Tuesday, August 02, 2005


There are some things in life that you can change. Like your hair. Or your job. Or the size of your breasts. But there are other things you can’t change. Like your family. Or your talents (or lack thereof). Or the size of, well, other things.

And karma falls into the “can’t be changed” category. Everyone has some sort of karma that haunts them throughout their life. I’m not talking about “eye for an eye” type of karma. You know, like when you tell a lie and then a boulder drops on your head. No, I’m talking about the kind of karma that allows some people to always find a good parking space when they go anywhere. Or in other people the karma is reversed and they couldn’t find a parking spot at a baseball stadium in January (off-season).

I have two major karma issues in my life. The first is bad line karma. If you ever see me in a line anywhere at anytime, stay as far away from that line as possible. It will not be moving anytime soon. Have you ever seen the Truman Show? Where Truman is trying to leave his town and everywhere he goes all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, there are hundreds of cars blocking his path? Well, that’s what I feel like in lines. I get into a grocery line that seems simple enough: two people in front of me with a couple items each. Then all of a sudden The Line Karma kicks in and family members are bringing extra carts full of food, the cash register jams the receipt tape, the credit card machine breaks, “we need a price check on one doughnut.”, or, and this is my favorite – the checkout person decides to go on break right before my turn. “I’m sure one of the other cashiers can help you.”

And we won’t even go into what happens when I get into a line at a toll booth. Cars just losing their will to move once I enter the line.

My second karma issue is tires. Well not so much the tires as the flattening of tires. Sometimes I think I was a shady tire salesman in a previous life, and therefore I am being made to pay my debt through sacrificed tires in this life. I honestly must have had close to 15 flat tires in my life. And I’ve only been driving for like 11 years. It’s insane. I’ve had them when I’ve returned to my car after work. I’ve had them while driving 75 miles an hour in the fast lane in L.A. I’ve had two in one day. I’ve had them and then driven on them full speed for a good 5 miles or so. (I’ve also had some bad rim karma as well.)

This weekend I was struck again. Because that’s what I do, I get flat tires. Some people bake, some people garden, some people play an instrument. I get flat tires. It’s the one thing I really excel at.

So I’m driving home on the freeway from (another friggin’) wedding and I feel and hear a loud BANG under my car. I assume it is a flat tire, but it didn’t really feel like one. It felt like more of an explosion. So what do I do? I turn the radio down and listen, as I keep driving on the freeway. I don’t hear anything, so I keep driving. Maybe I just ran over a box or something. Or a bomb. Who knows. But then the car starts making a weird brrrbbrrmmmrrrmmmmmmrrrmrmmm sound. I see a car next to me and so hope that it is that car making the sound. But that car accelerates past me and the sound remains. Crap.

At this point it is midnight, I’m on the freeway, and I just passed an exit. Great. I’m not pulling over on the freeway. That is how horror movies start. So I’ll keep driving. And driving. And driving. The brrrbbrrmmmrrrmmmmmmrrrmrmmm gets louder and louder and I move my hands to ten and two on the steering wheel to keep the car from blowing up. FINALLY I get to an exit. And of course it is the one freeway exit in America without a gas station right when you get off the freeway. But you know what it does have? A bridge. Which is extremely helpful when you are looking for a shoulder to pull over onto.

As I’m driving on the bridge I look in my side mirror and see that there is now quite a bit of smoke coming from the back of my car. And the noise has now turned into a THUMPRRRTHUMPRRRRTHUMPRRR, with the car bouncing violently with each RRR. Awesome. I see a gas station up ahead, but now the car feels like it has hydraulics out of some sort of rap video. The back of my car is bouncing so high, even Snoop Dogg would be proud. Fo’ shizzle.

So I pull over as soon as I get off the bridge. I’m not sure that this is safe, but I am sure that the combination of bouncing and smoke coming from my car is probably a sign that it might be time to stop. I call my good friends at AAA and tell them where I am. They say, “Are you in a safe place?” I say, “Well as safe as the side of the road at midnight can really be, I guess.” She says, “Someone should be out there within 40 minutes.” She either didn’t get my sarcasm or just didn’t care.

After I hang up the phone I look in my side mirror just in time to see a semi come about one foot from ramming my car up the block to that gas station. (Which would have been nice, cause then I could have gotten some Slim Jims while I waited.) Having seen the large truck brush by me I decided that maybe it would be safer to wait outside of the car. So I climb out the passenger’s side door, grab my purse and go to the sidewalk. I grabbed my purse because I was hoping to bargain with my inevitable attackers by offering them the option of mugging me instead of killing and/or assaulting me. I had like $40 on me, I thought that was a fair trade.

Because I had just come from a wedding I was wearing a dress and REALLY uncomfortable shoes. I couldn’t stand anymore in the shoes so I sat down on a cement half-wall thingy. And then the sprinklers came on. I didn’t care. My feet hurt way too bad to care about how wet my back was getting.

When the AAA guy showed up I started taking some pictures. Because I was bored and had a digital camera. And I wanted the scary tire man to know that I had digital pictures that could be turned into the cops should he decline my $40 and decide to kill and/or assault me.

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Everything on this picture looks fine until you notice the white painted line on the road. And you notice that you can see it long after you should be able to see it if there was actually a functioning tire attached to the car.

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Yeah, that cone ought to slow the semi down quite a bit.

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This is the best angle. When the Tire Guy took the tire off and threw it to the ground (it was still hot from its previous burning) I said, “Do you think they can patch that up?” He said, “Uh, no, not at all.” (You’d think after all the time we spend together that the people at AAA would start to understand my sarcasm.)

I love that this tire is now on the back of my car where my spare tire is supposed to go. How funny must this look to the other drivers? But it probably looks most funny to the Tire Gods who are probably like, “How STUPID is that girl? Driving around with no spare? We lit her last tire on FIRE and she is still tempting us?”

Bring it on Tire Gods. I’m waiting for you over in the Express Lane at the supermarket. I should be there for awhile.


Jenn said...

The last time I was at a toll both a car caught on fire. Was that you? :) I'm sorry but this entry was amazingly funny. I tried not to laugh because I'm thinking how horrible it would be if that happened to me. And yet there I was, stifling giggles anyway while my toddler's looking at me like I'm a lunatic. Geez. I mean, the sprinklers too? It's like a scene from a movie when you're laughing your arse off at the character and feeling extremely bad for doing so at the same time.

Dean said...

Remind me not to loan you my car. Whew! Thats one bad looking tire. At least you have gotten good at it. Anyone can have a flat, you have the looks of plastic explosives. Very cool, in a shredded sort of way.
Glad you are all right.

Harris Bloom said...

That was thoughtful of you to take pictures for your readers

fAMOuS said...

Wow! Your tire is thrashed. This reminds me of my tire experience on the way back fom LA. Instead of exploding, my tire decided to lose its tread. Yup! The tread on the tire decided to peel right off. The odd thing was the tire was still inflated. It never blew! However, it caused some body damage to my rear bumper. :( I feel your pain girl.

pat w said...

That was nothing. I saw a pick up truck in South Dakota who did not have your good sense to pull off and he was riding on the bare rim with flames coming out of the side of the wheel and he was so unconcerned, he just continued to drink his beer at 60 mph along the freeway. Thats it, you need to keep some beer in the car for these emergencies....

dawn said...

I think more beer in general is always a good idea.

And no Jenn, I was not the car on fire in the toll booth line. But I might have been the car that CAUSED the fire by simply getting in the line. I have that much power.