Tire Rotation

I don’t even know where to begin to describe the last day. A routine trip to Costco to have the tires on our swag mini-van rotated turned into something akin to Chinese water torture. Drip, drip, drip until you just go stark raving mad.

Somehow last night I got railroaded into undertaking this task with David and Cameron in tow. After dropping off the van, I spent the next 45 minutes in Costco shopping, and listening to those two argue with each other like a couple of old biddies, debating topics like whether Cameron has actually seen Paranormal Activity. I think discourse between the entire touring production of Rent and the Westboro Baptist Church would be more civil.

Just as I was shopping for muffins, and David and Cameron were filling out fictitious cake orders, I picked up a voice mail from the tire center telling me that they couldn’t rotate the tires because a lug nut was stripped or fused, or something about a Johnson rod, I don’t know. I called Barry and made him deal with it. Naturally he handled that news with grace and aplomb, not accusing me of not being able to carry out a simple task like getting the tires rotated or anything.

As we were ready to check out he called me back and said that Costco would not “release” the car, that it had to be towed to a nearby mechanic, and that after reading the riot act to the dude at the desk, the manager explained that they were paying for the tow and the repair since they were the ones who originally installed the tires. So he was on his way with Justin and Alex to pick us up.

After patiently (“patiently” defined as David and Cameron taking turns making rude gestures at the security camera) waiting from Barry to make the ten minute drive to get us, and fielding two phone calls because the doors on the other van were frozen shut, we loaded up, ruining the surprise of the cool parabolic heater I got him for Christmas, and went home. But not before realizing that my left headlight was out, one that Barry had just replaced two weeks ago. Obviously my fault. Yeah, ok.

Justin and Alex both fell asleep, and after I had to yell at David and Cameron for screaming at Justin to wake him up, and herded them into helping take stuff inside the house, I walked around to Alex’s side to help him out. I don’t know what happened before I got there, but there was a massive patch of glare ice in the garage and next thing I knew I was on my back. Things are fuzzy here. I know I laid there for a second, pretty sure I swore. Really I don’t remember going inside, and then I was sitting on the couch, and everyone was telling me I was acting weird, and David was googling concussion symptoms, reading them back to Barry. From everyone’s accounts, I walked in “in a fog” and was responding to questions weirdly and dazed, and couldn’t remember if I hit my head (I still don’t). I had a headache, but insisted I was fine.

So this morning I had to take Barry to work after Alex got on the bus, which was enjoyable because the roads still haven’t been properly cleared 48 hours after Sunday’s snowstorm. Then I did some Christmas shopping that somehow turned into the entire morning, my head still hurt, and I tried to sit down and write because I have a deadline for a big report tomorrow, but really couldn’t focus, so I wrapped presents all afternoon instead. Deadline is blown.

I picked up Alex, then had to go pick Barry up at work to go get the car, and in the twilight I realized that not only one headlight was out, but both. So in ridiculous rush hour traffic, I had to drive with my brights on, which I had to hold in place because it wouldn’t stick in that position. Then Barry played back seat driver from the front seat as we went to Costco to pick up a check that they agreed to pay the mechanic after much three-way haggling and a determination that they were the ones who fucked up the tire installation in the first place.

I parked by the door while Barry ran in, and some guy in a dumbass “Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl” hat gave me a look as he walked by, and for a millisecond I almost got out to go ask him what the hell he was looking at, and just who the hell made him the parking police anyway? But Justin and Alex were busy making faces at other shoppers walking by, so I thought better of it.


The inside of Bobby & Steve’s Autoworld. Fancy.

Check in hand, plus a $50 gift card for our “troubles,” we headed to the mechanic, and made the vehicle exchange, and I drove the one with the fixed tires home while Barry waited to see about the one with the non-working headlamps. Meanwhile David and Cameron were at home, doing God knows what (I later found out what, because Cameron isn’t very adept at covering his tracks.), and I decided to pick up McDonald’s for dinner because by now it was approaching 7:00, and Alex mentioned that they were “hungry as hell.” But I had to abort the trip through the drive-through when I couldn’t lower my window because it was frozen shut. Why the HELL do I live here? So we had to traipse inside.

At this writing I still have a headache. Barry is still not home. Kids are hopefully done being obnoxious. Day is almost over.

Let’s try this again tomorrow.

(And no, I’m not going to the doctor. I’m not paying $600 for a CT scan to tell me that I had my bell rung.)

UPDATE: Tires fixed. Lights fixed. But wait, just got a text message from my husband, and a headlight on the OTHER van (the one with the screwed up tires) is out now. Jesus Kee-rist.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012


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