Ten Tires

File Under:  This stuff usually only happens to me, but, alas, this time I had company.

It had been a frustrating day from the get go.  I had awoken at 3 a.m., 5:15 a.m. and finally 6:30 a.m.  Jess didn’t feel like getting up to go to school so I needed to utilize my best reverse psychology (“You will have to explain to Mr. P why you are late…matters not to me”) before 8 a.m.  I had been up to my eyeballs in “administrative” type crap around the house and was more than ready to see the light of day and get some fresh air.  I awaited Jess’s arrival home from school (which always comes way sooner than I expect it to) so that I could give her a healthy snack (so she had candy corn…don’t judge me) and take her to the metal-smithing class on the other side of town.

On the way back, I stopped at a market and picked up some fresh turkey in preparation for the sandwich I am planning on making to take to work tomorrow.  (I have finally realized that having an apple and a Quest bar is not sufficient lunch for me.)

I took the familiar route home, the one that I take at least once a day, every day and happily breathed in the perfect air that I wait all year for.  It was 62 degrees, clear and delightful.  My hair looked great.  I wasn’t sticky from the air.  The windows and roof were open.  I felt the stresses of the morning spent hunched over files and notebooks drift away.

And then it happened.


What the fuck was that?

I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach and instantly recognized the sound and hoped that  is was not what I thought it was.  I had hit something (as in ill-covered construction, not a living thing!) in the road and had a flat.  Oh, wait, no…make that two flats.  Yes, the entire passenger side of my car was immediately leaning several inches into the ground.  Damn it.

But wait, what is that I see in my rearview mirror?  Two, yes, two other cars who have met a similar fate, their owner’s standing alongside their sloping cars  looking dismayed.  So there we are, on the edge of a busy thoroughfare, my little Lexus, a late-model Highlander and a Subaru with New Hampshire plates.  As I headed toward the two folks who would soon become my new friends, we heard a familiar thud and were joined by a middle-aged gentleman and his brand new Porsche.


I started to laugh.  I actually did.  I had a clear choice: I could either laugh or I could throw myself into the road.  As I contemplated my options, the next victim pulled into formation with us and we were we joined by a nurse in a minivan on her way home from what was, I am guessing, a double shift.  (She later told me that she had just purchased new tires.)  In case you lost count, that is five cars all disabled in a five-minute span by something menacing in the road.

Once I stopped seeing the humor and began to feel the rage, I called the local police.  Funny thing I learned: we were not the first five cars to suffer the fate of something in the road.  They had fielded five, yes, a different five, such calls earlier in the day.  And, it turns out, an additional, are you ready for this?, twenty cars in the past twenty-four hours…all with two flats on the passenger side.

Okay, huge nuisance, but surely the town is going to take care of it, right?  Wrong.  The cop who finally arrived to check things out told me, “In my twenty years on the force I have never seen the town pay for something like this.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

So now my car is at the dealer three towns away.  I am going to need two new tires, a ride to get my car, several hundred dollars to get it out of their garage and no one is going to take responsibility?

I am a little bit pissed.

But, (and forgive my Pollyannaism), no one got hurt, it is only money (and mounds of aggravation).  That said, I see a carefully worded Letter to the Editor and call to the town in my immediate future.  I am tempted to send them the bill for my tires, my time, my turkey that didn’t get to the fridge as soon as I would have liked, my future anxiety over driving down that (or any other) road in town and my generalized frustration with life.

Does this have anything to do with Jessie or her transition?  No, it does not.  But this is my blog and I will vent as I see fit.

Now, if anyone wants to juggle my day tomorrow and figure out how I am going to get to work, take Jess to two appointments and pick up my car, let me know.


p.s. Thanks to MLS for collecting me.

11 thoughts on “Ten Tires

  1. What?!!! Yikes. What street? I want to avoid it 😉
    And… Keep hounding the town. I bet they will take care of you. Just need to get to the right person!!! Hang in there. I will be around Thursday – If I can help out then!!!

  2. Would you mind telling us the road so we can avoid it?!! The wall in the picture looks vaguely familiar and I’ve been driving down a very ‘under construction’ road the past week, making the turn onto it that I make in my sleep, cursing myself for forgetting daily that the new construction is annoying! Wondering if it’s the same road?! Though I haven’t seen cars with flat tires! Sorry for your frustration! The town should absolutely pay. Especially with that many cars in a row with flats!!

  3. Julie, I’m sorry for what happened to you and sorry that you had company (but also glad you had company–good to not be the only one—there’s more power in that AND it got you to laugh.). I blew a tire late one night coming from Needham and the following day discovered that my mirror had also been severely damaged–had to be a rock that catapulted into the air and hit it hard. I went back the next day and took photos of the large pot hole in the road as all the smaller ones around it. There was debris (hubcaps) left behind from other cars—I took photos of all of that. I called Dedham Town Hall and was told to send a letter and documentation to the company that insures the town. I got the same kind of line as you and was not expecting a positive outcome. But alas, it worked, as it should have, and I was reimbursed the $500+ that I had to pay to replace the tire, rim and mirror.. And, by the way, this was right before we were scheduled to part with the vehicle—a friend was going to buy it! So, go for it! Be sure to take photos (perhaps you already did!) GOOD LUCK!

  4. Julie,
    Very funny!! I am that “middle aged guy” in the Porsche! Raised structures! Raised hope for a little justice. Don’t forget the Town employee who conveniently came along to spray paint!!

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