In the “I’ve got that incredible sinking feeling yet again” department, yesterday while driving to work, I felt like my car was all over the road. Pulling into work, I shrugged it off as “just another windy day in River City” until, sometime around lunchtime, Damien, a fellow I work with, popped his head into my office and said, “your tire’s gone flat.”
Yes, it’s true, I got a flat tire-my first one, actually. Being at work, in a safe place, on an otherwise nice day, during the absolute middle of the day (when everything’s open) is probably the single best time to get a flat tire. I figure that every driver gets a certain number of flat tires in their span of driving and I was actually sort of happy that my usual luck didn’t pop up and mine didn’t come at midnight when it was cold, raining, and I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with some kind of axe murderer pulling over asking, “hey lady, are you stuck?” (I always figured I’d have a horror movie-esque flat tire if ever I got one. Kind of like a “flat tire noir” complete with me shrieking and a shadowy man in a fedora.)
No problem, I thought. I’ll just call AAA and they’ll come and fix it. My car was actually overdue for its whatever thousand mile check-up anyway, so I phoned the car place and alerted them that I would be “hobbling in for a visit.” The AAA guy came in a jiffy and put on one of those “doughnut tires” that comes with our trunks.
The worst part of the whole bit was driving on that little doughnut tire. The AAA guy had told me, “it shouldn’t be too bad, just don’t go more than 50 or 55 miles an hour or so and don’t leave it on too long.” Should be no problem, I thought. I don’t usually drive that fast. I mean, heck, I’m not a fast driver, right? Turns out the average speed limit on Highway 183 is something like 75+ (which is what I usually do-the plus part anyway) Do you have any idea how slow it feels when you are doing 50 and the rest of the known universe is whizzing past you at something close to 80? I felt like the whole world was passing me by. It was like “here’s my head my ass is coming.” It would have felt faster if I were driving in reverse. I swear, James May can snore faster than I was going on that highway. At one point, I even passed a cop and, instead of giving me a dirty look as always, I swear he looked like he wanted to get out and wave for me to go faster. (When does that happen?) He was probably thinking, “Come on! Come on! You can do it. Step on it, there’s a hill up ahead.”
I’ve always heard horror stories about people getting stuck in the driving rain, breaking down with a flat tire on some long forgotten back country road, having to forage for food for days or living off stale crackers found in the trunk while waiting for AAA to come to the rescue, but nothing prepared me for the horror that was driving under 55 mph on the little doughnut spare tire. When it comes to going that slow, I swear, as you are my witness, I’d rather forage. (Even the stale crackers have to be better than the little doughnut.)
Oh the horror of it all. The shame! That’s one doughnut I never want to eat for breakfast.
Until next time…
PS Here’s the current tally:
* Number of NaBloPoMo posts left: 23, I believe.
* Number of prints made up for the portfolio party: 4 (number needed: 10)
* Number of days left until portfolio review: 3
* Number of prints from which to edit: 231 (to go down to: 60 and then: 10)
* Number of days left in NaBloPoMo: 24 (as I’m writing this)
* Number of Blurb books about driving I’ve completed this week: .75 (number needed: 1)
* Number of chances you have to win a signed limited edition calendar: 2
* Number of signed limited edition calendars I’m making this year: 2
* Number of times I’ve proposed to The Stig: 4 (number of times he’s answered: 0)
* Number of days left until I go completely insane: ???
Progress on the printing, I tell you, progress on the printing.