I have been driving on tires not really meant for travel for some time now. I was told that the rubber holding up my car was nothing more than a suggestion of tires and that they needed to be replaced immediately. At the time, however, tires were a bit on the pricey side. Especially for one who needed to hire a Professional Worrier to help with a worrisome situation. I waited on the tires and pretended that I was a reckless risk-taking type who didn't bother with things like traction.
Eventually, the stress got to me, though. I finally bit the bullet, packed up the knitting and headed over to the dealership to get two of the four sad tires replaced. I also figured that an oil change might be a good idea what with the car's information center screaming this suggestion at me every morning. You can only hit the reset button so many times before you run out of luck and I'd already pushed things with the tires.
Those who know me are very familiar with my car repair history. They know I am the target for all things Strange And Unbelievable when it comes to cars. If there is a rock to be found within a twelve mile radius, it will fling itself at my windshield. If a squirrel decides to end it all, he will do so by following the rock aimed at my car. I have bad luck with cars. Bad enough that I've gotten pretty good at spotting when things are about to go horribly awry.
For example, getting a free oil change is a portent. You'd think free is good. But it is just a way of lulling you into a false sense of security. All it means is that you've had enough work done over the years that you've racked up a few Customer Rewards Points. And they want you good and distracted for what is coming next.
When you are invited to come behind the Sacred Service Desk to look at the computer, that is a very bad sign. No one gets to come behind the desk. That is blasphemy in the world of auto repair. And being allowed to look at the computer? Unheard of! Probably grounds for immediate termination!!
Unless, of course, you are being invited behind the desk so you can view a picture. Said picture, of course, having been taken because "we didn't think you'd believe us unless we showed you..." That is a very, very bad portent. It's the sort of thing that, if you saw it in a horror movie, you'd be screaming at the heroine to run as fast and as far as she could before the monster got her!!
I didn't run. Curiosity got the better of me. I couldn't help myself. Could this be something new and interesting in the world of auto mishaps? Something I hadn't ever experienced before?
Sometime between last November and this past Saturday, I ran over a trash bag. Not a trash bag full of nails or live grenades. An empty one. The kind you see flapping all over highways across this great land every single day. This trash bag, however, was a killer. It had me in its sights and wanted me something bad. It probably heard all about me from the rock and the depressed squirrel.
This trash bag wrapped itself firmly about my front axle, snagged a few other things along the way and proceeded to wind and pull merrily away for miles and miles and miles. It bent things. It tore things. It wreaked havoc. It was the Incredible Hulk of trash bags.
They did a few hasty patches along the underside of my poor car and the nice lady who took the picture managed to bend my brake line back into place without too much trouble. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of leakage. We've got things running for the time being. But there are several visits scheduled with the dealership in the immediate future. Not only to deal with the Killer Trash Bag, but also with the moisture that got into the electrical system at some point while the car was distracted by the mouthful of plastic upon which it was choking.
On the plus side, however, no one is all that worried about my tires anymore. That is a load off my mind...
The Story of the Sweatshop
5 hours ago