It never goes as planned, does it? It is 11:50 am and we are still here. But not for lack of trying.
Here's the story.
7:30am, Doug heads out to change the flat. Confident in his abilities and as always my hero, my champion, my knight in shining flannel, I wish him well with a smile and a sip of my coffee.
45 minutes later, after consulting the user's manual several times, he cannot get the spare tire to drop out of its nesting place under the truck. For the life of him. See, There's this long winchy thing, with a hooky thing, and you stick it in the holey space back there and turn it counter clockwise and it drops the spare.
Easy as pie.
Well then. Why won't it drop?
Doug used many colorful adjectives reminiscent of his plumbing escapades around Easter of this year. He came in the house, feeling dejected and stupid. "This should be easy. Why won't it work??"
We called to see if WalMart was open so we could obtain a patch kit. No dice. Nothing is open.
I called Dodge Roadside Assistance. We didn't want to really, because this is a simple thing, and we should be able to change our own damn tire. And it will take them hours and hours and hours to get here.
It was our only resort.
A very nice girl named Chantal took my information and called for a truck to come out... while I held for 15 minutes. Chantal came back and said "No one is available to come out to you unless it's for a tow. All you need is a tire change, and no one is going to come out for that on Thanksgiving."
"Who cares if it is Thanksgiving. Millions of people are on the road, traveling, an NO one is available? What the hell kind of roadside assistance doesn't cover a tire change like this?" I start ranting.
"But you don't need a tow," says Chantal. "You just need someone to help you change a tire and no one is gonna come out if they aren't getting paid for a tow."
"If my keys were locked in the car, or the locks were frozen, 24/7/365 I'm supposed to be guaranteed help. This service is the equivalent of AAA. And you are telling me that no one will come out on a holiday unless they'll get paid the full price for a tow? What kind of service is this!?" I yelled.
I told her that I wasn't taking it out on her or anything, but that if it's Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ramadan or Yom Kippur, Sweetest Day, Remembrance Day, Boxing Day it shouldn't matter a tinker's dam if it's a tow, a flat, a locked key or any other fucking thing. The full Roadside Assistance Package knows no holiday. That's why it is called Roadside Assistance.
"Your car is in your driveway. You're not on the road." (yeah, bitch. I KNOW that. I'm SUPPOSED to be on the road!!!) "It's Thanksgiving, ma'am. I can call someone out of your area to come, but it would take a long time, and you'd have to pay out of pocket for that because it's not covered."
Wha wha whaaaa?????!!!!!!
I wanted to say "You fucking bitch!!! you ruined my fucking thanksgiving!!! fuck off and die in a hole on the side of the road. Bitch."
"Thanks anyway... we'll think of something else, and if we can't think of something, well. We'll call back. Happy thanksgiving honey."
Doug and I brainstormed what to do... what to do. Doug went next door and asked our new neighbor Steve #3 (Steve #2 is Matt and Megan's dad, two doors up. Steve #1 is the dad of Jessie's best friend and good friend of ours) if he had a patch kit because Pete (our tenant) and HIS patch kit were at his mom's house elsewhere in the state.
He didn't have one, but he came over to try and get the spare tire to drop. He wasn't successful either. He wished us well.
Doug felt better knowing that a real gadget and truck kinda guy (Steve's a mason, has an ATV, a boat... he's the kind of guy who knows how to get the spare down, damnit!) couldn't do it either, his self esteem rose.
We called our other friends around the corner, Steve #1 and he didn't have a patch kit either, but he suggested we get the tire as full as we could and drive to the next town over where there's a Mobil Station that is a AAA call center, it's staffed all the time. They may be able to help us out.
Instead of just driving over there, I called first... just to be safe. The kid on the other end told me to bring it in, he'd have it patched in five minutes. Hot damn. Doug got the compressor from the garage and got the tire inflated. They had the tire patched in no time. While I was waiting I gave people directions (they were lost and late for Thanksgiving lunch). I filled the tank. We're on our way.
While I was waiting at the station the phone rang and it was for me (???). It was Doug. As I came to the phone I was afraid he was calling to tell me the house burned down, or that he shorted the electrical system out on the house and everyone got electrocuted and died, except for him.
He called to relate a story to me -- he blew a circuit breaker running the compressor, so he went to reset it. The breakers for the front part of the house are in Jessie's room, under the stairs that go up to the tenant's.
On top of her bureau, he found a shiny metal rod.
The shiny metal rod which goes on the end of the thingy that goes into the hole thingy to drop the spare.
"Did you bring this in the house???" He asks me.
Meanwhile, I'm standing there thankful that the house wasn't burned down. I am also very VERY thankful that I didn't make up a story about being a helpless widow with no man in my life when I got there!
I mean, had I made up that story, just for fun, and he called up the station identifying himself as MY husband, well! Would I have looked like some sort of jackass on wheels!
"I don't think I did. I don't know what it is..." I laughed about it and told him I'd be home right away. He showed it to me and I recognized it. When we bought the truck it was on the back seat. Geoff thought it was a "weapon" and brought it in the house to battle his invisible evil arch nemesis, Dr. Robotnick.
"It's Geoff's fault," I told Doug. I think I had put it on top of the bureau. I had NO idea what it went to, where he got it. What the hell its deal was. But now we know.
The tire is patched. Doug's in the shower. We ate a little lunch. We're leaving. It is now 12:15... and THIS, I assure you, is the penultimate entry from here about our Thanksgiving Departure.Now... send us mojo/pray for us that nothing BAD happens while we're in transit, while we are there, or while we are in return transit. I don't think my good humor and kindness will be able to last