JoDee and I decided to go out and celebrate her thesis completion tonight. As we were driving to 12 Oaks mall, though, my “Low Tire Pressure” light went off. So, we pulled off the freeway to investigate. I pulled out my trusty tire gauge and tested each of the tires.
Hmm… only one seemed a bit low… time to put in the air. Wonder why it’s low. What’s that, sweetheart? A nail? Oh, that’s easy… I’ll just pull it out. No, tires are designed to heal with nail punctures. Now, if I can just grapple this nail out of here. Damn, this thing is in there tight. Pliers? Yeah, I’ll go check to see if they have pliers. Excuse me, sir, do you have any pliers I can borrow? Cool, thanks! OK, now to pull this nail out. It’s a little stuck, but I think I… (pop) Ahhh, here it is, and it’s not a nail… it’s a nice long screw. (More of a bolt, actually). (pshhhhhhh) Hmmmm… (pshhhhhhh) the tire doesn’t appear to be healing like I thought it would. (pshhhhhhhh) I’ll try and put some more air in there to see if it’ll try healing. (pfft whirrrr pfft). There. (pshhhhhhh) Hmmmm, looks like I need to put on a spare.
That pretty much summed up our first day out of the house all weekend. I put on the spare tire, and we ate at the Taco Bell next to the gas station. (Which dear reader, is a key element in tonight’s little play). We made plans for how I would get the tire fixed at the Taco Bell, then decided to salvage what little evening we had by heading to the Best Buy across the street. After a rather uneventful run through the Best Buy, we decided to head home without using the freeway.
As we were tooling down the road, the train gates started making their descent. JoDee is enamoured with trains (and most modes of freight), so this wasn’t such a bad thing. Unfortunately, there didn’t appear to be any train on the horizon. What gives? We sat and waited, trying to listen for any train or spot any on-coming stealth trains, but our wait was in vain. There were some box cars on one of the tracks, so we figured that must have set it off. I decided to go through the gates, as I didn’t hear a train, didn’t see a train, and started to feel the Taco Bell (mentioned earlier, dear reader) preparing to make it’s descent. We cruised on for a while, and the Taco Bell started to get rather indignant that it hadn’t been purged earlier. I drove in a semi-panicked state, looking for fast food restaurants I could easily slide into, expunge, and slide back on the road. Alas, all I could find were gas stations (more noted for their petrol and elder snacks than their copious facilities). Finally, I could take no more, and short-circuited my trip into one multiplex gas station / store (y’know… the ones with the gift shop and the food court?) and asked the nice lady behind the counter (the glass enclosed sanctuary) where the bathrooms were. She pointed to her left, and I darted to her left in anticipation of letting the Taco Bell have the freedom it so desperately craved. On the door were two signs, of which the one that was written in larger letters read:
Out of Order
I darted with more vigor over to the cashier sanctuary and tersely asked her about the bathroom being out of order. She said that the bathroom was indeed functional (while clearly the sign said otherwise), and that it was OK for me to try again. Rather than argue why an operational bathroom had those three words designed to dissuade those who weren’t “in the know” (or desperate), I pressed on and tried the handle. It was locked. With renewed determination (as the Taco Bell was storming toward the border), I zipped back to the cashier and asked her why the door was locked. Was this some cruel joke? Nope, the bathroom was occupied. Denied! I could either wait for someone to pop out of a bathroom that was clearly marked “Out of Order”, or I could press on to find a better oasis. Time stood still.
After determining that waiting for occupant might be like Waiting for Godot, we hopped back in the car and pressed on. (Although JoDee mentioned that she saw someone come out of the can, but I wasn’t having any of it). Fortune finally smiled on us at the next intersection, and as I pulled into the truck stop. The Taco Bell ran it’s course, and life as we knew it returned. Joy and peace reigned through the land.
Why do my long stories involve tire changes?