J.Lynn Johnston's Blahg!

I love my life! You should too…

New Years and New Tires…

Happy New Year! Here’s to making 2004 rock better than all those which have come before!

-You know us L.A. musicians… Always more than one party to go to… This New Year’s Eve was no exception. However, things definitely played themselves out differently than anyone expected. I had an odd start to the year, to say the least…

-My girl and I were leaving the first party in L.A. and driving to a party at a friend’s house in the valley for the “Big Countdown.” I was driving her car. About halfway into the twenty minute trip, the car started to feel different. When I changed lanes across the freeway bumps, the passenger side felt normal. But the driver’s side felt odd when it hit the lane line. It was rougher, and more metallic sounding. I asked my lovely companion if she had noticed the same thing, and wondered out loud if something could be weird with one of her rims. She just kinda shrugged. I guess that’s the sort of thing the driver is more likely to notice…

-Not 45 seconds had passed since I voiced my observation when, BOOM!!! The driver’s side rear tire blew out! All I could say as I wrestled the wallowing, fishtailing mess to the side of the highway (aside from curses) was, “I knew it!” Thank God that, out of respect for the relative sobriety on the highway, I hadn’t been speeding. Still… A blowout at 65 mph is definitely something that gets your heart racing faster than your speedometer!

-I got the car as far to the right-hand shoulder as I could, and got out to inspect. Sure enough, the tire was in shreds. Now, I can change a tire pretty quickly. I’d be less of a “man” if I couldn’t… BUT… I was cautious and careful about driving on New Year’s Eve in the first place, with the night’s notoriety for drunks out on the road. The last thing I wanted to do was hang my skinny ass out into the hectic freeway traffic in the dark to put a spare on. We opted for calling a tow truck and letting someone else do it instead.

-The truck pulled up behind us about ten minutes after the call went in to AAA. After I had run about 200 yards down to the nearest emergency call box to give our exact location info to the operator. Try saying “Los Angeles County, Westbound 118 Freeway, Call Box number 77, right-hand shoulder” when you’re out of breath and just trying to get more frigid air in your lungs! But our super hero turned out to be a bit of a dud.

-The tow driver sat in his truck behind the car for about five minutes before getting out and bringing his jack up. He was on his cell phone to his wife. I’d pulled out the spare already, to try to speed the process along. But there was no rushing this dude. I swear he got his automotive sense as a prize in a cereal box. He didn’t have a flashlight anywhere in his huge truck, so we were squinting in the dark, literally using my girlfriend’s keyring light from her keychain. The lug nuts on the wheel had covers on them which were supposed to be removed with a normal hex-head allen wrench. Homeboy tow-master didn’t have those either. So I ended up prying the covers off the lugs with a screwdriver from our car, wondering the whole time why I’d bothered to call anyone!

-Once we got the wheel off, we were able to see exactly what had happened to cause the blowout. At some point, we’d run over a nail. The slow leak in the nail got quicker as the tire heated up on the road and expanded. Eventually, the tire lost enough pressure that the rim had punctured the inside sidewall of the tire. Thus the BOOM. Thus the fishtailing. Thus the skidding. Thus my incompetent hero, pointing at the discarded wheel saying, “whoa…”

-As we were tightening the spare up, we started hearing booms and pops coming from the surrounding neighborhood. The short-bus of a tow driver looked up and said, “it must be midnight.” I checked my watch, and sure enough it was 2004. I thought about kissing him, but instead gave him a quick ,”Happy New Year, man!” and ran around the car to kiss my more deserving girlfriend, still bundled in her own passenger seat.

-So that’s how I rang in the new year… With axle grease on my hands and the smell of burnt tire rubber in my nose on the side of the freeway in the Los Angeles suburbs. But hey… I suppose it makes for a more interesting story than champagne and hook-ups with strangers…

-This new year, I resolve to get rid of the spare tire. Literally. I have to make arrangements to get the real thing back on the car today…

Love and new years resolutions,
=j.lynn

Advertisements

January 1, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: