Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Jacks and sockets and lugnuts, oh my!

There's nothing like getting a phone call from The Wife at 11:30 pm, during which she informs me that she's stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, sustained after driving over a piece of metal of some sort. Of course I had to drive out to her assistance, although I could have done without the particular location at which she finally had to pull over. She was on the side of Interstate 90 in Buffalo -- called locally "the Mainline 90", which indicates its general levels of traffic -- and of course, it was the front driver's side tire, which meant that I'd be just a few feet away from the passing traffic as I made my attempt to change the tire.

Sadly, my attempt was unsuccessful, owing to the fact that her vehicle -- a Dodge Caravan -- is nine years old, and thus the spare tire, mounted underneath the damned thing, was so rusted and corroded that it couldn't be removed. Which led to a tow truck. This annoyed me, because I was able to get the wheel off the van with no problem. I am very glad that I decided, some months ago, to buy a quality jack; this I purchased when I decided to start doing my own oil changes. I've never much liked the jacks that come with vehicles -- they always look slightly rickety to me. Not quite trustworthy. A little shifty, even. Better that I was able to use my new jack, which is rated for two tons and comes with jack stands and everything.

Of course, none of that mattered because of that damned spare. Now, twenty-three hours later as I write this, the van's fine and it has a new tire in the place of the damaged one. We plan to get a full-size spare (those "donut" tires are stupid) and just keep it in the back of the van, because why chance things? But, after waiting for tow trucks and waiting for them to winch the van onto the flatbed (making me wonder what ever happened to the two trucks that would just lift up your vehicle's front end and pull it on its back wheels), and getting the van to the tire place for us to call this morning, and then finally getting home, it was 1:30 in the morning. I staggered through today on about four hours of sleep, so naturally I'm still up and blogging.

No real point here, except that I'm a bit irritated that I wasn't able to get the tire-change job done. I hate when I can't get a job done!!!


SK Waller said...

I agree. I'm irked right now because I couldn't fix our vacuum cleaner.

Glad everything turned out all right though. You're a good husband!

Roger Owen Green said...

great thing about having no skills in that area - the wife would hasve called AAA straight on.

jason said...

I feel your frustration. My dad is a natural-born mechanic, so nothing sets off my sense of inadequacy like being unable to do something to a car that ought to be relatively simple.

Incidentally, I think tow-truck services now use flat-beds instead of the old-fashioned type of truck in order to reduce their liability. Cars could sometimes come off the rig that lifted them off their wheels, or otherwise be damaged by loose debris and such. Less chance of that if they're on top of another vehicle and chained down.

Thee Earl of Obvious said...

The answer to almost every question that starts with "what ever happened to..." or "Why did they stop..." always includes or pertains to fucking lawyers.

As the soldiers of evil marched through the town we gathered by the road and waived. Surely they will not bring harm to those who smile.
-from my novel