Crash, Boom, Bang

It’s getting to the point where I don’t even like to leave the house anymore.  During the mini-ice storm, I pretty much stayed inside the entire weekend.  Now, you’d think that things would be easier on Monday, once all the ice had melted away, but no. Because once the ice goes away, it often manages to take some of the road with it.

I was on I-55, heading into the office. Traffic was chugging along at a pretty good clip, so I didn’t see the pothole in the left lane until I hit it. It was one of those hits that you know isn’t good as soon as it happens. It was one of those hits that you actually feel in your upper body. As you feel the jarring hit, you almost think the next thing you’ll see is the left front tire flying off the car and spinning onto the berm. I was happy that I drive a ’99 Toyota, so I didn’t have to worry about the gas pedal sticking.  Anyway, the car kept rolling, and I got all the way to Kirby and Poplar without noticing any problems. The drive had been smooth enough that I didn’t even think I needed to check the tire after I got into the parking lot at work.

Down for the Count

Once I got inside, I had other issues to deal with. I turned my computer on… and nothing happened. Actually, a gray screen came up, but nothing else. The company’s IT expert gave me the company’s spare laptop and took my Mac Mini to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store. Turns out the hard drive needs to be replaced. A surprise, since I’ve been using a Mini at home for 5 years without a problem. Of course, at work, not having my regular machine meant that I couldn’t access anything sitting on the desktop of my computer. I figured I’d run home at lunch at get my laptop so I could get some work done.

Not Going Anywhere

As I was driving out of the parking lot, I heard that “wubba, wubba, wubba” sound that flat tires make. Why is my car making that sound, I thought. Turns out ’cause my left front tire was flatter than the president’s poll numbers. I “wubba’d” across the street to the gas station to put some air into the tire. Oh look, it’s 75¢ to get air! After going inside to get change, I pumped air into my tire, but apparently all that air had someplace better to be, ’cause it sure didn’t stay in the tire. I never liked those tires. The car had Michelins when I bought the thing, but I had replaced them with BF Goodrich’s a service guy at the dealership talked me into. Car never rode the same after that.

My Spare Didn't Care

Well, now I had to spend 20 minutes of my lunch hour putting the the doughnut spare on the car. I figured that would last long enough to pick up my laptop and drop the dead tire off for a replacement. I get a few yards out of the gas station parking lot and hear a rumble louder that the “wubba” from the flat. Turns out my doughnut had a hole in it too, and was flatter than the regular tire. I’m on Poplar Avenue by this time, so I limp the car up to the BP at Poplar and Ridgeway for more air. Another 75¢ later, I find out that the spare wasn’t holding air either. $5 later, I’m spraying a can of Fix-A-Flat into the spare, hoping it’ll last long enough to get to someplace that actually fixes tires.

New Tire

As I’m heading out to Ridgeway, I hear spinning and see smoke. Turns out the tire isn’t attached to the wheel… which is spinning freely, while the tire isn’t turning at all. I gave up at that point, backing up and parking where I could call AAA. After talking to someone in Florida and someone else in Nashville, and listening to a recording, the wrecker showed up after only about 20 minutes and took me to Fox Plaza Tire. $110 later, and warnings of a bent rim, I’m back on the road. Fortunately, without the shake the repair shop told me to expect.

The first 100,000 miles went by without any problems, but the 2nd hundred thousand is turning out to be a be-yotch!

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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