Fortunate mishaps

A couple of weeks ago, I was heading home along my usual route. I pulled up to the house and saw that the other car was parked at a diagonal in front of the garage, which meant, a) park elsewhere, b) park elsewhere, get out and move other vehicle, get back in car and park in usual space inside of the garage or c) call husband and try not to sound too annoyed while asking him to please move the other vehicle.

I went for option b. I backed up my car, yanked on the parking brake and exited. Then I heard the hissing noise. I circled the back of the car and found that the tire on the rear of the driver’s side was hissing! Oh! Air leak! I knelt down for closer inspection and saw the shrapnel embedded in the tire. By now, my husband had emerged to move the other vehicle. “Take it to Pep Boys. You’d better hurry.” He said.

I hopped back in and drove across the street to Manny, Moe and Jack’s place (yes, I live right by Pep Boys as well as many other fine retail and service establishments—it is generally a plus to have so much available at such close range, but sometimes it’s a curse. But this time it was a plus.). With hazards blinking, I rolled into the parking lot with just enough time to spare before it went completely flat. If it had happened just a few weeks later, I could say that I made it to thirty-four years of age without catching a flat. Oh well.

Here’s the lucky part—I didn’t break down on the road. If I had, I don’t think fix-a-flat would have saved me. Why do I have fix-a-flat? Because the supercharger in the already small engine compartment effectively pushed the battery to the back of the car, where in non-supercharged models, the spare would have gone. This is why the car comes with runflats as standard issue. But runflats wear out, and when mine did, I went with four conventional tires that cost almost exactly what one standard issue run flat would have cost. It was a gamble, and if I had to catch a flat, I caught it in the best possible location. Well, no, the best possible location would have been IN the Pep Boys parking lot, so getting a flat tire at home was the second best location.

What are the chances of two unlucky things happening in relatively good circumstances? Well last month it happened twice. I was sound asleep on Thursday night when my husband’s voice woke me up. “Are you running the water? There’s water coming into the living room.”

Half –asleep, I got up and checked the sink. It was definitely not running. I reached under the sink and twisted one of the valves (I did this not knowing if I was accomplishing anything, I just did it to fulfill that urgent need to Do Something)

Then I went downstairs to see what was going on. Water spouted from the ceiling in the spots where the fire extinguisher/sprinkler, the light fixture and the smoke detector were hooked in. The smoke detector sounded off. I watched the ceiling go from dry white to damp gray as the water spread. Back upstairs, the hallway carpet was sopping wet. I pulled towel after towel from the linen closet in a weak attempt to soak it up.

How is this lucky?

We were home when this happened.

My husband fell asleep on the living room sofa. It happens sometimes. I usually go to bed early, while he stays up late. Sometimes he just thinks he can stay up late, but sleep catches him anyway. If he had been upstairs with me, we probably would have slept through all of it. For once, sleeping on the couch was actually a good thing.

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