I used to think that the only thing I had to be careful about when it rained in SoCal was the frenetic driving of Angelenos who seem to lose there minds (and their ability to steer) at the mere hint of moisture. However, this morning has proven to me that there are more long-term obstacles that come along with rainfall.
So my plan this morning was to drop the kids off at school and then head on over to my usual Jiffy Lube to get my regularly scheduled oil change. Unfortunately, while I was cruisin’ along, getting my fill of news radio, I hit one of the (apparently ubiquitous) potholes caused by the most recent storm. Usually when this happens, I’ll take a few second to recover from the jarring motion and be on my merry way. But this particular morning, the loud THUD I heard after hitting the pothole was followed by the sound of a warbling tired in the process of being shredded by the rim.
I immediately pulled over to assess the damage. That’s when I saw that the pothole cause a huge gash in the side of the tire closest to the rim. At that moment, I had two reasonable choices… 1) call someone who had AAA (we let our membership expire during a tough economic time a few years ago) or some other roadside assistance, or 2) check to see if there were any nearby tire stores (yay iPhone maps!) and see if I could limp there without causing any more damage to my car.
In the interest of time, I chose option 2. There was a Discount Tire Center just down the street from my location. I managed to hobble over there only to be told by one of the employees that the size/weight tire that I needed was not in stock. He said that they could order it… for $495!! I looked at the guy like he’d just kicked my dog. He immediately said, “But we can put your spare on for you.” When I asked him how much that would cost, he said they’d do it for free. That’s when the blood returned to my face.
So after they put on my spare, I leave that place and head down the street to my usual tire shop. They always take care of me and I knew they’d have a used tire that I could buy. As fate would have it, as I approached the second tire shop I hit ANOTHER POTHOLE!!! And yes, my OTHER front tire blew out. Like SRSLY?? Fortunately, it was just a matter of a few feet from where I needed to be. I managed to pull into the shop and secure really good replacement tires for $60 each. A far cry from the nearly $500 the other place was going to charge me.
After finally getting everything squared away, I was back on the road. But I decided to postpone the oil change until tomorrow. I’d had my fill of auto shops for the day.
I tell ya, you can’t make this stuff up folks.