Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Rueing The Goo ...

It all comes of needing to put hazelnut coffee goo in my morning java.

Last night, I was almost eerily calm. Not calm, actually. Content. Content despite my oh-so-sexy status as nearly-40, unemployed, and car-challenged.

But my age doesn't bother me and I'm confident the job situation will work itself out, and my car was running, albeit without the radio while my mechanic verifies his theory on the cause behind the Mysterious Draining Battery.

And everything is relative. Tsunami, as we say. What's going on in my life may be an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things, my life is just fine. I didn't just live through three days of terror like those poor people in Mumbai. Now they have problems.

So I was feeling motivated to run to the store. I didn't really think about the iffy weather. "Boston Legal" was due to begin in 20 minutes, giving me just enough time to scoot to the store to pick up goo and get back for the penultimate episode of a show I've quickly grown to love.

I really should have stayed home. It was cold last night. You know what cold is good for? Forming ice. On surfaces. Like roads.

About 100 feet from the stop sign at the intersection nearest my house, I saw what was coming. There was a dull sheen on the road. In retrospect, given that there were no other cars approaching the intersection, I should have just taken my foot off the gas and rolled right through. But I touched the brake, which sent my car sliding right toward a tree. Luckily, my car's front end went up the curb and missed the tree and but then my car's back end swung around behind me. I had been heading east. Now I was facing west.

But all seemed OK. I tried to drive and turn into a driveway across the street and slid again. But I righted the car and eventually got it into my garage.

Upon exiting my car, I heard a hissing sound. It was coming from my rear passenger-side tire. Ah, crap. I debated whether I should leave my car in the garage (I have a wee one-car garage) or pull it out and leave it in the driveway overnight in order to enable easier tire changing in the morning. I opted to leave it in the garage.

I had called my brother Paul earlier in the evening and once I was back in the house, he called back. I told him what happened.

"You might have cracked a rim," he said.

"What do I do about that?" I asked.

"Get a new rim."

Right. From where?

"A junkyard, ideally. Don't go to the dealer for a rim."

Well, at 10 p.m., I wasn't going to be doing anything, so I put it all out of my mind until this morning.

I expected to find a fully flaccid tire when I went out to the garage. But no. It was low, but it wasn't flat. I checked it with a tire gauge. No pressure. Hmm.

I popped the trunk to retrieve the little air compressor I'd gotten from my bank. It plugs into the car's cigarette lighter. I hooked it up and plugged it in. I checked my tire after a while. Pressure. Hmm. I reconnected the compressor and let it run until the tire registered 20 pounds of air. With that, I felt comfortable in driving to the nearest gas station to finish the job.

Which I did. All seemed OK until I turned into the station and heard a strange noise emanating from the rear passenger wheel area. I drove the short distance home and heard it again.

So now my car is in my driveway, where it will sit until my father comes by tonight and I drive it as short a distance as possible so that he can hear the noise.

And then we'll probably give our mechanic more business.

If only I would have stayed home last night, I think to myself. Then none of this would have happened.

But happened it did. The question now is why my car is suddenly demanding so much of my attention.


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