I have a long history of relying on my AAA membership. I have used it for dead batteries. I have used it for flat tires. I have even used it to have my car towed off a snow bank after I got a little, um, overzealous when pulling out of the parking spot I had parallel parked in on the streets of Easton. How was I to know that the small pile of snow in front of me was, in fact, a chunk of ice that would not yield to the power of my, well, Saturn?
I have also, on occasion, used Bill when the occasion warrants, calling him to rescue me when a tire goes flat and I am either in a hurry or am told by AAA that there is an hour or more wait because, frankly, I don't have time to sit around all day. This all brings us to yesterday, as I was leaving work to head to school to take another dreaded exam in one of my nursing classes.
Picture it...Fountain Hill...3:30 PM. I realize that my car is feeling a little...off. Something isn't right. Is it the transmission? Is it the engine? Then, I smell something hot, and I realize. It's a tire. I have a flat tire.
My initial reaction is panic. Shit! I have to pull over! There's nowhere! I need a parking lot! Any parking lot! Private parking? Who cares? Here I come!
I pull in and turn off the car. I take a peek. The rear tire on the passenger side is, in fact, flatter than a pancake.
What to do? I have an hour and a half to get to class and the exam that I have to take. Bill is far, far away at work. AAA is probably not going to get me to class on time. Time to step up. Time to be a (wo)man. Time to (GASP!) change my own tire.
I should mention here that I had a practice run a few weeks ago when my friend Paula and I came out of clinical and found her tire looking much like mine did just then. Together, we managed to get the old tire off, and then a kind man came along and put the spare on for us. Therefore, I had a little bit of reference to fall back on. I was ready to go.
Except for my trunk is definitely a storage area for many of the belongings that I just don't have a place for. Okay, that's not entirely true...it's full of stuff that I have been too lazy to find a place for. So before I could change my tire, I had to find the donut under mounds of stuff. I commenced pitching everything out of the trunk into the parking space next to me. Two coats? Check. Tent? Check. Sleeping bag? Check. Chair-in-a-bag? Check. Bowling ball? Check. You get where this is going.
Anyway, I found the trunk and the jack, just where I expected them to be. And I used that jack to jack my car up and then used the jack handle to remove my hubcap and my wheel. And I used the jack handle to put the donut on the car. And then I loaded my injured tire (the one with the big NAIL in it) into my back seat, threw all my stuff back in the trunk, and got on my merry way. Twenty minutes later. That's right; I went from tire changing novice to twenty minute tire changing goddess just yesterday afternoon. Good stuff.