I was happy yesterday, for a little while. My mileage reimbursement check came in at work - $355. I already had my Reynolds Oil bill paid so this was extra money, money that wasn't allotted to anything else, money with which I could do anything I chose. I could go to a casino. I could buy a purse. I could make a trip to Heaven on Earth and come home with baskets of Begonias and Petunias and Impatiens. I left Lafayette smiling....until I hit Highway 25.
When I began to feel a serious vibration in the front end of my car. The steering wheel shook. The tire made a persistent, loud "thunkety, thunkety, thunk". I could relate to race car drivers when they shout over their radios, "I think I've got a tire doing down, I'm gonna' have to come to pit road!"
I did as I always do when I have car problems. I sped up to try to get to help faster and turned the radio louder so I can pretend I don't notice the sound of whatever the problem is. I kept my fingers crossed. In this way, I thumped and bumped my way home. With great relief, I saw the "Wabash City Limits" sign come into view. I crept into Friermood Tire, my own personal version of pit road. My friend, Bryan, came out and took a look. He pointed to a huge bulge in my right front tire.
"That didn't happen because of old tires," he told me, "have you hit anything recently?"
"Well," I said, "there was that giant chunk of semi tire, I smacked into going to Florida. It scared me at the time but then I forgot it."
"Going TO Florida," he questioned, "so you've driven approximately 1,000 miles since then? And you didn't notice any vibration until now?"
"Maybe a little."
"Then why didn't you come in and have it checked out sooner?"
"You know how I am about car stuff. I always wait to see if it's going to fix itself first."
"Yeah, I guess you thought your oil would change itself too since you're about 7,000 miles overdue."
Long story short. I had my oil changed and got four new tires. Total cost - slightly over $400. So I went from a joyful plus $355 to a dejected $45 in the hole in the space of a couple hours.