Here’s mine: It never ceases to amaze me how some of the simplest things can be screwed up. I recently got in my car to leave for an important appointment at 7:00 AM. I made it about twenty-five feet when I realized I had a flat tire. Funny, it was fine when I went to bed and parked the car yesterday evening. Where did the air and nitrogen mixture go? Yes, it’s a Toyota Corolla so the tires have a mixture of nitrogen. Why this mixture is necessary I don’t know. Normal air is about 70% nitrogen so how much more nitrogen does a Toyota Corolla tire need? I went to remove the donut tire from my trunk and use my jack for the first time since i bought the car in 2010. This was generally an easy process although removing the jack was more difficult than it should have been as some design engineer had come up with a clever way to hold the jack in the trunk that was very secure as well as invisible.
Eventually, I got the jack loose, raised the car, removed the hub cap and begin to loosen the lug nuts. Now, anyone that has ever removed a tire knows that loosening the lug nuts is generally the hardest part of the job. It was so with my Toyota but simply using the jack was a warm-up work-out.. The jack was one of the new screw designs which actually makes it feel like you are somehow really lifting the car while the jack creep upwards. As perspiration began to appear in the 80 degree, humid morning air I finally got the car up and proceeded to loosen the lug nuts.
Apparently, as a safety precaution, the last person to reinstall the tires after rotating them must have lathered the bolts with superglue before they put the lug nuts back on or perhaps the incredible Hulk is now working at my Toyota Dealer. Removing the lug nuts was like moving dead trees after a bad storm. No matter how much weight and muscle you apply it seems as if you just don’t have enough until you are finally red-faced and about to give up when you make some progress. Perhaps the sweat and tears were dripping on the lug nuts dissolving the superglue. Each bolt was resistant to removal so I felt like I had defeated an army of five when I finished and thought , this is how a surviving slave-turned-gladiator must felt. I celebrated by victory by washing my hands and arriving a half hour late for my appointment.
Later, Ken Suter, a friend at TLC Auto Shop tipped me off that Discount Tire generally repairs tires for free and can provide the nitrogen necessary. So, I attempted to get the free tire repair and stopped at Discount Tire. They don’t have WiFi so I left my car for an hour and went across the street to an iHop which I learned also does not have WiFi. (I could have walked a little farther up a hill to a Taco Cabana that does have WiFi but I’m in Lewisville, Texas and it was almost 102 degrees by then.)
The iHop was well air-conditioned. I ordered a coffee and a dish of ice cream which was advertised as the least expensive dessert for $1.59. My waiter, who first apologized for a general lack of knowledge about their dessert offerings, asked me if I wanted one, two or three scoops. I asked him how many scoops I got for the $1.59 stated in the menu and he said, “one”. I said one scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream would be fine. The service was quick. Within a couple of minutes he brought me a very small dish which looked like about 80% of a scoop containing vanilla ice cream. I was underwhelmed with the portion and disappointed that in a choice between Chocolate and Vanilla, and after ordering Chocolate he brought me Vanilla. I went ahead and ate it because frankly I would be embarrassed for him to let him know he screwed up something so simple, unless he also brought me tea instead of coffee.
Now, I just heard from Discount Tire. The tire that was flat was an original tire with 33,000 miles on it, lots of tread left but an unusual TACK of some sort had penetrated the inside side wall of the tire and is not repairable, (unless I wanted a slow-leaking tire instead of a flat one). How does a tire get a tack on the inside of the sidewall of a tire?
After paying for a $92 Kelly Tire of similar value as the original tire that was ruined, I went home to hide. It was mid-afternoon and I wasn’t taking any more chances, or so I thought.
Oops, I forgot to pick up a prescription at the Wal Mart pharmacy and it was now 840 PM the same day and they close at 9:00pm. I rushed to put the dog in the car (we were going to stop at the Dog Park after I picked up the prescription). The pharmacy did not have my order ready although when I ordered it on the phone I was told it would be ready for pick-up the day before. According to their records I was using the drug too fast, but I pointed out that the Doctor had told me to double the frequency of the medication and they would work it out with him. That is not how it works. After a great deal of huffing and puffing (my usual retail negotiation strategy) along with explaining the mix-up they eventually gave me the prescription and then turned off the lights and closed the pharmacy. Trying to negotiate when they are trying to close and go home is probably a good tactic too as well as implying you will definitely die or something if you don’t get this prescription renewed tonight and your dependents will sue them for billions of dollars.
On my way out of the store I fell into a quagmire of sale-priced DVD’s and wasted almost 40 minutes looking at all the great movies I could buy for as little as $5-$10 like Quantum of Solace, Heartbreak Ridge, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, etc., and a bunch of higher priced Blu-Ray movies next to the sale items. (Smart store marketing). Finally decided I didn’t really need to buy any more movies. Unfortunately, it was now too late to go to the dog park so I went home and just walked the dog instead.