I discovered just a few days before my birthday I'd have to renew my driver's license on said birthday. Or jump through all kinds of extra hoops the following day or later.
It worked out great at work; my bosses (and all the bosses in our company) would be in meetings all day, and we'd have what is affectionately known as our catered Cat's Away lunch. The annual event is huge every year. It was the perfect day for me to be a little late. I wouldn't be missing out on anything.
I locked my front door at 6:05, planning to be first in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles when it opened at 8. As I backed out of the driveway, I heard this huge harrumph, harrumph.
I just knew I'd run over one of the neighborhood cats. My heart sank, and tears welled up in my eyes as I went to the back of the car to find out which feline had been resting beneath my car.
Instead I found a completely flat tire. Not low. No air whatsoever.
I thought I'd ruined the rim coming off the driveway because the rim hit the street so hard. I tried to park the car so it wouldn't be in the way and The Lizard wouldn't have as difficult a time changing the tire as he would have had the car been on the sloped driveway. I didn't have time to change the tire myself. I went back into the house to begin calling neighbors who also work 30 miles away in downtown Denver to find out if I could hitch a ride with someone.
After leaving three messages, I finally found a ride. I locked up the house and walked out to the corner to be picked up. I redialed the first three numbers to let other neighbors know I'd found a ride. Turned out I'd awoken each of them. I felt guilty.
I called The Lizard at work to inform him of the biggest birthday surprise I've had in quite a while. We didn't chat long because my ride showed up.
"I hope you don't mind if we take my daughter to school," my neighbor said.
"Not at all," I replied. I hope you don't mind if I need to part ways with you at the DMV so I can renew my license."
As I buckled my seat belt, the 14-year-old in the back of the car, who is getting her learner's permit next week, piped in, "My mom told me to always check all four tires before I get in our car."
"Good idea!" I told her with a smile. "You can darn sure bet I'll do that every time I have to drive from now on."
After dropping her off at school, we headed toward downtown Denver. Within a mile, there came that sanity-gouging noise again.
Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph...
I knew that noise. I'd experienced that noise. Most recently! I knew exactly what it meant. The calendar had to be wrong. This HAD to be Friday the 13th!
My neighbor was able to pull over safely. I offered to help change the tire, but she insisted on calling her husband to rescue us.
I finally arrived at the Department of Motor Vehicles three minutes after it opened, and I was 14th in line. And two hours late for work.
But not late for free pizza at work for lunch!
The day got only better from there. My dear, sweet husband brought home flowers for me, and it turned out I didn't have to replace the rim. Just one tire, not two.
The joy of having a full-size spare! My 382,000-mile, nearly 20-year-old car is still running on factory spare and factory rims. As well as factory upholstery and factory paint. The engine has had a lot of work over the years, but it's still original, too.
Me and my car. We're both showing signs of age, but we keep right on purring! Or purling... ha ha ha!
I think I might be contagious, though. I won't be getting in anyone else's car until I know the flat tire virus has abated.