These events are 100% true and originally occurred on Saturday, February 7th, 2007.
* SURPRISE *
I had another FLAT TIRE.
And at 9am this morning, my father came to the rescue.
The first decision we had to make was should we put the donut on the car? Or should we take our chances and drive to get air into the tire? It didn’t really matter if we were going to dent and destroy the steel rim, because we were getting a new rim anyway. So….rather than going through the nightmare of opening the trunk, digging out what we needed, using a wrench, a car jack, taking off the tire, and putting on the donut, we both said, “Screw it” and drove to the closet gas station.
But our day started off pretty badly, when we arrived at our favorite gas station.
And wouldn’t you know it. The air pump was broken, again. And the same attendants were there the last time this happened.
All I can say, is thank goodness it was MY 75 cents that went into the machine this time.
Now that meant my daddy would have to go through the nightmare of opening the trunk, digging out what we needed, using a wrench, a car jack, taking off the tire, and putting on the donut.
And, fuck! It’s cold outside!
Except that once my father got back to my car?
We discovered all of the tools necessary to put the donut on my car were back at my fathers house.
“Goddamn, motherfucker!” My father exclaimed.
“What do you want me to do daddy? Should I drive back home?” I nervously giggled in-between questions because he started the jaw clenching action which he only does when he’s really mad or upset.
“Well,” My father thought aloud, “There is another gas station at the next light. And that’s where we need to make the U-TURN anyway, so…let’s just see if they have an air pump.” He laughed, “Preferably one that works!”
On the drive to the next light, my father asked, “Why do bad things always have to happen in threes? First I lost that insurance account, then, I lost at cards…and I had a full house, when the other guy had all four sevens!! And now this…I’m telling you right now Mel, you are so lucky that was your 75 cents.”
“Don’t I know it!” I said, shocked the veins pulsing in my fathers neck didn’t explode.
As I drove on the shoulder of the highway and looked over at father, all I could do was laugh. Hard.
We both knew at that moment, had it been HIS 75 cents, I’m sure this post would have included pictures of my father being arrested by the police for destruction of property and/or murder.
Luckily, when we arrived at the next gas station….
Yes! What is that! An air pump? One that works? Get outta here! And, its only 50 cents! Oh hell yes, things are looking up.
Now that things were going in the right direction, my father was in a slightly better mood.
At least in good enough of a mood to get us some coffee.
On his way back to my car, he even stopped to help some lost people by giving them directions (after all he is RON-QUEST).
Back in the car, we were headed to the the junkyard that Poppa Sye had found. And the new rim would only cost us $50.00.
Thankfully, my father called ahead – just to make sure the rim was there and ready for us to pick it up.
“Hello, do you guys have a 2002 Hyundai Electra rim.”
“Pssst…daddy, it’s an Elantra.”
“I’m sorry, do you guys have a 2002 Hyundai Electra, I mean ELANTRA Steel Rim?” (insert pause) “You don’t? What do you mean you don’t? My father-in-law called you guys, you guys said you do have that. You don’t care what my father-in-law told me? You haven’t had rims in 5 years? You only have tires? Oh, this is great, okay, fine, thanks… for nothing…bye.”
My father turned to me and said, “Shit! Well, at least we didn’t drive all the way there. I would have been really pissed off.”
“Oh, I know. So…where am I going now? What do we do now?” I asked.
“I guess, we have to go to Hyundai and see if they have the rim. I just know they aren’t going to have it. You know we are going to have to order it right? And, you know this is going to cost like $300.00 right?”
“Um… hmm. I love you daddy.”
When we got there, the first thing my father did was find out IF they had the rim we needed in stock.
And, YES! They did.
Then my father needed to know, “How long is the wait going to be for the dealership to fix the tire?”
“An hour and a half.” Said totally innocent employee.
“No! No, that’s no good, I have things I have to do. I’ll just buy the rim and take it somewhere else.” Yelled my short tempered, at times, irrational, over-reactive, yet very lovable and quite entertaining daddy.
“Let me see what I can do.” Said totally innocent employee. Five minutes later, “It should only take a half hour sir. Can you wait that long?”
“Okay. Fine.” My father replied, begrudgingly.
While in the waiting area of the service department, watching the food network and reading skiing magazines, my father and I had a nice laugh at the strange couple that was next to us, who decided to sing along, out loud, out of key, to the bad 80’s songs in the commercials on TV.
45 minutes passed when my father noticed my car was still, just sitting there. In the parking lot. NOT being worked on. Not being worked on at all.
My father paced the waiting area once, and took off. I stayed in the waiting area. I knew what was about to go down.
*INSERT DRAMATIC HORROR MOVIE MUSIC*
(In hindsight, I wish I had followed him and taken pictures of him freaking out on the dealership people, but I didn’t want my camera to get destroyed or be the recipient of one of my fathers’ tyrannical rages and/or speeches.)
All I heard, 10 minutes later, from outside the window, “C’mon Mel, lets go!”
I ran out the door to meet my dad, when I noticed he had a box under his arms. It was the steel rim we needed.
I didn’t say anything. I just got into the passenger seat.
“They wasted 45 minutes of my time! What the fuck is with these people, oh, sure, they were going to start to work on it now! NOW?…Now! After 45 minutes already passed, I’d be sitting here for the hour and a half I didn’t agree to. These fucking bullshitters. Fuck them. I don’t even want them to fix it. No, we are going somewhere else now! ! !”
“Okay…daddy. Sure whatever you want.” I decided to be brave and ask for the hell of it, “What did the rim cost anyway?”
As we pulled out onto the highway, my father just decided traffic laws no longer applied to him.
Maybe he thought he could somehow get back the 45 minutes of his life that were wasted, and therefore he could just ignore all signs, or rules, and make illegal turns to get to a new place, a better place to fix the tire faster. Maybe he was in such a hurry to stick it to Hyundai by getting the tire fixed as fast as he could by another place even if it meant breaking laws. Maybe he really did have other shit to do? Like hanging curtains for my mom. Right?
This was the next place we went to…
We flew into and out of that parking lot, within three seconds.
“This place is packed. I will be stuck here for an hour and a half. No!”
“Okay daddy.” I clung to my seat belt for dear life. “I love you daddy…”
And mind you, we flew down Route 9, with the fucked up tire, still on the car.
After turning down side streets and whipping through the town of Freehold, we ended up on MECHANIC STREET.
That’s right…Mechanic Street.
Low and behold…what is on Mechanic Street?
A Michelin Garage!
WITH NO PEOPLE.
AND NO WAITING TIME.
My father walked right in, right up to the front desk and explained the tragedy of his day.
He rambled on about how terrible Hyundai is and how they are a bunch of liars and scumbags. How he had so much to do and how it had been three hours since we started out this morning. He explained how couldn’t take it anymore, and he asked if they would they please help him now? Or he will have to come back on Monday?
Luckily…. these people were more than willing to solve the life-death-severity of urgent rim-changing-ness.
And they would do it, for $20.00.
While we waited all of 9 minutes for the tire/rim to be fixed, my father sat back, to read this magazine:
And that’s when my dad considered, just for a second, it might not be a bad idea for him to change his whole life? Maybe even become a member of the Jihadists movement? Then, he could be wielding a machine gun. Much like the child on the cover of the magazine. And NONE of this would have happened today, had he been equipped with the proper ammunition.
After it was all said and done and paid for, on the way home, we turned down a side street.
He thought it would be a shortcut home.
But it wasn’t.
It was filled with mothers, and more mothers, and tribes of children, and strollers.
My father looked at me and said…..”GREAT! Now we are stuck in a PARADE!”
And both laughed so hard, we cried.
I’m sorry I wrecked your day, daddy!
But thank you for my new tire & new rim!
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