Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lessons Learned on the side of the HWY 259

I was happily on my way to work this morning when disaster struck: flat tire!  This morning has been the coldest so far this season; I believe it was 31 or so.  I was not looking forward to getting out in the cold to fix a flat tire. 

As you know I commute almost 2 hours and at that point I was about halfway to work.  I wasn't sure how far from the next gas station was either which meant I needed to make a choice as I drove.  Initially I was planned to slow down and ride on to the gas station.  If my tire had suddenly gotten a nail the there was no reason not to push and get there.  Then my plan got blown when I noticed my PSI dropping very quickly.  I didn't want to chance ruining my wheel and wheel well and car in general for not stopping soon enough.  I've seen way too many people driving on sparks just trying to get to the next gas station.  Also playing this, my car alarm for the tire pressure went off as a had crested a hill and I noticed the quick down in PSI as I was going up the next one.  If I'm going to stop I need to do it before cresting because being on the downward side of a hill on the highway can be really dangerous.  As is people don't move over when they have plenty of space and warning, I can image it would worse if they don't see you til the last minute.

So I pull over.  It is freezing outside.  I don't want to step out of my car.  One is it cold and two 18-wheelers and cars are flying by next to me.  Once it is safe to step out, I assess the situation.  FUCK!  I can see a massive hole on the inside part of the wheel; the reason I was losing air so quickly.  I know how to change a tire.  I've done it before and way back when I was learning to drive my dad made sure I knew what to do.  I knew exactly where the jack was but the spare not so much.  Owners manual to the rescue!

I drive a Chrysler Town and Country mini-van; do you know where the spare is?  Well it is directly under the console of the car!  Which meant I had to clean out my console to even being searching for the spare release nut.  Seriously, Chrysler!  I'm a mom with a minivan.  My console is so full of crap!  Earrings, spare pens, change, a jump drive, nail clippers, and so much other crap all covered in a sticky semi-dry layer of I think Polynesian Sauce from Chick-fil-a.  All of that crap is now all over my floorboards.  Again, thank you Chrysler designer who is obviously either a man or a much better mom than me.

So I get the spare moving  down then I release I will need to lift the minivan to actually get the spare out.  Time to jack up the van!  See if you said hell yeah, you fail.  First you loosen the tire nuts.  YOu don't take them off, you loosen them before you lift so you have the ground to help you torque the nuts loose.  Well, you should be able to torque them loose but my very wonderful DH had a tire replaced for me and at the time they rotated all of the tire, and don't forget it is freezing, so the nuts won't move.  They don't give a millimeter!  FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I know I can't do this myself.  But I don't panic.  I don't even call my dad calling!  I was so good.  I called our Geico roadside assistance and like the miracle workers that they are, I'll have help in 90 minutes.  I'm not happy about the wait but hey at least I had a professional on the way!

Okay now I have 90 minutes to kill.  First things first, I pray.  One for safety cause people are driving crazy and two for some chill cause you know I wanted to freak out and cry.  Then I texted my boss at 7:15 am.  I don't talk about my work much but my boss is awesome!  She called me and wanted to know if I need to use her AAA.  I love that woman.  Next drop DH a text to call me so I can let me know that I"m about to kill our weekly budget.  Next I post on Instagram.  If you want to see my busted tire you can see it on my insta: latina_dr_of_ed

Since I knew I had to wait I turned the van off and just waited.  When everything seemed totally bleak Sharon Bruises suddenly appeared out of nowhere!  I forgot she was having to commute this week.  It was truly a nice surprise to see her face.  You know she was the only person to stop to offer to help me!  She couldn't get the nut to move either :(

Once the wrecker driver showed up things moved very quickly.  Turns out my spare was also flat.  To Geico's credit the upgraded me to a tow and covered that.  Shout to Geico Roadside Assistance!  Shout to Wayne Griffin's Towing in Henderson Texas! 

So as we were driving to the tire shop, Wayne told me why he didn't allow me to sit in his truck cab until he was done loading and securing my van: for my safety.  He proceeded to tell me stories about horrible wrecks and other dangers of being a wrecker driver.  If I am not in the cab then if someone were to hit the wrecker, I could possibly get of of the way but if I am in the cab basically the van will crash the cab killing me.  He also let me know that a wrecker driver is killed on average every 6 days! 

So major lesson:  GET OFF OF YOUR FUCKING PHONE WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING!  Don't kill someone cause you want to snapchat.  Don't kill someone cause you want to tweet your current location.  The wrecker driver is just trying to make a living and doesn't need your dumbass ending his life for a fucking filter. 

Minor lesson:  Check your spare tire.  Know where it is and make sure it has air in it.

General lesson: Learn how to change your own tire and/or get a roadside assistance service.