Friday, April 15, 2011

Paying the Price Part 2

I really did some good planning when I scheduled my spring break. My first day back to work was the day I normally work from home, so I eased back into my normal routine and did not have to venture out until it was time for my chiropractic appointment at the end of the day.

The next day was a normal work day, commuting to and from the office without incident. (The calm before the storm, lulling me into a false sense of all's well.) Then Friday came along and I worked at home again in order to attend the monthly meeting of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. I stepped out the door, dressed in my Texas flag shirt, jeans and high heels, with about 20 minutes to get to the bank before the meeting began.

And I discovered my front left tire was as flat as the proverbial pancake. I was all dressed up and facing the sweaty task of changing the tire. I debated calling the wrecker, which I had done on a couple of occasions in the past when I drove SUVs. The tires on those things are very nearly too heavy for me to lift. I decided it would be a better idea for me to experience changing a tire on Big Red.

I quickly discovered I did not even know where the spare tire was. I pulled the owner's manual out of the glove box, located the tire and the tire tools (there are a lot of hiding places in that little car), and proceeded to hold the manual with one hand and wield the tire tools with the other. I managed to successfully complete the job in under a half-hour, during the process of which I discovered that the spare was seriously under-inflated. But of course it was.

So I crept out of the subdivision and across the highway to the convenience store, where I discovered the going rate for an air hose these days is $1 for about 5 minutes worth of air. Inflation. (Pun intended.)

One wonders just what in the heck your kharma is up to some days. I had just begun the process of airing up the tire when this car comes up from nowhere to park beside me. The air hose was nowhere near the convenience store or the gas pumps, but rather all the way across the parking lot all by itself. Being the suspicious sort, I prepared to jump up and start screaming if some hulking speciman attempted to acost me, but it was a tiny little woman who sprang from the car and asked if I might have an extra cigarette she could have.

Well, gee, Lady. Wish I could help you since I'm not doing anything else at the moment but buying incredibly expensive air while I'm kneeling on concrete and trying to get a recalcitrant pressure gauge to register ANYTHING, but, sorry, I don't smoke.

Then she wanted to know if my car was electric; oh, no, it's a hybrid, isn't it? At this point I was about ready to insert the uncooperative pressure gauge into her ear, but I was wearing a Texas flag shirt and driving a bright red Prius and would be way too easy to remember for later describing to the police, so I opted for being polite and agreeing with her that yes, the label she was pointing to on the car was indeed correct in describing it as a hybrid. Thankfully, she ran out of steam at that point and got back in the car and drove off.

By this time I had come to the conclusion that my guardian angel was on her own spring break or else my stars were not even close to being aligned.

I drove on to the tire store and delivered Big Red into the capable hands of the service folks, made my way to the waiting room, discovered I was totally dehydrated by that time, and found a lone $1 bill in my purse with which to purchase a bottle of water from the soda machine. Miraculously the bill reader agreed to take my dollar and give me change, but it wasn't feeling like giving me a bottle of water today. Nope, not a diet Coke either. Nope, you ain't getting nothing, Lady.

I think the guy at the service desk knew I was beginning to reach the end of my rope because he brought me a bottle of water from the employee stock. Good people at that store. That's why I keep taking my business there.

After all of this fol-de-rol, you might think I would have headed back to the house and crawled back in bed and kept the covers over my head for the rest of the day. But, I went on to my meeting and arrived in time to attend the business portion of the agenda. After that, I went home and locked myself in the house and decided that discretion was the better part of valor and I would tackle life again the next day.

I should have stayed in bed another day, I think....


1 comment:

RMG said...

Ice cream and good books were invented for those days... Be glad you don't drive a dually, it's ALWAYS the inside tire...