Sunday, June 2, 2013

fleas, flats and flowers ... well, maybe no flowers this time

Bought the little guy since he matches my set
All week I had been looking forward to my favorite local semi-annual flea market by the beach, held on Saturday.

I got there an hour early, which wasn't early enough apparently because there was no parking nearby, so rather than be one of those annoying parking space stalkers I parked pretty far away and decided to just hoof it- the weather was hot and gorgeous.

(I may have bumped the curb a little bit with my tire while parallel parking but if I did to this day I totally do not remember this)

Now, to back up a bit I had not mentioned this little jaunt to hubs because he gets a little stressed when I go to these things worried something very old and very large and very much not to his liking will be making its way home with me.

(I think he secretly dreams of having a normal wife who spends all our money in the mall buying shoes)

Anyhoo, I walk around for a couple hours and head back to my car being followed for blocks by one of those parking space stalkers.

I give him a friendly wave- like yes, I'm leaving and yes, I bestow my primo, "you will now walk 18 blocks to the beach in the hot sun" parking space to you.

I pull away drinking the lemonade I was lucky enough to buy from an enterprising 8 year old a few blocks back.

(my policy is to always buy anything enterprising 8 year olds are selling; luckily in my experience, this is usually limited to lemonade and girl scout cookies - the day some enterprising mama gets her 8 year old out there hawking more expensive stuff I may have to rethink this policy)

I immediately realize my car feels ... wrong - heavy and slow, it feels sort of tipped. I see the exclamation point on my dashboard and the menacing LOW TIRE PRESSURE warning light.

I get out and check my passenger side tires and the front tire is totally, down to the rim, flat.

I catch the guy who has nabbed my spot and explain my predicament and tell him I can't drive on my rim and really need my spot back. He literally puts his hand in my face and walks away.


I can't believe I didn't knee him in the balls. There are no parking spots anywhere. I drive back on the highway and pull into the first parking lot I can find - all the time my mantra is "this is a super- amazing rim and it is holding its shape" ...

It takes me about 10 minutes to find the spare tire - then another 10 minutes to get my car to release it - the car comes with a little crow bar that needs to go into a little hole to drop the tire and the hole was totally rusted. I finally get the spare tire to drop and figure out this little strange jack which I am certain I am putting in the wrong place.

 (I just realized I forgot the whole part where I try the can of fix-a-flat that I have been carrying in my car since 2007 - it doesn't work)

I actually get the car off the ground - I have no idea how, but then ... I can't loosen the lug nuts. After another 10 minutes I finally get the lug nuts loosened, I am now a sweaty, out of breath mess (thank God I had that lemonade) and thinking why the hell don't I have AAA, and then ... I can't get the tire off. And then ... I still can't get the tire off.

I once saw George kick a tire to loosen it, so I try that and only succeed in loosening my knee cap.

I give up and call George.

Hubs - I hope you didn't drive on the rim.
Me - *crickets*
Hubs - Did you hit a curb?
Me - No, no way, I didn't hit a curb, maybe somebody slashed my tire.

Now, I hit a curb at least once a week, but I am not about to say this.

George gets there, says, "yep you hit a curb, you need tires anyway" and finishes the tire change in about 5 seconds.

scored duck for farm animal pocketbook pin collection
The irony of this story is that I just mailed my final payment on my car last week.

I had 3 payments remaining but decided to take my Mother's Day earnings (from my shop, my family doesn't gift me with cash ... dammit) and pay it off.

I thought about getting AAA and had the application, which read EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, in my hand, but decided to wait since I had just made a GIGANTIC car payment.

So now, in spite of my GIGANTIC car payment, I need to buy NEW TIRES and get AAA ... on the plus side I do not need a new rim (and as I am typing this I realize I just blogged about a different tire rim - I am telling you my blog is prophetic these days - let me just throw the words lottery winner in here again) and I did score that cute little deer and add a duck to the farm animal, pocketbook pin collection I am working on this summer.


KJ said...

My regular car insurance covers the same things AAA does. Bad batteries, lock outs, tows, and most likely flat tires.

Throw out the crow bar and get yourself one of those cross ones- they give you leverage.

I guarantee you, once you do this you will never have a flat tire again. The law of being prepared. :)

On a related side note: I swear just about everyone is nice to me. Driving through a not so good section in St. Louis a few decades ago I had a flat. A nice young man stopped and helped me change it. That is when I got the crossed crow bar and have not had a flat since. That nice young man is still reaping the karma of my fond memories. It does all add up. The man with the NJ SE714K will have also reap the karma for years.

Catherine Ivins said...

That guy was an anomaly- to be fair he was probably driving around for an hour looking for parking- 2 police cars passed me, too , maybe I really looked like I knew what I was doing, maybe they are not used to helping people in these situations anymore- I used to have a car with a broken gas gauge and ran out of gas alot, people aways helped me - it all worked out in the end though - I didn't even think about my insurance, but it's Geico, so doubtful- I changed a tire once many years ago and my memory is that it was easy - with this car everything was rusty and stuck and it's only a 2008 - even the spare tire is rusty. The crow bar was tiny, the jack was tiny and had to be assembled, what a pain- maybe since it's a hybrid they need room for other things, maybe they assume no one actually changes their own tires anymore and it won't really be needed - definitely getting a crowbar! I am mailing the AAA card today- no doubt the law of being prepared will kick in and I will never need either, mostly I think because prepared allows us to not think/worry about it and when it loses our focus it fades away ..... xo

DancingMooney ♥ said...

It's a good thing you didn't use the fix a flat, because that stuff is awful and can be a mess to clean up before you put on the new tire... I mean, if you're stuck out in the middle of no where with no other options, then use the fix a flat, but thank goodness it didn't work and hubby was able to come help. Oy! And congrats on paying off your car... I've been driving the same vehicle for 10 years and now that hubby has a new truck, I am a bit jealous... since mine is a 93, I'm feeling like I might make it a goal to get a new vehicle in the next year or two, but I am not looking forward to the payments though. :p

Catherine Ivins said...

I'm glad the fix a flat didn't work then- it was just blowing air out the hole- some of that foamy stuff probably did get into the tire though, but I guess the tire is toast. I had my last car for a long time, too- this one I don't think I trust to drive that long because it's a hybrid and I've heard the electric battery is very expensive to replace plus George isn't so up on how to fix it when things start to go, but for now it will be great to not have a payment for a year or so. 10 years sounds about time Janell! xo