I have been fortunate to not have been stuck with a flat tire in probably 10 years. Luckily, I have no issues or conditions limiting my ability to change my own tires. For that I am grateful. So, yes, as I bitch and moan here… I can also be grateful. Let the bitching begin…
This week, my streak was ended….
When in Texas, I usually drive my Jeep. The front end has been giving me MAJOR issues. I would like to add…. death wobble at 80 mph in a lifted Jeep wrangler is NOT fun. I am assuming not safe either… not just your standard shimmy either. This wobble shakes you so violently that i am pretty sure it has resulted in yet even more brain damage ( ya ya… I can hear all of you saying that explains alot). It makes my ass pucker majorly, i am still pooping seat cushion as a matter of fact…..It was time to get it to the shop. I have a ton of Avis reward points, so I could leave my Jeep at a shop and get the work done, and be very little out of pocket to drive a rental. Only problem is the nearest location is about 60 miles away. A friend at work lives near it and gave me a ride.
I got there right as they were closing, they only had one car left. 2017 Impala. Generally, I like these cars. Have driven several. Plenty of power, smooth ride, and handles pretty well. And the ones that come with all the options, let’s just say, makes me forget they look like a Old folks/cop car hybrid. I walked with the agent around the car to document any damage incurred previously. A few minor scuffs and scratches, nothing major. He tosses me the keys, says sorry, this was the only car left. He then scurried back to the office to close (I can’t blame him, when work is done, work is done!)
As I sit in the car, I suddenly transform into a 87 year old man from Brunswick. I look down at what once were a pair of Chuck Taylor’s, to see a spiffy pair of white penny loafers, accented by black orthopedic socks, sensible brown polyester slacks, crisp ironed in perma-crease.
Maybelle knows how I like my slacks. Looking sharp old boy! “Yessir, sensible car, no frills or gadgets. All them buttons and dohickeys only confuse me.” Check the mirror and adjust my taxicab driver cap, glance over to my right expecting to see my elderly, drunken wife, Maybelle. She hasn’t drew a sober breath since the day we wed.
Can’t blame her really. I mean ya have to find a way to deal with me.
Instinctually, I reached for the jockeybox for my McNally’s road map. Thankfully the odor in this rental snapped me out of my dementia riddened trance. Thank goodness, my Chuck Taylors are back. Smelled like the car had been inhabited by a family with 20 children, all under 4 yrs old, diapers full, half eaten and half spilled food and drink…and ironically as a smoker, I’ll bitch about smoke odor in here as well..
I’ll roll the windows down and get air freshener. At least I am not without a car.
20 minutes from the avis lot, warning lights began scrolling….check engine, change oil, tire pressure sensor needs recalibrating, and R.R. tire pressure low..add air.
Fine! I’ll add air, they can do the rest when I return it. For fucks sakes! This car is almost as demanding as my ex-wife, and it complained the whole time, just like my ex. No wonder this rental left a bad taste in my mouth.
Drove it for two uneventful days, until Thursday rolls around. Now …I am not the type who walks around and surveys their vehicle prior to driving it each time. It’s my opinion there is some things you don’t want to know. And then there is the fact that most mornings, I’d be damned surprised if I pay attention to what vehicle I am even getting in. This may prove to be a problem one day, especially if it’s on a day I forgot to put pants on once again , that’s a whole nother story though.
I zoned for the first mile, when I came to I suddenly realized that ‘fwappp- fwappp-fwappp’ was not normal. I pulled over and sure enough, flatter than hell. No gas station around. Find out later that it wouldn’t have held air anyways, seems the pothole I hit going home the night before did more than jolt the car. Already late for work….
I threw that donut spare on the front right side in little time. I then called Avis to let them know.. roadside lady said I can bring it in and exchange it or drive on the spare. With traffic and counter time, that would result in at least 3 to 4 hours of my day, and did I mention the close at 6 pm, noon on Saturdays, and closed Sunday’s?
Stayed on the donut. I now resembled an illegal guy of Spanish decent, or a tweaker from Southside trailer park “SHIMMERING TIN FOIL ACRES MOBLE HOME PARK AND IMPOUND LOT” in a Impala on the donut spare.
300 and some odd miles later, Sunday. Heading to the airport i am thinking I’m cutting my time close but I should make it. I realize I need gas as I am 60 miles from airport. I pull off the high way, down Morton rd, and turn to grab food to go from the Rig bar and grill, to be greeted by another damn pothole. Not huge either. Noticed it too late to swerve.
Fuck! There went the spare, bent rim as well.
Long and short of this story, Avis roadside assistant was an idiot, I had to tell him how to handle this roadside emergency, simple buddy…
Send me a car, or tow truck… either one.
Get it here fast
Fetch me, and this peice of shit, no frills, shitbox on 3 tires. (Did I forget to mention shitty car?)
Get me to the fucking airport…
Did I mention fast?
“Say it! I DARE YOU TO!!! SAY ‘WHAT’ ONE MORE TIME MUTHA FUCKER!!!! I GAWD DAMN DARE YOU!!!”
Needless to say, a tow truck shows 45 minutes later. He was cool. We bonded exchanging “chic stories” and our frustration over Sherman Texas going no Smoking and not being able to smoke in the bar now. was able to eat and have a beer (ok, you got me 2……. ok …3 beers), hey I can. I don’t have to drive till 10 pm when I arrive in Baltimore.
Fortunately I was able to get a flight 2 hrs later at no cost.
Through this I learned a little about myself and others:
In stressful times, I can still appreciate things to be grateful for.
I thrive on problem solving in chaotic moments.
Avis roadside service has no hiring parameters except “Can you operate a telephone?”
I bet they gave him a achievement recognition award for thinking out-of-the-box.
I LOVE TO BITCH