I had pretty big plans for last week. Ya know, things to write, work to get done, tasks to do to prepare for the 20 or so folks coming to my house for Thanksgiving.
Then one of my wheels fell off my car while I was running errands.
To recap, MY WHEEL FELL OFF WHILE I WAS DRIVING MY CAR. In the middle of a busy intersection. In Atlanta. At lunchtime. I mean, if your wheel is going to roll off while you're in motion, go big. Because you can't go home. Because you're missing a wheel. Nasty cycle.
Allow me to set the scene. I'd just had my oil changed and tires rotated, just the type of nonsensical errand I hate in the first place. I'd only coaxed myself to tend to this task by promising myself some leisure reading in Vanity Fair about Downton Abbey while nibbling the last of the decent Halloween candy.
When the dreaded task was done, it was lunchtime. I'd driven maybe a half a mile, and here's my exact thought process:
"I'm kinda hungry, what can I grab nearby? What was that noise? OhmygodwhatjusthappenedwhyismycarcompletelystoppedandisTHATMYTIREINTHEMIDDLEOFTHEROAD????????"
Baffling. Whose tire falls off while they are driving? Seriously. Any of you? Didn't think so. So I called the place back and hollered at them to come fetch me and my tire off the street. I'm pretty sure I didn't use salty language, but can't promise. The kindly lady behind me stopped and was extremely helpful (and shockingly knowledgeable about cars. She was darting around in traffic picking up my lug nuts off the street. Heretofore I had no idea what a lug nut even was.)
So at this point it's well past lunch and I'm hangry (that devilish mix of hungry + angry), not to mention a little shaken up because my wheel had just fallen off my car when I was driving. Had I mentioned?? Luckily my husband arrived with Chik-Fil-A and a Coke (it was a nutritional wasteland kind of day) so I didn't say anything like "who the hell doesn't double-check that the tire they've just rotated is firmly fastened to the car?" which was very much what I was thinking.
So anywho, just wanted to let y'all know a couple of key things I've learned through this experience:
~There are still lots of good people out there. Like Lisa, the lug nut collector who stayed with me until they came to get my car. Also, a State Farm agent just happened to be driving by and offered to put the tire back on for me. And also suggested Lisa and I might want to get out of the middle of the street. Always the voice of reason, those State Farm folks.
~Smart businesses will make major mistakes right, and quick. We've been going to this particular auto place for nearly 10 years and never had a problem. This was a costly mistake (that could have been much worse), but I had my repaired car back in a week, and a paid-for rental while I was waiting.
~My children will mock whatever rental car we are driving. When in Seattle they referred to our rental as the Clown Car and said "honk, honk!" while tweaking their noses every time we got into the car. This car they referred to as the Bat Cave since it was a giant, black block of a vehicle. I like to think of it as helping them narrow down their possibilities for when they turn 26 and are allowed to drive.
~Lug nuts are critical to the driving experience.
If you're travelling for Thanksgiving, be safe!