I had every intention of rejoining the blogging community this morning, with photos and tales from our exciting weekend.
Enter Fate. Plans? Out the window.
I had a quick no-more-than-one-hour errand to run at 10 this morning. All I had to do was drive about 4 miles from my house, complete my appointment, and drive home to blog away. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
And yet - NOT SO SIMPLE.
When I left my house to go get in my car and go, I noticed that one of my tires was a tad low on air. The tire that was still under warranty. The tire that was just repaired LAST TUESDAY, when they told me it was all fixed. No problem. I'll just stop and put some air in it on my way to my appointment, I thought quietly to myself. Except that the air pump at the only station between my house and my appointment was OUT OF ORDER.
No reason to panic. I'll go to my appointment, and get some air afterward, I thought, still quietly to myself.
After my appointment, I came out to my car and checked the tire. Flat. Really REALLY flat. Well, it was flat on the bottom, which I figure is the most important place for it not to be flat. Okay, I thought, still pretty quietly to myself, let's check the spare. I found a spare (one of those donut tires) but no lug nut wrench and no jack. My thoughts were now getting a little bit louder and there were some cuss words thrown in.
I called AAA (that was the best thing I ever spent money on, let me tell you) and they said they'd have someone there in less than an hour. Did I mention that it was 16 degrees outside? And that I had less than 1/8 of a tank of gas?
An hour and a half later, the tow truck guys show up, check out my tire (it's flat. imagine!) and my donut tire (never been used, will be fine!) They put the donut on and go away to another call in another town about 30 minutes away.
After they left, I start out on my way to the place that fixed my tire last week, planning to give them a piece of my mind and insist they REPLACE, rather than repair, my tire. I drive about one mile, and I hear a noise that I don't like. At all. A BAD BAD noise in the area of my pretend donut tire. I stop - there was no place to pull over - this is rural Maine, and we've had 3 feet of snow. We have road and we have snowbanks. No breakdown lanes, no pull-off areas.
The donut is flat. THE DONUT TIRE IS FREAKING FLAT and it has separated from the rim. I can put my whole hand between the rim and the tire. Okay, now I'm mad. It's cold. I'm hungry and thirsty and I have already spent too much time sitting in my car. My Ipod battery is dead, I have nothing to read and people are staring at me as they drive by. I hate that.
I call AAA back. I may have gotten a little tiny bit hysterical with the guy who answered the phone. He puts me on hold (I bet it says in the AAA manual: Put hysterical women on hold for a while to see if they calm down) and calls the tow truck guys back. They're way far away, and have to rescue someone else before they can come back and help me. The AAA guy calls me sweetie and says, don't worry, they'll be back within about 40 minutes and things will get better.
An hour and a half later, the tow truck guys come back. They seem happy to see me. The little one says, I guess the answer to your earlier question (will this donut thing get me to the tire place?) should have been no. I chuckle in the gotta-laugh-or-I'll-cry kind of way. Actually, I did cry a little bit right before they showed up, but I pulled it together for my tow truck buddies.
They suggested that they tow me to the tire place, and I refrained from saying WHAT THE EFF ELSE CAN WE DO ANYWAY?????
At the tire place, they said, gee, we're sorry, we'll get it taken care of right away, and it will be about 30 minutes or less.
Two hours later, my tire is REPLACED. BRAND NEW. AT NO CHARGE. They are really supposed to pro-rate the tire in this situation, subtracting for mileage on the tire, and making me pay for the portion that was already used up, but they didn't. Their generosity may have had something to do with my red-rimmed eyes, my hunger-induced shaking hands, or the way that I stared at them for the TWO FREAKING HOURS it took them to change ONE FREAKING TIRE.
Seven hours later, I'm back at home, curled in a fetal position, wondering how my one hour errand turned into an all-day ordeal. I'll try to get to the weekend update tomorrow morning, but tonight I'm going to get into my jammies and try to forget that today ever happened. Hope your day was a lot better. I'm going to spend the evening catching up on all I've missed out in the blogosphere.