time.  But the car had been shaking a bit, and I thought, “Hmm, I should really look at this when I stop.”  But at the end of the highway merge was my exit to stop and get what I was supposed to get, so I started to move to the right.  As I did, the car started to shake more and more.  “Hmm, yeah, definitely need to look at it when I stop.”  Then it started to really shake, I could tell there was something wrong with a wheel–I thought I had a flat.
Luckily, since it was past rush hour, the road was fairly clear, so I made it quickly to the right.  The entire car was wobbling like a drunk on a skateboard.  As soon as I got to the shoulder, I heard a solid “WHUMP!” and the car went down on one side.  Obviously a flat.  I should really look at that when I stop.
This car is a tiny car, and it sits very low to the ground.  Suddenly now, I was a few inches lower, as I skidded to a stop for the last several dozen feet.  It was a very surreal experience, sitting the car, feeling it stop, and watching my left front tire roll away from me and into traffic.
“That’s what the problem is,” I thought to myself.  “No damn wheel.  I should really look at that when I stop . ..”
Oh.  Shit.  I have stopped.
Luckily for me, about a week ago my cell phone was stolen out of my car, so I had no form of communication, except possibly for exotic dance–or smoke signals, because I could set the car on fire.  I took my wallet, and the face plate to the stereo, which was worth more, at this point, than the car–rolled up the windows, locked it, and got out.  I began walking towards the exit.  I had other things to deal with first, though, like my errant wheel.  Traffic had backed up mysteriously over in the two leftmost lanes, I wonder why…  Oh, yeah, cause a big truck hit my fucking tire, spun it up in the air, and it landed a couple of lanes over in front of another car coming down fast.  Nothing helps misery like spreading it around.  I walked and walked, about a hundred yards, and the tire kept getting pushed along slowly, like a bunch of gimps playing soccer.  Eventually I was able to run across four lanes of traffic and pick up my goddamn rim from the highway, run back, and drop it on the shoulder.
This thing was trashed.  The tire was off it, though, and still rolling down the highway like a metaphor for my godforsaken life.  The rim had fully one-third of one side missing, which is what allowed the tire to escape.  I kept walking, hoping to catch up to the tire, but it eventually came to a stop on the opposite shoulder.  Fuck it, it can stay there.
Only two miles to the exit.  I walked.
I am a pretty fast walker.  I’m a big guy, but I also have big legs, long and strong, and a determination not to stay on the highway.  I was about half a mile from the exit when I heard a car horn.  I turned, and there was a cop car.  Yay.  I hope.
He let me use his phone, gave me a ride to the gas station, asked if I needed to make a report.  None of the cars or trucks that had recently played Smear the Queer with my wheel had stopped, so there was no need for a report.
I call the Storm.  She sounds happy, thrilled even, to perform this small favor for her husband.  Her exact response?
“Aarrgh!  Fine.  Alright. I’ll get there when I get there.”  She was about half hour away.   The cop took me to the truck stop, so I bought something to eat and a newspaper, and sat at the counter and waited.  Finally she comes.  We go home.  I have calls to make.
I call my insurance agent first.  It is way after hours, but it connects me to their 24-hour service center.  I highly recommend going with a big insurance company, if only for that reason.  I had just gotten this car insured, and he said, “Get the towing!  It’s only three bucks.”  My agent is a friend of mine, too.  I trust him.  And this was a good decision.  The service center explained how it worked:  I pay for it, turn in the receipt, and get reimbursed.  Okey-dokey.  The first towing company I called said they don’t service that area, contrary to what the internet search said.  Hmmf.  Actually, the first one didn’t answer the phone.  The third one was fully prepared to come out, and said they would call 45 minutes in advance to give me time to get there.
They call back 20 minutes later, saying their truck broke down, so they can’t help me tonight.  Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think–?
In the meantime, at home, I also had to change the tire on the truck, because I was going to be driving that now.  It needs an alignment bad: one front tire has metal showing on one side, an obvious sign that something is wrong.  I may get that done today.  I was changing the tire when I got the call.  I am done with the internet for looking up local fucking numbers, by the way.  Just give me the goddamn phone book, already.  Shit.
The next guys were willing to come out, but I was leery.  I had the Storm’s phone with me, and went out to meet him.  I get there, and he had just pulled up.  He gets out, and comes over.  It’s dark now.  Traffic is roaring by, we are on the shoulder, and on the other side of the shoulder is a concrete wall, restricting us from moving over any further.
The guy looks at me, looks at the spot where a wheel should be, looks at me again.
I said, “Go ahead and ask me how my day has been.”
I stand and watch in the most helpful manner possible while he does his thing.  He hooks it up to the flatbed and drags it up.  Well, pragmatically, it already skidded like that across the asphalt for a good fifty feet.  Another 12 feet is not going to break anything that isn’t already broken.
He follows me to the restaurant I work at, and we put it behind the store in the alley.  I am not taking it to a shop, that’s for damn sure, and I didn’t thing the insurance company would cover all the way back to my house when there are mechanics ever hundred yards around here.
The car slid off the ramp a lot easier than we both thought; I was prepared to push it down if necessary.  It was too low to jack up, so I couldn’t get a jack stand under it.  It is just sitting on the ground, like a three-legged drunk.


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  1. You know, you really should get that tire looked at….  LOL
    I hate when things start going wrong with cars, because it seems like it\’s all downhill from there, one thing after another, until you\’re ready to take it out in the desert and use it for target practice.
    I\’ll admit to finding this funny, and being glad it wasn\’t me (this time). I can just hear the happy, joy, joy, in "Storm\’s" voice when you called for help.
    I gotta know, did anyone (the cop) who saw what happened, actually ask you, "So, what happened, did you lose a tire?" I always love those obvious questions, but find great fun in asking them myself. LOL BIG HUGS, Steph

  2. you know speaking of car problems, i got into mine today and unlucky for me, the car kept going on and off like a power outage type thing. It kept stopping and starting with clicks, I don\’t know what was going on? Who knows? Any idea?

  3. eesh.. whatta shit day!  Sounds very close to some of my \’lovely\’ life stories… glad u got home safely.. and sorry… but SHAME on  her for being so grumpy about coming to pick you up!  Shit happens.. it\’s how u deal with it that matters!  and for the record, I think ur doin great.. considering lol
    Hugs n Fondles,

  4. Poor Nigel… if you think you had a bad day, just think of him! There he was, minding his own business, trying to get his best friend home in one piece and *poof!* there goes one of his feet… one of his new feet at that! Slam, bam, thank-you-ma\’am, he\’s hitting pavement! Then he has to sit on the side of the friggin\’ road till you come back with some big-bud to give him a lift!
    Quit being so self-centered. Jeesh. Does it always have to be about YOU?
    okay, so I\’m glad you\’re okay.
    and, yeah.. probably a good thing you didn\’t have any road trips planned or anything… but then again, with the drive you make to and from work every day, that\’s a road trip in and of itself.
    oh hell, hang in there. maybe tomorrow something different will happen.
    hugs and stuff

  5. proof read proof read proofread man! you are going to lose your fanbase, esp. those law firm cronies you just picked up. they are sticklers for punctuation, and chicks dig guys that can spell right. very funny story though..much better than the angry rant about the cheese steak thingy.dude.

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