A day to remember from when I lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Women! Listen to Your Man
“Don’t use the truck while I’m away,” he says.
“Why not?” I ask. “My back is a mess from pushing the Beetle to start it every time.”
“I’ll have a look at the Beetle when I get back, but meanwhile, don’t use the truck.”
After he leaves, I grumble. Fine for you to say ‘Don’t use the truck.’ Your back isn’t a wreck. I’m working too. To hell with this. I’m taking the truck to work.
The next day I get dressed for work. I have a 30-mile drive through uninhabited countryside to teach at an elementary school in the next town. Ah, yes. It’s so fine driving the truck, even though it is an old beater. I don’t have to push it to start it, and the radio works. It even runs quietly because unlike the VW, it has a muffler. Yes, I thought, I deserve this. I’m working and I deserve this.
But I don’t deserve what happens next.
As I round a slight curve in the highway, the truck wants to leave the road. I fight to hang onto the steering wheel to avoid careening into the ditch. I pump the brake and get the speed down to something manageable. Still holding the steering wheel in a death grip, I manage to come to a stop, just barely off the road, but safely on the shoulder. A quick inspection confirms a shredded right front tire.
Now what? I ‘m about ten miles from town and in the middle of nowhere. I take my school bag, lock the truck, and start walking.
It’s quiet out here on this sparsely used highway. At least it’s not raining for a change. I’ll be late for school. Nothing I can do about that. Maybe someone will come along and I’ll catch a ride. But at this time of the morning, why would anyone be driving this lonely road? I’m having guilty thoughts about using the truck when the Captain specifically said not to. He hadn’t said why though. I thought he was just being chintzy, as the Beetle is much cheaper on gas.
But wait! Do I hear a vehicle? Will it stop for me? I get out on the middle of the road, hoping it won’t barrel right over me. It sounds like a big engine.
Glory be! What comes around the bend but the blessed school bus. The gods love me after all. I jump aboard explaining my near disaster and am delighted to be dropped off at the school steps. I’m not late after all. Everything will be okay.
I phone my brother-in-law, Vaughn, who works at the local garage. He says he’ll see what he can do.
After school, we drive out to the blowout site with a compressor in the back of the garage’s tow truck.
Vaughn pulls up to the back of the truck. “It’s the right front,” I say.
“Well…looks like you have a flat in the back too.”
Vaughn pumps up the back tire, removes the mashed front tire, and has to pump up the flat spare tire before putting it on. He gives me a hug and says good luck.
I drive home praying silently that nothing more will happen. I vaguely remember the Captain once saying something about the truck tires only being cheap retreads. I guess I’ve learned my lesson. My day has been as bad as it can get, hasn’t it?
I pull into the driveway at home and blow out a long breath of relief. I get out of the truck and it seems there’s yet another tire doing the same thing.
July 31, 2014 at 11:59 am
Why can´t you do what hubby says??? He was only trying to protect you – as you found out later -hahaha – real good story!
July 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm
If he were really trying to protect me he would have fixed the starter on the Beetle. But you’re right. I should have listened.
July 31, 2014 at 12:00 pm
Big Smile … and so it goes, old junkers and life down a country road
July 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm
Some things never change!
July 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm
At a loss for something to post? Surely not!
July 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm
I guess sometimes life seems all routines and nothing out of the ordinary happens that’s “worth writing home about.”
July 31, 2014 at 6:02 pm
You were about tired out!
July 31, 2014 at 7:38 pm
LOL! That’s very good, Terry.
July 31, 2014 at 6:04 pm
This is a true story?
July 31, 2014 at 7:39 pm
As I live and breathe, every word is true. Gary was away commercial fishing. I’m not good with car or truck repair.
August 1, 2014 at 5:40 am
Why don’t women listen…??? Thanks for the laugh… but I must know, did you tell Gary about your mishap when he returned..???
August 1, 2014 at 7:45 am
Haha, The four flat tires told on me before I had a chance and then I got the proverbial, “I told you so!”
August 1, 2014 at 6:56 am
Ha, you reposted this at a time when both of our vehicles are having tire issues. I just replaced one on one car to the tune of $200. Go a couple more to go on the other car. Sigh. Well, at least you arrived home safe before the other tire started deflating.
August 1, 2014 at 7:47 am
Just in the nick of time too! I know, tires are expensive. That’s why Gary got the re-treads. He’s never bought re-treads since then. He buys the best now and we rarely have tire trouble anymore (touch wood).
August 1, 2014 at 7:55 am
When you said Gary bought re-treads, I was thinking, how did you know Gary bought re-treads. Ha! Then I remembered, our husbands have the same name. Hee, hee.
August 1, 2014 at 7:56 am
LOL I forgot about that! So funny.
August 1, 2014 at 8:56 am
Retreads and old Beetles; they never work out. I know. Glad that you made it to school on time!
August 1, 2014 at 9:12 am
Other than basketball road trips that was the only time I rode to school on the schoolbus.
August 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm
Did you coach basketball? That’s a huge commitment of time; good for you (and the kids). Teacher Coaches are worth gold for their dedication and volunteer hours above and beyond the classroom.
August 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm
I coached our elementary school teams and went on an interesting seaplane trip with one team from the Charlottes across to Port Simpson, north of Prince Rupert. But I played basketball all through high school and beyond. In one of those years when I was in high school (a long time ago), our Nanaimo District Secondary School team came third at the BC Provincials and won the Sportsmanship trophy besides. That was a grand time!
June 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm
Ahh yes, I remember this. Sounds like you learned your lesson. Anything to do with cars, I listen to the hubs.
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June 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm
I like it when my vehicle hums along and doesn’t threaten to break down.
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November 13, 2016 at 7:17 am
Aww, poor old truck couldn’t help the bad tires! What a nerve wracking and dangerous decision you made not to listen to your Captain! I used to be very independent and it seemed like once in awhile the ex-husband got a chance to say, “Told you so!” 😀
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November 13, 2016 at 7:25 am
Haha, yes. That was a hard lesson for me.