Sunday, November 07, 2010

Seriously?!

Mr. Lime and I drive cars that are held together with bubble gum, coat hangers, and prayer.  When it became apparent that Diana was going to need a vehicle for commuting a significant distance on a regular basis we found a nice, well-maintained 2003 Jetta because we did not relish the thought of her being stranded somewhere along the highway with one of our dying cars.  The girl has the nicest car in the family.  Even though hers is in the best condition I put her on our AAA PLUS plan.  I have the plus plan because, as mentioned, Mr. Lime and I drive jalopies.  I didn't figure Diana would have much need of AAA but she's inexperienced and it was cheap enough to add her.

In the last 2 1/2 weeks she has used it THREE times.  Yes, I said three.

First we were jangled into consciousness one Sunday night/Monday morning by a series of hysterical phone calls spanning the hours of midnight to 2AM because Diana had gotten a flat tire on the New Jersey Turnpike.   Once upon a time I was a mother of infants and young children.  At that time my nervous system was wired to go from zero to 60 in under .001 of a second at the sound of a whimper coming through the baby monitor on the nightstand.  All these years later my responses have slowed considerably.  The first phone call was seriously disorienting and having served my time as a breastfeeding mother all those years ago, I handed the phone to Mr. Lime.  He talked her through what to do.  Since she had AAA PLUS she opted to have the tow truck schlep her car from New Jersey all the way back to central PA...apparently it came in just under the 100 mile limit or whatever it was.

The second use of services was necessitated this past Tuesday when she had her second flat tire on the twisting, hilly, no shoulder road close to our house.  Since there was no safe place to pull off she opted to continue driving until she got to where the road forked and there was space.  She called me during the busiest hour at my office.  She had left her wallet at home so her license and AAA card were there.  I was less than pleased by that entirely avoidable aspect to the problem.   Nonetheless, I found a friend who could retrieve the card for her.  She had the tire changed and went to repair it and was told the tire was shredded beyond repair.  Ultimately the decision was made to just replace all four tires since the ones on the car were fairly new but not very good quality.  Two flats in just over a week seemed to indicate more were on the way so I shelled out the moolah to simply replace all the tires even though it means repairs my car needs are going to wait.  She was horrified by the total for the bill and said I should consider the tires her birthday and Christmas gifts this year.  She also declared that cars suck because they are so expensive to fix.  Whatever, given that the accident I had a year and a half ago was largely due to poorly worn tires I'd rather pay for tires than medical bills.

Cut to Saturday evening and the next automotive event.  "Mom, I blew out a tire when I backed over a curb."  I am breathing slowly and deliberately.  I am counting to ten.  I am frustrated.  I am face palming as I tell her to call AAA and deal with it.  She ought to know the drill by now...though I am considering taking the "nice" car and giving her one of the jalopies since we seem to have better luck with them.

15 comments:

Craig said...

She blew a tire backing over a curb?!? Ummmmm. . . how fast was she backing over this curb? 'Cuz just backing over a curb doesn't usually result in blown tires. . .

Her education would probably proceed at a faster pace if she did drive one of the jalopies, and had to learn how to account for the health of her vehicle in her manner of driving. . .

Some years back, 2F bought her grandmother's lightly-used, well-maintained car. And sold it less than a year later, because she couldn't afford the gas and insurance. Now that was a fine bit of education, right there. . .

;)

Cricket said...

Yeah, tires are cheaper than surgery/traction. That's was a good move.

That last tire, though? As above, you "backed over" a curb? Or you "totally whaled right into" the curb?

I did that once: a little space out and slam into a curb. Pretty much took my tire off. I was about that age, too. And definitely going at least 35 when I hit the curb. Duh.

Still, car woes beat medical woes. As if I need to tell you that.

Beach Bum said...

Whatever, given that the accident I had a year and a half ago was largely due to poorly worn tires...

As you well know things these days are crazy with everyone moving at warp speed but a couple of years ago I had to drive my wife's car to the grocery store because we had a visitor at the house whose car blocking mine from getting out of the garage.

It felt weird to me while driving that day and once I reached the store, I inspected the tires. All four were very worn with serious bald spots with two actually having steel belt exposed.

I absolutely freaked because she drove the kids to school and then had to take the crowded interstate to get to work inside Columbia. When I got home and asked her about it and she said they were "okay" and she would deal with it next week.

Not believing this I grabbed the credit card, rushed out, and got all four replaced. My wife, who wears her years living in DC and surviving the hassles of driving in that area as a badge of honor, always told me she could handle the maintenance of her car so I left it to her. Now I inspect her car every couple of months, although I don't tell her about it.

G-Man said...

Thank God For AAA!!!

Cocotte said...

I've had 2 flats in a week, but 3 is unbelievable!

haphazardlife said...

She blew a tire backing over a curb? I've done that more than once and never blew a tire. She has serious bad tire karma. Maybe she made a hobby of slashing people's tires in another life.

- Jazz

coopernicus said...

ahhh...the joys of parenting. and with two future drivers waiting in the wings

Suldog said...

Well, you already know that the good thing is receiving three phone calls and none of them involved injuries to anything other than the car, so...

AAA is a wonderful thing, and I highly recommend it for everyone who drives. The cost is recouped on the first tow, usually. And it's very comforting to know you can always count on having someone to call if things go wrong.

S said...

AAA is a wonderful thing, I agree.

I dont know about tires on the east coast, but they sure last longer over here...must be your snow ice salt humidity etc....


LR has already stated that she will have the next new car and I will keep driving the old Ford Escort. It's ok, I agree, she will need the safer car, and I barely drive anyway....

Logophile said...

We have towing through our insurance and with our recent car issues we've used it twice. It is sooo nice to have that covered when you are already dealing with a crisis.
I have no advice or comment on the handling of your new driver but you lot are sure are NOT reassuring to me!

Mother Theresa said...

Well, that makes three times, so now she's probably done with tires...at least I hope so. :)

Sarah said...

Awww poor girl. I know that stuff is crazy hard to go through too..

<3

(M)ary said...

I do believe if cars had been around during the time the bible was written, this would have happened to Job!

~Tim said...

Wow. And you made it through without saying, "I'm tired of this s#!~."

Jocelyn said...

Get her a horse and enroll her in a course called How to Become Your Own Blacksmith and Ferrier.