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