Murphy’s Law of Travel – Don’t Borrow Your Spouse’s Car

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by…When the world makes you say... "What the frak?!"

Murphy’s Law of Thy Spouse’s Car: Thee’s tire shall blow-out only if thy spouse is driving. And on her way out-of-town.

* * *

It was planned—my weekend away in Dallas for the writer’s conference.

The kids were in preschool.

I was packed (minus the glasses I forgot).

My fryber, Emily, was there and waiting for us to finally meet in person.

All I had left was to drive south, pick up business cards at Staples, and be on my way.

Thanks to this small detour, I was at mile marker 252—barely out of Austin and edging into Round Rock, Texas when my tire blew.

That’s right, blew.

It didn’t go flat.

It didn’t give me warning, unlike the flat I had seven months prior—also driving my husband’s car.

I was in the far left lane, going about 75 miles per hour, had the tiniest of shaking for a second, and BOOM.

The most god-awful noise filled the car—metal on concrete—as the car vibrated and I quickly slowed down.

This is no easy feat on I-35, cars whizzing by at 80 mph.

I had to cross three lanes of traffic, limping along at 10 mph, looking back and praying a car would not fly into me.

I made it into the vee of an exit lane—shoved in the tiny safe zone between the interstate and the exit lane. The idea of going down the ramp at 5 mph, cars flying onto it behind me with no room to swerve, was not an option. With each rotation of the wheel I feared permanent damage the car’s frame.

I wanted to bawl and it was only 10 AM.

I held it together–barely-and dialed my phone.

Calls were placed, to my friend waiting in Dallas—letting her know I’d be later than planned, and to my husband.

We only had one option: trade vehicles and hope the car was still drivable.

While I sat there, the car shuddering each time another flew by on the interstate or exit, a small white truck pulled up.

A gentleman got out and offered his help. I opened the trunk, removed my belongings, and he went to town on the tire, replacing it with a donut in record time.

For the first time I had hope I hadn’t done any permanent damage.

When he finished, he tossed the tire into the trunk. Half the rubber was ripped from the form, dangling from the rim like the world’s worst hangnail.

Half the tire hangs off the wheel--the worst tire I've seen outside of a semi-truck.

I’m pretty sure tires aren’t supposed to look like this.

Before leaving, the kind gentleman handed me his card. It turns out he is the “handyman mechanic”. No office, no location, but will come to you for various automobile needs.

I can only vouch for his tire changing skills. I also have no idea what happened to his business card.

I thanked him profusely and exited the interstate for the nearest parking lot.

CG finally showed up, we traded vehicles, and I was on my way again. I spent the entire drive paranoid my van would suddenly decide to lose a tire—this time in the middle of nowhere.

I arrived safely in Dallas, much later than planned, but otherwise no worse for wear.

Could the events have been worse?

Oh yeah.

If it had blown further from home or in the middle of nowhere I’d have been stranded.

A good Samartian didn’t have to stop.

My children could’ve been with me.

The car could have been un-drivable.

Another car could’ve slammed into me at high speed and I might not be here today writing this.

It can always be worse.

But seriously, what the frak, Murphy?

I rarely drive the car—I’m minivan mom. Maybe just once you could choose for my husband to get the flat, blown-out tires.

Just not when I’m in the car with him, okay?

May your Friday (and weekend) be wonderful and flat-tire-free.

* * *

Did anything make you go “What the frak?” lately?


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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9 Responses to Murphy’s Law of Travel – Don’t Borrow Your Spouse’s Car

  1. I’m so glad you’re safe.
    And that the conference (apparently) was a huge success!

    Also, what did we do before cell phones?

    Take care. That Murphy is an a-hole.

    • I had about five minutes where I doubted I’d make it to the conference. And if I’d been in the middle of nowhere… I don’t even want to think about it.

      Before cell phones we waited for someone to help us or walked to a payphone, praying a car didn’t hit us.

      I do not even want to think about how delayed I’d have been before cell phones existed.

      Thank you for your kind words, as always.

  2. ocdtalk says:

    Wow, that sounds scary, Kelly. Glad you’re safe……..also glad I wasn’t with you this time 🙂 !

  3. Reminds me of when I got a flat in the country one mile from my uncle’s house pre cell phones. I walked there. My uncle drove me back to the car and changed the tire for me. My dad and my brother were “embarrassed” that a farmgirl had to ask for help, so they made me change the tire 3 times while they stood over me. Yikes. That was 30 years ago. Now I’d just call AMA or wait for my uncle to drive by…

    Glad you were safe!

    • I can change a tire. In theory. The irony is the only time I get a flat is during the 1% of the time I’m dressed up in nice clothing–so I never want to try to change it (because it would take me about four times as long as the gentleman who did change it).

      Now so much time as passed, the how to is a bit fuzzy.

      Thank goodness for cell phones.

  4. Um, so are you saying you had planned to go to DFWCon? Whaaat? Why did I not know this? Did you make it? If so what did you learn? I’m super glad you are okay, but I knew that from Facebook! I feel like I’m only getting some of your posts. I need to go back and check my settings.

    So grateful you are here today – on this day where so many others aren’t!

  5. I was very grateful you made it safely! What a crazy day that was – crazy good by the end. : ) But I agree with Julie. I think it’s time you and Murphy broke up.

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