Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flat Tire

On my way to Megan and Matt's birthday dinner, I was running just a few minutes behind. I hopped in my car and merged into traffic on Westport Road. After a few blocks I noticed the SUV to my right was trying to flag me down. I rolled down the passenger side window ready with my response - "yes, I WAS on Check, Please" but the lady instead said "Your back tire is flat!"

I THOUGHT something felt funky.

I pulled into the Jiffy Lube on the other side of the intersection. They were closed. FUDGE. For about 30 seconds I had no clue what to do, I thought I was stranded in the Jiffy Lube parking lot until they opened in the morning. Then I remembered my Emergency Roadside Assistance card in my wallet. Since it was after hours, the number on the card had me call another number. And that number had me call a third. My glimmer of hope was waning.

I finally made contact with a human being and after giving her all my information and my location, she confessed that she wasn't sure how long it would be before someone could get to me.

Instead of getting upset, I got out the owner's manual.

1. Get everyone out of the car safely.

2. Put on the emergency break.

3. Get the spare tire out.
Tricky, but I got the SOB out of there.

Somewhere in the middle of all this the Roadside Assistance Lady calls to tell me someone should be there to help me in 15 minutes. Great, but I was feeling empowered and determined I could change my own flat tire.

4. Jack the car.

I looked at all the pictures in the manual and all the stickers on the jack, and I knew I was really close to figuring it out, but I was having trouble getting the jack to... uh, jack, I guess. Since the owners manual was really adamant about how dangerous this particular step was, and I wasn't sure if I was doing it right, I was REALLY glad the Assistance Guy showed up right then.

Did I mention this was in July? I was half drenched in sweat while wearing heels and a skirt. My knees and hands were filthy and my hair was haphazardly piled on top of my head in an attempt to stay cool. So I was thrilled when he got out of the car as was a complete cutie patootie.

With all the pride of a 4 year old showing off their macaroni art, I showed him the steps I had done. ALL BY MYSELF. He was genuinely impressed I had engaged the parking break, something - he said - 90% of people don't do and since I had taken the spare out, that was just something he didn't have to do.

And then he got to the jack on the ground and just laughed. As nicely as he could.

"What? What's wrong? What did I do???"

"Well, it's upside down."


I'm positive he found this endearing. While working he asked "So... why didn't you call your boyfriend to help you?" Which meant he wanted to ask me out.

But I'll tell that part of the story next time.