Sunday, January 4, 2009

I forgot to knock on wood!

Friday, immediately after publishing my victory post in which I boasted, "I never, ever, even once needed to use my AAA membership," I closed up my laptop, walked to my van, and drove to meet my friend Rachel downtown at the Lotus. And my tire blew out.

After over four months and 10,000 miles around the country without a problem, after four ten hour days of driving a little faster than I should have from Texas, through New Mexico, through a blizzard in Arizona, through the infinite-laned freeways of LA, through the snowy mountain passes of northern California, through sleet in southern Oregon... I arrive home and have a blowout while driving fifteen miles per hour, IN FRONT OF THE LOTUS.

The tire exploded, I screamed, and Ralgh almost rocketed through the windshield out of sheer terror. Shaking like a leaf, I fumbled for the emergency flasher switch. It took me a solid thirty seconds to turn the blinkers on, which, in emergency time is equal to a week. Nothing labled "emergency" should be this god damn difficult to figure out. Anyway, blinkers finally on and Ralgh calmed, I called AAA, dumping out my entire purse in the process of looking for my unused card. When the operator answered, I knew that I was saved, and that's when I burst into tears.

This experience taught me four things:

1. That the $60 I spent on my AAA membership was the best $60 I ever spent. I've had AAA for three years now, and every year I get my money's worth. I've been towed twice, locked out at least four times, ran out of gas once, and, now, had a blowout. And when the AAA guy finally showed up to change my tire, I saw that I had been sent the hottest AAA driver in the entire world. It was worth the sixty bucks just to watch him use the jackstand (why didn't I get pictures?!)!

2. That if I'm going to have a traumatic automotive experience, then it's best to do it in front of a bar.

3. That I am amazingly lucky. What if that had happened four days ago while I was cruising up I-5 at 65MPH?

4. That I am awesome in emergent situations. A blowout was my biggest mechanical fear throughout my Vantasy. I actually spent time preparing for it to happen. I made a mental list and practiced it in other times when Vanta C lost control, like when a particularly strong gust of wind tossed us around on the freeway: lift your foot off the gas, but don't hit the brake. Firmly grip the steering wheel, and guide the van off the road, but do not hit the brake! I'm happy to say that on Friday, after I heard the explosion, my mind immediately screamed, "lift your foot off the gas! Don't hit the brake!" I was a rockstar. I belong in exit row seats on planes, folks. I know how to get shit done in a crisis!

Now, if I only knew some cute crafty thing I could make out of a destroyed tire...


John Judy said...

Sandals. Cat o' nine tails. Toilet seat. Worst hula hoop ever.

Rachel Tamed said...

I'm bad luck! But at least cocktails were only a few feet away!