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The 20-minute flat tire

My charmed if overly hectic life of late seems to be continuing. I heard the growly Whappa Whappa Whappa Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump of a flat tire about 2 miles into the drive home on the Mass Pike after leaving MKO & nesfan's home Sunday night. Okay, so the charmed part is still to come....

I called AAA; they explained they were required to transfer me to the State Police since I was on the Pike. Thanks to my GPS, I was able to tell the officer where I was with considerable detail. I pulled the donut spare out of the hatch while waiting for the service truck to arrive. Sure enough, it was under six 40-pound bags of water softener salt. Yes, I'll get back to the charmed part soon....

The service truck arrived; the guy declined my offer to tuck the car right up against the guard rail (another 12-15 inches off the Pike; I'd stopped just before a small bridge and there wasn't much of a shoulder). There's no way I'd want to change a driver's side tire that close to a driving lane, especially in the dark, but, hey, he clearly knew what he was doing. His portable power lift and power tools made for much faster work than my jack and tire iron. Nice.

It only took a quick look at the flat tire to see the nail driven straight into the middle of the tread. That explains the flatness.

I tipped the guy $10 and received such sweet, heartfelt thanks that I wonder how many people in similar situations don't. Yes, it's his job, but it certainly wasn't a situation where I'd feel safe changing a tire. And even if I'd been in at empty parking lot, or still in Mark and Priscilla's driveway, I would have tipped the guy something. $10 seemed far from excessive given the circumstances and also considering the speed with which he both arrived and had me on the road again.

The whole thing added a mere 20 minutes to my trip home. To my eyes, that's charmed.

Of course, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to carve the time out of Monday or Tuesday morning to get over to Firestone and have the tire repaired or, more likely, replaced. That will take on the order of lottery-winning levels of charm. But it's got to happen. There's no way I'm putting on an additional 350+ miles, most of them in Boston & Cambridge traffic with an Ig Nobel winner in my car, running on a donut that already has 45 miles on it.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 27th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
This sounds much more fun
Than our duck run flat tire...
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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