Tires are my nemesis. So much so, that I have a reputation. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out to my car to find a flat tire. I run over more nails, develop more bulges and suffer from more random slow leakes than anyone else I know. Until recently, this has never occurred while the car was actually moving.
My ultimate driving fear is blowing out a tire doing 70 on the freeway. Wait, members of WAPD might be reading this...my ultimate driving fear is blowing out a tire doing 55 on the freeway. Regardless of my speed, with my history of tire maladies, you might have expected this to have happened far earlier in my decades of licensed driving. Somehow, I've managed to avoid this particular peril.
Until one month ago today.
Yep, today is the one month anniversary of the day I stared into the face of my demon and lived to tell the tale.
To be honest, the story actually begins the day before. I was driving to Pick n' Save and the car was pulling to the left. Not too ominous by itself, but it was feeling like the tire was low on air. For someone like me, with my 50 or so career flat tires, it was fairly obvious as I bounced along the road that I was going to have to take a look at this.
Sure enough. Flat tire. I went home and filled it with air. No big deal. Happens all the time in my little world.
Before I go to work the next day, I take a look at the tire. Seems to be holding air just fine. Another false alarm.
And then my women's intuition fails me. I'm on Greenfield Avenue, a few blocks from the freeway when things start to feel a little wrong. I write it off to the tires being cold and stiff because, after all, it's freezing outside. I get on the freeway.
This analysis turns out to be a gross error in judgement.
I'm approaching Burleigh when the something "a little wrong" becomes something "very, very wrong." It feels like I'm already driving on the rim, when I feel a little pop and the steering wheel jerks to the right. It's not powerful enough to lose control, but it's enough to get my attention. Fortunately, I'm close to the on-ramp from Burleigh, so I'm able to pull completely over, away from the traffic flying north on I45.
Good thing I have a cell phone because not one car stopped to ask if I needed help the entire half hour it took for my husband to leave work and rescue me. Maybe people just assume everyone has a cell phone these days, but I could have turned into a human popsicle and no one would have noticed. For as often as I see police cars on the freeway, not a one drove by. To be fair, I suppose, it's not like I've ever pulled over to help anyone on the side of the road either, but let's be realistic. It's not like I'm going to be helpful getting those lug nuts off and looking under the hood would be like standing in the operating room trying to cut a patient open and find his spleen. But I was almost glad to be invisible, sitting on the side of the road. I certainly didn't want people slowing down to stare, which is the normal reaction to anything that happens on the freeway.
The car ended up having to be towed because not even my husband could get the tire off. One tow and $200 later, I'm good to go again. At least until the next tire goes flat.