Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Wake-Up Call

Full size spare ... yay!

Broke the rim seal ... boo! hiss!

Thinks for which I thank God today:

  • I didn’t kill anyone.
  • I didn’t hurt anyone.
  • I didn’t kill myself.
  • I didn’t hurt myself.
  • I didn’t total my truck.
  • My cell battery wasn’t quite dead.
  • I have a full size spare.
  • I have AAA.
  • My AAA guy didn’t get killed changing my tire.
  • That Bastard RA responds quickly and well to NSAIDs

Things I learned today:

  • It only takes one lapse in attention to really screw the pooch.
  • Even a non-impact auto mash-up hurts when that Bastard RA is around.
  • AAA Field Service Technician Rob S. rocks with the big giant awesomeness.

So I’m be-bopping along to work this morning … not paying the closest of attention on this dreary drizzling dawn. Had my 4WD on for the slickish road conditions. Had just been disconnected from a cell call, only to be cut off by some jagoff who simply had to change lanes in front of me, forcing me to slam on my brakes. Soon as idiot was out of my lane I sped up to get out of the way of the guy bearing down on me from behind, and just kept steaming along into the cloverleaf to go from the northbound freeway I was on to the westbound freeway I needed to be on.

And completely lost control of the truck. Probably happened fairly quickly, but that madrush of adrenaline sure made it seem like it took awhile. First I’m scrambling to steer out of a right skid, then the resultant left skid, back to the right, left again, then finally lost it on the final right skid when my rear end succeeded in swinging out in front of my front end.

It was quite the slalom, bumping up against and over the curb (and who the heck puts a curb on a cloverleaf?!?) hard enough to break the seal on my driver’s side rear tire. So now I’m in the grass of the cloverleaf, looking back at oncoming traffic. Engine never stopped, so I dropped into reverse and swung around in a big ole circle ‘til I was facing the right way then, in a break in traffic, I upped back onto the tarmac. And flub-flubbed a couple yards.

Dang; flat tire. And here’s how discombobulated I was; I called AAA for a tow and she asked if I wouldn’t rather just have the driver change the tire? Well, duh! Yes, yes that’s a grand idea! Sometimes I am a marone. Then she prioritized me because of the danger to traffic a disabled vehicle is in that location.

So, my AAA guy arrives within 20 minutes … fantastic! He can see I’m still weirded out a little, so he proceeded to calmly and clearly talk me through everything he was doing. I got his card so I could give him a commendation (I'm still self-irritated that I had no cash on me, as he certainly deserved a tip); I hope AAA gives their employees something special when they get customer commendations.

Rob S. pulls the spare (one of those under-the-carraige jobs), jacks up the truck (yes, Bill-I am well aware it’s actually an suv, but I call it a truck, ‘k?), pulls the old, places the spare, checks the air level, tops it off, drops the truck, and voila! Good to go. Then, he makes sure I can get back into the flow of traffic without further mishap. A-plus, people! A-plus! (Or should I say AAA-Plus?) With any luck the rim won’t be damaged enough to have to be replaced (it’s just that little strip that’s gone … I think), and the tire will be sound. Fingers crossed!

But I’ll tell you, thanks to that Bastard RA I have aches tonight that I haven’t experienced in quite awhile. Prolly from gripping the wheel so and tensing up while slithering all over the road … I feel positively wiped out. The further into the day I’ve gotten, the more I’ve wanted to crawl into bed with a heating pad and a mug of hot cocoa (to wrap my hands around). I’m about to go Advil it up.

Today was an all's well that ends well endeavor.

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