Friday, July 21, 2006

I Heart Tires

Uh, I hate tires. A lot. And they, apparently, are not huge fans of me either. Bastards.

I’ve spoken of my bad tire karma before. ( It has plagued me for years, since I started driving really. Tires just letting go of air when I am near them. It’s not fun.

What is even less fun is the fact that my flat tires seem to be getting steadily more dramatic every time they happen. I used to come out of my house and see that a tire was low or completely flat, then I would change it before driving (and by “I would change it” I mean “someone else would change it”). Sometimes I’d get flat tires while driving, but I could usually tell right away and I’d pull over and call AAA. Those flats weren’t that big of a deal. Inconvenient yes, but not really all that dramatic. Well, they are getting more dramatic now.

The last one I had on the freeway ended with smoke and sparks and my car bouncing up and down. It was good times. It was by far the most dramatic one yet.

But then yesterday happened.

Yesterday I was driving to San Francisco to see a show. Well, I was driving into Berkeley to meet a friend and take BART into SF to see the show. I am notoriously late and so said friend made it very clear on several occasions that she was going to be very upset with me if I was late. She even lied and told me to be there a half hour earlier than she wanted me there. I figured this out and said, “I am making you a promise right now that I will be there on time.” But then I also said, “Seeing as though I just said that, I’m sure something will go wrong. Highway 80 may actually blow up, or something.”

So I’m driving along, making great time, so going to be early and so turning over a new leaf of promptness. Then I feel what I think feels like it might be a flat tire. But I don’t really know because this particular highway always feels a little bumpy to me and I always swear I have a flat tire and I always pull over and it’s never a flat tire. So I just kept driving, thinking that it was just me being paranoid. About 5 minutes later, as I drove in the second to fast lane, I heard a sonic boom and my car jerked into the third to fast lane. I tried to correct it and ended up jerking it back and then totally losing control and spinning into the fast lane and then head-on into the center divide. My ass was still in the fast lane so I backed away from the center divide and straightened myself out on the side of the road.

Then I called my friend and let her know that I might not be right on time. She said, “Maybe we should just not go.” I said, “Uh, I love Kathy Griffin, we’re so going. I just have to figure out how to get there, I’ll call you back.” So I called my good friends at AAA and they asked me where I was. Hmmm.

“Well, I’m between Sacramento and San Francisco on 80.”
“Are you near anything?”
“I’m near the Nut Tree, I can see the sign.”
“Are you near an exit?”
“I am.”
“What does the exit say?”
“Uh, well, oh. I don’t know. My glasses must have flown off when I crashed, I don’t see them anywhere around me, and I can’t see that far.”
“Uh, well...let me see.”

At that point two police cars and a tow truck all showed up at the same time. It was quite impressive. The tow truck man started talking to me and I told him I have AAA. He said that they would take like 40 minutes to get there and he was already here and he was free. I then said goodbye to my friends at AAA and let the good people of the highway patrol take over. Did you know that the highway patrol pays for this tow truck guy to drive around and help people who are on the side of the road? How awesome is that? He was super nice and even wired my bumper back to my car. What a sweetheart.

Once he got me safely off the freeway he looked over the car and said that it was safe to drive, which seemed bizarre to me. But it turns out both my bumper and the metal center divide have a lot of give, because my car seemed to be okay, “Most of the damage is cosmetic.” And let me just say, cosmetically, the CRV has seen better days.
So once my new tire was on and I found my glasses I continued on to see Kathy Griffin. I don’t give up easily.

When I got back from my Habitat trip one of my friends had said, “All of the good karma you are getting for your Habitat work should definitely counter out your bad tire karma.”

Yeah, not so much. BUT I do think that it might have helped me in my good “don’t die after having been spun through the fast lane of a freeway” karma. I keep replaying the thing in my head and I know for a fact that there were cars all around me when I lost control. In fact as I started to lose control I just prepared myself for the other cars that were going to be slamming into me at any second, because they were literally ALL AROUND ME. Going 70-80 miles an hour. Hmmm.

My Tire Angel is a slack ass, but my Keep Dawn Alive Angel seems to have my back.


Dean said...

What the???!!!!

Holy Cow! At first I was going to say, "You really shouldn't be driving on bald tires." But it looks like the tread completely blew off. Dang.

Happened to me once. What a ride. Glad you are OK. Of course now you have to start writing a book about tires.

Chunks said...

So dramatic tire story aside, how was Kathy Griffin?

Good Lord Dawn, you have the worst luck! But the best stories! Stay safe!

travis said...

Awesome. Kinda like when you see someone fall and start to laugh but wait to see if they are ok. If they are ok it is the funniest thing ever and if they are not then not so funny. I'm glad you made it out withouth a scratch. You musta had an "Angel Network" watching over you. Call Oprah.

travis said...

sorry that angel comment was pretty cheesy but i couldn't help myself.

fAMOuS said...

Wow! Your tire looks a lot like mine did when my tread peeled off and took out my bumper. Can you believe the tire was still inflated?!? BTW, I love Kathy Griffin. D-list baby!!!

Patricia said...

that's the scariest damn thing i ever heard!

this whole thing is really your friend's fault who had the audacity to verbalize that your habitat karma would help your tire karma. your friend should know better than to challenge the universe like that.

most prophetic line: “I’m near the Nut Tree, I can see the sign.”

tornwordo said...

Um, that tire looks balder than any I've ever seen. I recommend inspecting the treads once in a while.

You could have been killed for chrissake - Now, what have we learned?