Remember how I said I have a parking pad behind my house that’s very tricky to get into and out of?
We are officially in a fight.
Saturday night/Sunday morning, depending on what you like to call 1am, there was no parking left on the street. I was just coming home from work, so I thought, Well, I’ll park behind the house.
***Commence spacial negotiation***
I almost had it. I mean I was almost there. Inches from home. But then my back tire clipped the sewer line cleanout at exactly the wrong angle, and whooooossssssssshhhhhhh. The sound of air rushing out of rubber.
Much like the sound of money rushing out of my bank account.
I had ripped the sidewall of the tire. I opened the door and just watched it go flat.
Well… I was parked.
The next morning, I knocked on the door of the only neighbor I’ve met who I figured might be able to change a tire, unless old Miss Carmella down the street is hiding some serious strength. (And I’ve learned she barely knows what day it is most of the time, so I’m thinking no. But you never know. She could secretly be a ninja. It’s hard to tell with little old ladies.) Anyway, Pedro has his own hydraulic jack and his own tire wrench. I had picked the right guy for the job.
Please note: I know how to change a tire. I am simply physically unable to do so.
Alas, Pedro’s considerable effort was thwarted by irony, also known as wheel locks. I had the four thingies for the four lug nuts, but I could not for the life of me find the key to the lock. Pedro couldn’t get the wheel off.
“Only one ting joo can doo,” he told me in his heavily accented English. “Drive like dees for one block. Go to de tire shop on de righ, jes before de gas station. Dey fix.”
“Are they open?” I asked, worried for the last eight hours about it being Sunday.
“Jes,” he said confidently. “I teeeenk,” he continued. “I go check.”
And, God love him, Pedro got in his truck and drove up to the tire shop to make sure they were open. He came back and gave me the green light. And I rolled out all hooptie-like on the rim, cruisin’ at 10 miles an hour with my hazard flashers on, rolling down my window to wave people around me as they approached from behind, and pulled in like 10 minutes later at the shop a block away.
***Commence serious language barrier.***
I speak French. So everything I was trying to say was going from English to French in my head and coming out in a screwy Franco-Spanish hybrid like I’m some Basque separatist. Basically all I could do was point to the tire and go, “No bueno. Neuevo, por favor?”
There was a lot of nodding and shaking of heads, pointing, facemaking, and eventually, a used off-brand tire on my car.
Whatever. I’ll replace it soon. Sometime between getting a washer and dryer, cleaning my old apartment, taking down the curtains, turning in the keys, having Thanksgiving and getting an MRI on my lower back. The whole tire thing cost $40, which was $35 less than what AAA would have charged just to come out and put the spare on for me.
And the parking pad? In and out unscathed in the latest attempt.