El Camino

May 21, 2008 at 4:55 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
Which is Spanish for *the* Camino.
….Oh, Camino means "road."

  I’m on my way home yesterday afternoon, after a long day sitting on my ass at a desk running paper through a scanner.  The difference between a scanner and a shredder is pretty subtle, let me tell you.  If my scanner isn’t working right, it shreds paper.
  I wonder if a shredder is broken, does it scan the paper instead?
  Speaking of broken, Nigel started to act a little funny on the highway.  At first I thought it was the wind, but then I went right away to "Oh my God, I’m going to lose a wheel!"  It started to wobble and shake a bit.  Luckily, I just passed by an exit when this happened.  I begin my descent, and pull over.  Flat tire.
  Weeeellllllll.. ……..fuck.
  I get out and look at it.  Sure enough, it was flat.  Okay.  Well, I have a spare.  But no jack or lug wrench.  But I have one thing that I’ve never had before when I was stranded:  I have a phone.
  I have a jack and a four-way in my shed.  I’ll just dial up the ol’ GF and have her bring that stuff out; everything’ll be fine.  I call her up.
  One ringy-dingy….
  Two ringy dingies….
  No answer.  I call again because sometimes my beloved is in the bathroom or simply on the other line ignoring me.
  One ringy-dingy….
  Yeah, no answer again.  I wait a bit and try again, and wait some more and try.  Meanwhile, I’m on the passenger side of Nigel, standing outside leaning over him, watching the road.  The highway is loud and bustling.  Cars whiz by, and big trucks roar by.  All of this creates lots of wind and noise for me.  Nigel bobs a little whenever trucks go by.  I look at the sky–it looks like rain.  That would be perfect.  Oh, wait.  I have my sunglasses on.  Okay, just partly cloudy.
  I had a backup plan, but I wanted to give Detroit adequate chances first.  Because my next call would be to my ex-wife, who would be more than happy to come out and save my ass…
  [Do ya’ll remember "instant carma"?  Even when I was married to her, she didn’t want to come out and help me.]
  …Or something more logical.  I called my cousin Joey.  "Joe, can you do me a  favor and go over to my house, get my jack and four-way out of the shed, give them to my girlfriend so she can come out here and save my butt?"
  "What’s a four-way?"
  "A threesome with one too many dicks.  You don’t know what a four-way is?"
  He was in the middle of doing dinner for the fam, but he said he would turn it off and be right over.
  He came over with his buddy Dan, surprised Detroit because she had no idea.  As it ended up, Detroit stayed home, Dan dropped Joe back off at his house, and Dan came out to save me.  I’ve met him a few times before.  Laid back, easy going young guy–of course pre-occupied with what is "cool," like his car and stereo.  Hell, so was I a long time ago when I gave a shit.
  We get the car back on the road.  When I pulled the spare tire out of the trunk, I had to go through the back seat because the trunk doesn’t open in the strictest sense of the word.  I get to the tire, and the little indent where it lies is full of water.  No wonder I smell mold all the time.  In there with it is the jack and the tire tool for the truck.
  Rusted.  Plus, the tire tool I knew wouldn’t fit Nigel anyway.  Why did I have that shit in there?
  Dan follows me to my house, and I thank him.  He says, "Anything for a friend."  The way he said it sounded like a code of honor.  I appreciate that.  He’s good people.  Detroit gave him a hug for saving me.
  I left work an hour late, at four, to make up for leaving early the previous day for a dentist appointment because I had broken a tooth and lost a filling.  It never rains, but it pours.  By the time I get rescued, it’s almost 530.  I get home close to six, and make a quick call to the Firestone down the street.  They are open till 8.  Glory be.  Not only can I get the tire down there, but with luck I can get it back tonight.
  The girl working the desk at Firestone reminded me of an actress named Robin Duke.  And her name was Robin as well.  Maybe she was having trouble finding work as a actress?  It’s a tough gig, I hear.  She said they would have it done next, so I went down the street to grab some smokes and came back.  Traffic on the main drag–by the time I got back it was done.
  The tire looked different.  I asked her, "Is that the same profile as the one I had?  It looks taller."  I was concerned because there wasn’t much room.  I had 15 inch rims on this tiny car that necessitated low profile racing tires.
  She said, "This one has air in it."  Every where I go I find smart asses.  But the tire this one replaced had been worn very badly on the inside.  So much so that metal belt was showing, and it looked like a chunk eaten out from uneven wear.  The other front tire showed signs of it, but not as bad.  My alignment was seriously deficient.
  But that’s a problem for another day.  My priority was getting Nigel back on the road.  Both literally, and in a figurative sense.  He’s happier–I’m happier–on the road.
  El Camino.

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