Before one goes to Discount Tire, one must destroy the tires one already has.
If you follow me on SnapChat (username: GentleMarisa) then you already know a lot of this story.
Last Saturday, I went up to Oklahoma City to have a dinner at Fuze Buffet with Raven and Katie. It was fantastic, if not way too freakin’ loud with the unnecessary saxophone music echoing off every surface. I had an entire plate of dessert first thing, because I know my priorities, and any time you can have multiple slices of cheesecake, you are absolutely obligated to do so.
Before we left, we all donned our red lipstick, and parted ways, making plans for a similarly decadent feast in August.
I texted Chris to let him know that I was heading home, and he told me to meet him at a friend’s house for a couple of beers. This was just around 8 PM. So I hit the highway, planning to get there around 8:20.
That didn’t happen. On southbound I-44, somewhere around the SW 15th Street exit, two wheel ramps came flying off a trailer two lanes over, and bounced into mine. I didn’t have time to slow down or swerve. It felt like I was watching it in slow motion, and it felt like my driver’s side tires seemed to be sucking in one of those ramps so they could go over it sideways.
I drive a Honda Civic. It doesn’t take obstacles well.
OR JUST GENERAL CAR THINGS. THOSE ARE A DAMN STRUGGLE.
The sound it made as I went over the ramp was sickening, and I screamed. But I didn’t lose control or anything. I thought for a split second that maybe, magically, everything was going to be super cool and I had just gotten lucky. (I feel I’m rather deserving of some luck when it comes to cars and highway driving, but the Universe seems to feel otherwise.)
My tire pressure light came on in an instant, and then the steering got incredibly bumpy, like it does when you have a flat.
I pulled over to the right shoulder, and called Chris. I let him know that I had a flat, and he said he’d come help me change it real quick since he was nearby. I hung up, and then walked around the car to assess the damage. That’s when I called Chris back, and said we’d have to call a tow truck, because I had two flats, and not one.
(And if I’m being honest here, there’s a good chance that the spare in my trunk is flat as hell.)
At this point, I was just really pissed off. I hate buying tires, and I hate how often I wind up having to do it after driving on an Oklahoma highway. I also hate that someone with a trailer hitched up to the back of their pickup didn’t have the foresight or common sense to secure the wheel ramps in the trailer.
In fact, as I stood by my car on the shoulder of the highway, I could see that truck with the trailer about 50 yards behind me. They had stopped, and the passenger was trying to sprint out into the road to grab the wheel ramps, like some madcap game of Frogger.
Briefly, I thought about walking those 50 yards to get their information so they could pay for my tires.
I tried to think about what I would say, and how I would make that situation end well. There were too many variables. I couldn’t know how they would react, and if I could get away if I needed to, or if I’d even be able to get away. What if they got mad and felt like I was confronting them? What if they had a gun? What if they were drunk? (There were a lot of swerving drivers on the highway that evening, and a ton of assholes without their lights on.)
While I want to believe that people are mostly good, this goes out the window when it comes to highway driving. For some reason, that’s when everyone loses all humanity and turns into murder machines.For some reason, that's when everyone loses all humanity and turns into murder machines. Click To Tweet
The sun was setting, and I was stranded between SW 15th and SW 29th. Just over a rickety barb wire fence west of the shoulder, there were some strange men watching me from their porch. I’m sure the girl in a white flowy skirt with her cell phone plastered to her ear as she tried to get a hold of roadside assistance was quite a site.
They set off a few Black Cats, what with it being two days until July 4th, and one even whistled at me a couple of times. Note to men out there: No woman wants to be whistled at, especially when she just got two flat tires. And if you whistle at a woman after two of her tires basically explode on the highway, then there’s a sportin’ chance you’re fixing to have your jaw broke.
Chris got there shortly after, just as I was wrapping up my call with roadside assistance. They were incredibly helpful, if not irritating. I understand why they are required to say the things they do, but really, it’s kind of a joke.
The first question the guy in the call center asked me was “Are you in a safe location?”
Does anyone feel safe on the shoulder of the highway on the Saturday of a holiday weekend while people speed by going 80? I mean, at least the whistling dudes eventually went inside.
I told him I was safe enough, which gave him pause, but not enough for him to not complete the call. All told, I was on the phone for 20 minutes trying to get a tow truck and designating where I would like my car dropped off. During that time, Chris arrived and I got in his car.
Then, we waited.
The tow truck finally got there around 9:45, and the driver was a great dude who was super helpful. We followed him to the Discount Tire in Norman, where he dropped off my car, and handed us back the key since they don’t have a dropbox.
Then, we went home and watched Mad Max: Fury Road, because I had just basically lived it.
I mean, as close to Fury Road as I’ll probably get. Or, at least as close as I hope to get. I’m not in the mood to witness a bunch of War Boys at the end of their half lives.
Anyway, because I got a flat on the Saturday night of a holiday weekend, I had to wait until Tuesday morning to get new tires because the shop was closed on Sunday and on Monday for the 4th of July.
(This was not an inconvenience to me by any means. I cherish days when I don’t have to drive. And even though I’m currently “in the market for a new car,” I plan to prolong this process as long as possible until I put myself into a situation where I don’t need a car at all.)
So on Tuesday morning, Chris dropped me off at Discount Tire on his way to work, and I hopped up to the counter.
“I need to get two new tires on that sad-lookin’ Honda Civic out there,” I said.
The guy at the counter laughed at that, not because it’s a funny thing to say about a car but because my car really does look sad, and it’s comically fitting.
He looked me up in the computer, and since I bought a whole new set of tires from Discount Tire about two years ago — the last time I had a hellacious blow out on the highway — my two destroyed tires were still under warranty, and thus free. I did pay the $32 to renew the warranty though, because apparently I’m really good at destroying tires, and I’ll pay a preventative $32 over a surprise $600 any old day.
After they looked at my car, they called me back up to the counter, and asked me to confer with them about the tires. (I appreciate the gesture, but I know nothing, Jon Snow.)
“So, Ms. Mohi, would you like us to put the new tires on the rear? That’s generally best for wear,” he said, smiling brightly at me like a tire-slinging angel.
“You’re the boss, man,” I said, my hair a frizzy mess and my body swathed in yoga pants, “all I know about tires is how to pop them.”All I know about tires is how to pop them. Click To Tweet
And with that, he laughed, and set about getting my tires on my car. The whole ordeal took about half an hour total, and was absolutely the best ending to a terrible situation.
(I will for sure be returning to Discount Tire, just because they have the best deals on tires you can find, their warranties are amazing, and the dude at the counter laughed at my jokes. This is not a sponsored post, but if you work for the marketing team at Discount Tire and you want to work with me, holla at your girl.)
When they called my name and passed my keys to me, I got in my car like Imperator Furiosa climbing in her War Rig. I felt as if I had just brought the dead body of Immortan Joe to the Citadel.
And I assume that when Furiosa brought the dead body of Immortan Joe to the Citadel that she felt like she just got a really good deal on tires.