From Gut-wrenching to Merely Annoying

Published March 7, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Two days of gut-wrenching have been followed up by a day of extreme irritation.  Under normal circumstances, today’s events would be my usual state of “why does the universe hate me?” and ranting.  Compared to the previous two days, it seems shallow to be upset about what happened today.

Which is not to say that I’m pleased by today’s events in any way.

And I’m going to complain about them, because…well…it gives me something to post.  (The drawback of my “post every day for a year” plan.  Some (rather, most) days I just don’t have anything thoughtful or interesting to say.)

So most of the day was normal.  Apart from hitting an unprecedented number of long red lights on the way down to the museum.

As I’m leaving, though, the staff member with me notices that my tire–which I knew was quite low–wasn’t so much simply low as dangerously flat.  There’s a gas station down the street with a free air pump, so she accompanies me there, both to show me how to get there, and because I had told her that I’ve been afraid to try putting air into my tires since the last time I did it myself, I ended up letting the rest of the air out and needed to call roadside assistance.

So we try to fill the tire, and it’s not filling, and given the damage to the wheel cover and the rim, we conclude that the tire was probably damaged by the bad pothole I had hit on the way to the museum.  So we decide to change the tire.  I am, as always, incompetent at this, because I have no experience at it, and she ends up doing most of the work, even though she has a baby to get home to.  But we get the spare on, and she leaves, while I decide to move my car over to the pumps and fill up on gas.

By the time I get across the parking lot to the gas pumps–about four or five car-lengths’ away–the spare tire is also flat.  So after I’m done with the pumps–and washing the snow/salt residue off all my windows so I can maybe see around me while driving–I go back over to the air pump…which is by this point blocked off by a refueling truck depositing more gas into the underground tanks.  But the driver of the truck was very kind and helpful in getting the air hose passed to me.

But the spare tire wasn’t inflating, either.

Because the air pump wasn’t working.

So I had to call roadside assistance after all.

This is a roadside assistance program through my auto insurance.  (I really ought to get AAA, I guess.  Though they might well have been just as swamped, for all I know.)  So the people (and the machine that started out answering it) seem a little perplexed and possibly even annoyed that I’m calling just because of a flat tire.  But there was nothing else I could do but call someone for help, and the insurance company wasn’t going to charge me.  (Though they may raise my rates, but…I had to do something!)

Of course, first I was on hold for twenty minutes.

Then it took the roadside assistance guy twenty more minutes to get there.

And it turned out that my spare tire wasn’t just flat; it was so flat he’d rarely seen the like.  This is a spare tire that I had never, ever used, so I don’t know quite how it got that way.  But looking at the state of my old tire, he agreed that one was a lost cause, but he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to get the spare re-inflated, and that I’d thus have to wait again for a tow truck to arrive.  (God, I’m so tired that I almost wrote “toe truck.”  Outside of Police Squad, I hope there’s no such thing…)

Anyway, it took considerable work on the part of the man from roadside assistance, but he was able to fix the tire, which is one of those “be thankful for small miracles” moments.  He said it must have been a guardian angel looking out for me, but I couldn’t quite respond, because my first thought was the spirit of my poor cat(s) wanting to do something to make up for leaving me alone like this.  I didn’t think that was a proper response, and didn’t want to talk about it, either, so I just sort of did my usual thing of smiling weakly and producing half-words that don’t say anything.

Of course, I don’t like driving on those tiny little spare tires, as I feel like every bump is going to knock them right off the rim.  (It doesn’t help that that is exactly what happened the last time I had to drive on one; it knocked it off and then since I was in an area where I didn’t want to wait for a tow truck, I kept driving on it too long, and destroyed the whole wheel.  In some respects, I should perhaps not be allowed behind the wheel of a car.)  So the drive back was somewhat agonizing.  And I hit more red lights than I ever have between here and the museum, and most of them were twice as long as usual, perhaps because it’s Saturday night.  (Though at the time it was merely Saturday evening.)

Nothing momentous, especially when compared to the previous two days, but decidedly annoying.

And I cut myself just before I started typing this.  I think it’s done bleeding, but it stings pretty badly and looks awful ’cause of the dried blood.

Guess I better go to the bathroom and disinfect it.  The last thing I need is to have anything go wrong with my hands.


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