Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

They need to invent some new swear words

Because, seriously, I used them all up tonight.

My mind is still a little jumbled after NEARLY BEING FREAKING KILLED, so I'm going to go with a timeline here.

3:30: I come out of the grocery store and notice, hmm, my left front tire's a little low. I'm VERY proud of myself for noticing this, because I've had two flat tires in my life and both times they had to be pointed out to me by people in OTHER CARS. So I give myself an imaginary gold star for acting like a kinda-adult and make a mental note to put air in the tire (or, more appropriately, have someone ELSE put air in the tire) later.

4:40: I'm on the highway when my car starts making weird noises. I took my car to the shop last week and they told me I needed a new something converter, and I haven't gotten around to it yet, so I figure that's it. But THEN my car starts sort of rocking back and forth, like it's off balance. DAAAAAMN IT! Flat tire!

4:43: Pull off the highway and into the nearest gas station. Jump out of car, expecting to see scraps of rubber hanging off the wheel, and ... nothing. It looks the same as it did before. OK, well, I KNOW it needs air, so time to figure out the air thing.

This is where I'm a total embarrassment to the women's movement. I have NEVER put air in my tires before. I have a tire gauge, but I've never used it. So I do what any independent, empowered woman would do: I get someone in possession of a penis on the phone to walk me through it. The only problem is, I can't get the gauge to work. And I can't get the air thing to fit over the valve thing right. And it's 100 degrees, and I'm in the middle of a busy intersection, and oh yeah--I'm STARVING and totally unable to deal with stress without piling a fistful of chocolate in my mouth. That too.

I kinda, sorta get some air in my tire. I have no idea whether it's made a difference. All I know is that I need to get to my coffee shop and put some food in my stomach NOW.

7:13: I leave coffee shop. Car is making noises again. I stop and proceed to take every last thing out of my trunk. Why? I have no idea. Just in case it helps. It kind of smells back there, sort of like an acrid smell, and I think maybe it's the uncleaned microwave that's been in my trunk for two months. (Look, I KNOW it's gross ... just trust me. There's a reason.) I get down on my stomach and look under the car. Because, you know, I TOTALLY know what I'm looking for.

7:53: Go to Target. Come out, start car, car immediately starts acting up again. My mind's racing: "Should I put more air in the tires?" "Should I call someone to come get me?" I decide to just get myself home, and then first thing in the morning I'll get it checked.

8:08: Hello, ANGEL OF DEATH. Car starts FREAKING OUT on the highway. OK, seriously. I know I exaggerate sometimes, but I am being stone cold serious here. I'm driving along at, like, 60 mph, and my car starts JERKING BACK AND FORTH. LITERALLY. IN FRONT OF TRAFFIC. Like, I'm GRIPPING the wheel, and I CANNOT CONTROL THE CAR. Imagine fishtailing on an icy road, only there's no ice and your foot is NOWHERE NEAR the brake. It was seriously ... oh, my gosh. I'm shocked I didn't crash the car.

8:14: Somehow, I make it off the highway without leaving scores of bodies and smashed cars in my wake. I pull off to the side. I walk to the back of the car and, like, my tire is practically on fire. It's smoking EVERYWHERE and smells HORRIBLE. I'm easily 15 minutes, maybe more, from home. I am totally freaking out.

8:22: My friend nicely overlooks my stream of profanities and talks me into using the back roads to try to get myself to the shop I usually go to, which is open until 11. I don't really think that's a great idea, but I've got to get my car SOMEWHERE and I don't want to wait around for a tow truck or for someone to come get me (because it's MUCH better to die in a fiery blaze), so I go.

8:48: After going 20 mph the whole way, I pull up to the shop and not one, not two, but THREE guys come over. Smoke starts BILLOWING up from the tire. Mechanic A grabs a drill thing and pulls off my tire.

Mechanic A: Holy SHIT!
Me: OK, holy shit? Holy shit is not what I want to hear.
Mechanic B: I've never seen it this bad.
Me: OK, what? What this bad?
Mechanic A: It's so hot, the metal's RED.

It takes them a HALF an HOUR to get the metal thing off that holds the tire, because it's so hot. Basically, it boils down to this: The ball bearings in the tire got so hot, they melted down. That caused the tire to bend in, which--wait for it--PRESSED ON THE REAR BRAKE PADS. So that's why my car was jerking itself around--the front was doing one thing, and the back was doing another. The whole thing is a result of wear and tear, but possibly was accelerated by the fact that I forgot to take off the emergency brake from the grocery store to the house. (Oops.)

Luckily, the guy there likes me, so it's only going to cost me $120. And I'll get my car back tomorrow.

Now I just need to get my breathing back to normal.

At least I worked out before I almost died. Day 1 was a success!


At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL..."someone in possesion of a penis!" They do come in handy sometimes don't they?

Sonds like a scary ordeal, I'm glad you lived to tell the tale.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Swishy, you're a mush head!!!! I'm glad you made it through, tho. sounds scary. i know nothing about cars and can't change a tire or put air in my tires either. Loser!!!

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad you are safe and sound. I would have been scared, too but the car idiot I am, I would have kept on driving to work, never pulling over & stopping. I always think that if the car is running and there are no check engine lights, it's okay...real smart, eh?
yeah you caught it before flames overtook it.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Eileen said...

Yowza. Next time I vote for the tow truck

At 4:27 PM, Blogger TTQ said...

What's a tire gage? I never put my emergency brake on, because I too would drive around with it on. But I live in Florida there are no hills. I hate when honey uses my car, he uses it....and I never notice..

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Scribe LA said...

I am so glad you made it out alive and in one piece :-)
Although not the best way to find something to post about, at least you got a posting out of your ordeal, right?

At 2:09 AM, Blogger Swishy said...

Seriously, is that not insane?! I agree that I'm an idiot for continuing to drive.

Scribe, once I realized no one was going to die, that's EXACTLY what I thought!

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Andie said...

I've driven with my emergency brake on before. I started to smell burnt rubber and realized something wasn't right. LOL

Glad you're ok!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Christa said...

You poor thing. I have a story like that, except it involves parking my Lebaron-formerly-known-as-the-shitbox on a rebar strategically positioned to tear a nice huge gash in my oil pan. And my husband, to this day, "YOU COULDN'T TELL YOU PARKED ON REBAR STICKING OUT OF THE GROUND? COULDN'T YOU FEEL THE IMPACT?" (No. That's why I was dumb enough to drive it whence it emptied oil for two miles before blocking traffic at a major intersection. I feel you.

At 2:00 AM, Blogger Swishy said...

Oh, Christa. HA HA HA. We are two little peas in a pod. That's SO something that would happen to me!

At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You so need a car like mine, that beeps at you if you leave the emergancy breaks on! As before my car I always left it on!!

Glad your safe...



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