Quest for TireJust another manic Monday... if by 'manic' you mean, 'an apparently unending series of aggravations, frustrations, irritations, and exasperations'.
It started with no hot water. I had no idea why it started with no hot water. I checked the water heater in the basement, and, more meaningfully, so did SuperWife. She affirms the pilot light was on, I myself can testify that the water heater had not exploded nor was the basement flooded. But, no hot water. So, no morning shower, so, I spent the entire day at my new job feeling greasy and grungy in steadily increasing increments as said workday wound onward.
Said workday was even more of a chore than the usual workday, in that our usual trainer called in sick with a sinus infection, and we had a junior trainer who had no real idea how to teach us what we needed to know, and a tech specialist from the department I will eventually be working in coming down to help her out. Now, the junior trainer and the tech specialist between them were swell folks and very earnest about doing their very best for us, but it made for a long, dry, tedious eight and a half hours, as neither of them were particularly good at that peculiar subset of skills, talents, and techniques mankind labels 'teaching'. And the job I'm being trained for is both complex and deeply boring, so trying to teach it when you have no clue how to teach it well is, essentially, like unleashing the Grim Reaper's coma ray on an unsuspecting class room.
So, it's Monday and I'm itchy and unwashed, with my hair growing perceptibly greasier with each passing femtosecond, I'm feeling utterly bewildered and frustrated and stultified by what I'm now not-learning about my new job, and the clock is crawling like a broke-dick quadraplegic worming his anguished way through a canted concrete conduit studded with broken bottles.
Monday, Monday, hellish hellish Monday.
But then a miracle occurs, and it's 4:30, and I'm a moving unit, heading up the street to meet SuperWife at her office prior to rolling home to a long lazy evening at home, doin' nothin' and piling it up.
So we're in the new van and we're digging on the radio and rolling out of the parking lot and then SuperWife is pulling over and saying "I think we have a flat or something." And I'm getting out of the van and dread and trepidation are springing up in my heart like twin tigers of torment and terror, and, yes indeedlie-do, the left front tire is just as flat as my hopes for a peaceful pleasant dinner and a long nap in the daddy chair.
And why? Why? Because the monster of fucking Frankenstein has misplaced one of his fucking neckbolts in one of our fucking tires, that's why.
So, we called everyone, which means, we called SuperWife's niece who is somewhat handy with car stuff, and we called Nate because he's all like mechanically inclined and shit, and meanwhile, with a crappy pair of pliers SuperWife managed to hork from work, I spent thirty minutes on my back under the rear of the van trying to get a goddam screw to turn so I could get the spare from underneath where it was mounted and out to where it could do us some good, an effort ultimately futile in every regard except as it inspired me in my comprehensive scatological abuses, profanities, blasphemies, and verbal assaults upon everything ever associated with spare tires, minivans, screws that would turn but would not come off, and goddam monster of Frankenstein neck bolts that can't keep to their proper fucking place.
Then Nate arrived, and he had all these amazing tools, and he got down on the ground and rassled around with that goddam spare tire securing bolt for twenty minutes, and he eventually gave up on it too.
And then SuperWife's niece showed up and as nobody could get the goddam spare tire off we formulated another plan, whereby we'd jack up the van and pull the tire and Nate and SuperWife would roll out to a nearby Big O Tire and get the puncture patched and then come back, hopefully within an hour or so. Meanwhile, me and The Niece stayed behind to guard the van, which looked pretty vulnerable standing there with one wheel missing, quite literally all jacked up.
Half an hour later SuperWife and Nate came rolling back. I was not fooled: "It was closed?" I asked, astutely, to which my beloved spouse merely nodded.
So, the new plan was, SuperWife and Nate would roll out to a Wal-Mart that was about twenty minutes away, where hopefully the Wal-Mart autoshop could effect tire repairs. So off they went, and there the Niece and I sat, comparing notes on Quentin Tarantino movies and Showtime TV shows and Stephen King books and I can't recollect what all else and it was a reasonably pleasant forty minutes or so until SuperWife's phone rang in my jacket pocket and upon answering it I heard her advise me that the nearby Wal-Mart had closed their autoshop early and they were going to have to head on further out to another more distant Wal-Mart and it was going to take much, much longer. So the Niece and I sat there longer and bullshit some more and after a little while longer the Niece decided she had to take a shot at getting that spare tire off so she crawled underneath the back of the van and after twenty minutes crawled back out again, the spare tire securing screw as yet undefeated.
Right about then the phone rang again and SuperWife advised me that they'd reached the Wal-Mart and the garage was still open and the mechanic there would fix the tire but it would take another two hours because there were five people ahead of them in line. So she and Nate dropped off the tire and were on their way back to pick me up and we'd all go out and get something to eat and then go back and pick up the tire again.
Right about then, the Niece realized she had a Triple A membership! Whoops of joy! So she got out her card and called up the local auto club and much to my shock and surprise, I found out that if you have a Triple A membership, Triple A will actually come out and work on a car that isn't even yours that you just happen to be standing next to, if you call and ask them nicely. So the Triple A guy came out and showed me how you take the handle from our van's built in jack and you pull up this little patch of carpet and you fit the jack handle into this little socket and crank it round and round and round and that nut that secures the spare tire to the underside of the car and that WILL NOT COME OFF lowers down very nicely and the spare tire comes to a gentle rest on the ground, after which you can yank it right out and put it where you need it.
See, if one of us had known that or been able to figure it out hours earlier... yeah, you saw that already, right?
So the Triple A guy put the donut on for us and we thanked him profusely and he went away and the Niece went away too and the remainder of us rolled out to the distant Wal-Mart and got the tire and took the donut off in the parking lot and put the fixed tire on and SuperWife wasn't happy with how it looked so we went over to a neighboring service station and put air in the tire and then the key wouldn't turn in the van ignition and I screamed, I screamed a LOT, I screamed like a hot blonde chick in a slasher movie because it JUST WOULDN'T STOP BEING MONDAY and I wanted to eat something and go home and take a shower and go to bed.
So then Nate did something to the steering wheel and the ignition unlocked and we drove to Ryan's Roadhouse and it had just closed so we walked across the parking lot to this Asian Buffet that was still open and it was like the Asian Buffet That H.P. Lovecraft Built, I kid you not, I'm pretty sure N'yaarlahotep the Goat With A Thousand Young was portioned out in several steam trays with various sauces and the Cthulhu Rangoon was pretty distinctive, too. Which is to say, the food was not so much bad as it was a horror from the nether depths the likes of which one cannot truly imagine without tottering on the brink of homicidal derangement. Which made it the perfect ending of a perfect Monday.
So after that, we finally got home and I got to take a shower and do a blog post and go to bed.