Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Road Trip

My mom is nothing if not supportive. She once said to me, “I’ve never met anyone in my entire life that has the luck that you do. In your world, if something can go wrong, inevitably it will.” Thanks for the encouragement, Mom. And the bad luck continues . . .

I woke last Wednesday morning frazzled and hurried knowing that no matter how prepared I was I would be in a rush all day long. I was on my way to Seattle to help my brother and his family pack up their things and move to Denver where my brother is starting grad school. I was almost done packing the night before but it never seems to be enough. I watered the plants and put my dog out and put all of my luggage into the car and then headed off to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I was only about two miles from my house when something flipped up and hit my undercarriage. I was on the phone with my credit card making a payment for the month before I left town and didn’t do anything more than glance in my rear view mirror to see if I could tell what it was that hit me but I didn’t see anything so I just continued on my way. Less then ten seconds later my front drivers side tire didn’t blow – it just went flat. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. After a few choice four letter words I basically hung up on the credit card lady and pulled off to the side of highway 89. I started pulling all of the luggage out of my trunk and moving my camera equipment and laptop into the front so that it was sitting on the side of the highway. Just as I was pulling the cover off my spare tire a good Samaritan pulled up and offered to help, so I let him. He went to pull out my spare and realized that it too was totally flat. Good times. He offered to take my spare to the gas station up the road and fill it up while I made the phone calls I had to make to the airline and to my brother that was suppose to be picking me up at the airport in Seattle. He was back within a matter of minutes and said that there was nothing that he could do because there was a big hole in my spare (do you now understand what my mom was getting at?).

See, last November I ran over a piece of loose concrete in the drive thru at the back that had been left there from some recent construction. So I put on my spare and just bought all new tires because they were all getting pretty bald anyway. Anyway, turns out that they put on new tires and instead of putting my spare back in my trunk, they tossed it (brand new tire, by the way) and left the old one with the hole in it in my trunk.

So I called my friend Wendy to come pick me up so that I could take my spare back to Goodyear and get things figured out. We tossed it into the back of her mini-SUV and headed back into town. It took them about 15 minutes to figure things out because of course they didn’t want to take responsibility but eventually they fixed my tire and gave me back a new spare. Wendy called her husband to come change the tire so that we wouldn’t have to since he just worked up the road and he met us at my car on the side of the road. In a matter of minutes I was back on the road and headed to the airport. I still missed my flight but was able to hop the next one and still get to Seattle. But of course . . my sister-in-law got stuck in major construction traffic and was over 20 minutes late picking me up so I got to hangout in the Seattle airport with the other unwanted riffraff. One day I’m going go on a trip and not almost die. Sigh.

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- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.