Flat Out Tired.

posted 1 Oct 2002, 9PM

Catherine and I are driving a friend's car back to Los Angeles from Texas. It's a white Mazda Protege from the early '90s that Cat named Mazzy Star; the leg room's a bit tight and the front speakers are a bit blown. Still, she's good times, and yesterday we left Dallas at 9:30 AM to cut up toward Amarillo on the 287. Somewhere around Wichita Falls we put a little John Cougar on the stereo (good ol' heartland style) and I started to doze off in my semi-reclined passenger seat. I woke a few minutes later to a strange repetetive sound... I blinked open my eyes, and for a moment decided it was just a bumpy stretch of road. But the sound grew louder, and one split-second after I sat upright with growing concern, Mazzy's front right tire blew out with a loud, sharp blast and a small, sharp swerve. We both yelped, and Cat pulled over into a convenient dirt lot.

We unloaded our luggage from the trunk, and pulled out the tire jack. The dirt lot was conveniently located beside a diner, so I went inside to ask for help. Meanwhile, a good ol' boy in his truck who had pulled up for lunch spoke with Catherine and suggested we hit Bryan's Tires, conveniently located just a mile down the road. I couldn't get the donut out of the trunk, but a guy at a table in the front of the restaurant pulled an adjustable wrench off of his belt. I put on the spare, and cleaned up in the diner's convenient rest rooms. Bryan's Tires didn't have the exact tire we needed, so one of Bryan's boys hopped in his truck and returned six minutes later with the right one.

We didn't even have time to pull our crackers and cheese from our travel cooler before they had our new tire on the car. Fifty bucks and forty minutes after the flat, we were back on the road. Amarillo wasn't far off, and Albequerque wasn't far beyond. Thank you, Vernon, Texas.

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