Tuesday morning, my assistant principal let me know that my tire was going flat. I've had a slow leak for, gee, I don't know, 2 years maybe, so I just figured that's what he was talking about. Well, when I left for the night at 5:00, the tire was nearly flat. I drove slowly to the closest gas station and filled it, then went home and didn't give it another thought.
The next morning, my son and I got in the car (running late as usual!) and I started rolling down the driveway. Immediately, I knew something wasn't right. I had my son get out and look at the tire, and it was flat as a pancake. My first thought was "Shit!! My son is going to be really late now!" Normally, that wouldn't really be a big deal, however this week all CPS students are taking the ISAT, which is our annual standardized test. It's kind of a big deal to miss it. After a series of phone calls, my mother-in-law was on her way to pick him up and drive him to school.
In the meantime, I managed to get my dad on the phone, and he was going to come pick me up, and drive me back to his house so I could take my mother's car. She wasn't thrilled about that, but it was the plan,nonetheless. Now, my dad was going to be late for work, as was I. I really wasn't that worried about it, though, because every moment away from the Hell-Hole is a moment of peace. I walked in about 5 minutes before the babies.
Now, regular readers know that we have a standing appointment every two weeks at the vet's office for my mutt. Yesterday happened to be our day, so I had already decided to walk out the door with the babies when the bell rang. Besides having a vet appointment, I also had a Parents' Club meeting at my son's school. The vet is a 30-45 minutes drive each way, depending on traffic, so I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, in order to get to the vet as quickly as possible.
So, there I was, cruising on down 63rd Street, when I noticed a white car driving erratically down the street. He was darting in and out of traffic, switching lanes constantly and speeding. At one point, he was driving to the right of me, which was actually the parking lane. He was driving parallel to me, but then was about to come up to some parked cars, so he darted into my lane and promptly hit me! At first it seemed like he was going to just keep going, so I started laying on the horn, and screaming for my son to get his phone out and take a picture of the car and license plate. Well, to my surprise, the guy pulled over and I pulled behind him. Because of the neighborhood we were in, I expected a young punk, either Black or Latino, to step out of the car. Imagine my surprise when a blond-haired white kid got out.
The first thing he did was check his own car for damage. Surprise, surprise! Then he walked over to me and says, "Totally my fault." So I respond, "Gee! Ya THINK?!" We walk around to the passenger side of my MOTHER'S car, and at first all I saw was white paint rubbed all down the quarter panel. Then, I saw it. Not just a dent, but a big crease across the quarter panel, right above the tire. Shit!!!
Blondie asks, "Do you want to just go to the police station to file the report."
"Do you know where it is?"
"Yes. I'll meet you there."
The police station was only about 5 blocks away from where we were. I got in my car, while he jumped into his, and took off, driving just as erratically as he was before. Asshole! My first thought-he's taking off! I made sure my son took plenty of pictures of the car and license plate while I was out of the car talking to Blondie, so I wasn't too worried about it, just pissed. I figured I would file the report even if he didn't show up. Well, as I approached the station, I saw that he had parked on the street, and was already jumping out of the car. That's when I finally took a good look at him, and the first thing I noticed was that he was wearing uniform pants. (Did I ever mention my ex was a Chicago cop?) That's when it hit me. This asshole is a cop, and seeing how it's now 3:00, he's late for role call. That would explain the shitty driving.
Well, he proceeds to enter through the employee door on the side of the building while I was parking. My son and I walked the half a block to the main entrance, and went in the building. Blondie was already at the counter talking to the officer at the desk. This story is already too long, so let me just say, we filled out the report, I watched the rest of the guys at role call laugh and point at Blondie through the window of the role call room, we exchanged numbers (he would prefer to just pay for the damage, rather than file a claim with his insurance) and I was finally on my merry way.
Obviously, now I'm late for the vet. The vet took longer than usual, which meant I was going to be late for Parents' Club. I tried to make several phone calls while driving there, and while sitting and waiting, to try to get someone else to run the meeting, but I struck out. I ended up getting to school about 5 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start, with no agenda, no treasurer's report, no fund raiser report, no nuthin'. Luckily, one of the other parents was able to talk about Teacher Appreciation week, which she is organizing for us. OK, enough boring details, suffice it to say, I didn't get home from the meeting until 9:30, which is when I posted the highlights last night.
That brings us to today. As I was driving to school this morning, after picking up my friend's son, I turned a corner, and heard a scraping noise all of a sudden. It sounded like I was dragging something under the car. I didn't think I ran anything over, but I pulled over and had my "chocolate son" get out and look. [wait - I need to add a side note here. I call S my "chocolate son," and my friend (his dad) calls my son his "vanilla son." It's actually kinda cute. OK, I just wanted to explain, lest I offend someone.] Well, S didn't see anything in back, but when he looked in front, he said it looked like there was garbage under my car. I asked him if he thought he could pull it out, and he said no. In the meantime, I started backing the car up, hoping to dislodge whatever the hell was under there.
Suddenly, I see a couple of construction workers up on a scaffold on a building across the street. The one was waving for me to roll my window down, so I did. He yells to me that some shield under my car fell down, and I should just pull it off. Oh, just freakin' great!! My mother is going to KILL me!! I drove a little ways down the street so I could pull into a lot, and S and I tried to pull the thing off. It didn't budge, so we tried to tuck it back in place instead. I was able to get a tab up under what felt like the frame for this thing (mind you, it was all by feel, since I couldn't crawl under the car and look!) and we started driving again. Well, that held for about 100 feet, and the damn thing fell again! Ugh!!! I pull onto the next side street, and this time we tucked every single tab we could into the frame. As of 9:00 PM, it was still holding! I'll have to get that looked at, as soon as I get my car back. Which leads me to the rest of the afternoon...
By this time, my car had been sitting in my driveway for two days on a tire that was completely flat. I don't know anything about cars, but I was worried that this was going to be bad for the rim, or the axle, or something. I decided to stop on the way home to get a can of the stuff you can use to seal a flat. I get the can, go home, follow the directions and start to fill me tire. Hey, it's working!! Everything seems to be going well, right up until the can emptied, and the tire was only half full. Damn it!!! The directions said that after you fill the tire, you're supposed to drive slowly for 3-5 miles to evenly distribute the "goo" in the tire. Well, it didn't have enough air to drive on, so I got out my air pump. I have this nifty little pump that plugs into your lighter, which I'd been using for these two years to deal with my slow leak. Unfortunately, my lighter stopped working last summer (of course!) but I was in luck because now I had my mom's car. I pulled the car as close to mine as possible, plugged the pump into her lighter and started to fill my tire. It seemed to be taking forever, and the tire never really looked full. Finally, I figured it had enough air to drive on, especially since I was only going to drive around the block few times.
I pulled my mother's car out and parked it on the street, then went back to my car. I started it, and shifted into drive. I didn't even get my foot completely off the brake when there was an EXPLOSION! Seriously, a freaking EXPLOSION!!! The tire basically popped. My son got out to look, and was quite amused. It literally shredded. The car landed hard on the rim, which I figure can't be good. I held off on the nervous breakdown long enough to call my brother's friend who owns a garage, and works on my car for me. We wound up making arrangements for my car to be towed to his garage, which is actually where I was trying to drive to this afternoon anyway, after I filled the damn tire. I've been having some front-end trouble for a while now (which I'm hoping is just the alignment) so he's been waiting for my car anyway. Actually, my first thought yesterday, when Blondie hit me, was "why didn't you hit me yesterday, when I was in my own car, cuz it's needs some front-end work anyway!!"
I'll be anxiously awaiting Billy's call from the garage tomorrow to tell me how much money I'm going to have to dump into this damn car. I spent a couple of hours tonight at my son's high school (God, I can't get used to that - high school!!!) so all I can think about right now is tuition and how the hell I'm going to be able to pay it. That's the very reason I can't get a new car right now. There's NO way on God's green Earth I can swing $400 a month for tuition PLUS a car payment right now. Thank God I only have to pay 1/2 of his tuition. His father will be paying the other half, under protest it seems.
Good God, is anybody still out there? I think the only people who have actually read this far are those of you who truly love me, and for that I thank you! :) I think I'd better get my behind to bed. I think tomorrow's gonna be a loonngg day. Indulge me a moment longer...Yesterday, while I was getting rammed by Blondie, Dori was out in the parking lot of the Hell-Hole with a car that wouldn't start. After trying several times, she finally had to go in and ask for help. Much to her dismay, Big Cheese came outside to help her, and tee hee hee, when she tried it again, it started!! Hahaha! But, sadly, it didn't start today, so she had an unplanned day away from us, and she'll be out tomorrow as well, while her car is being fixed. I just hope she gets the same sub as today, since there didn't seem to be any problems. I didn't go in her room, though, so let's hope the sub didn't let the babies destroy anything. Although, I don't think, at this point, Dori even cares. I'm pretty sure she's staying focused on the fact that she won't be back next year. Lucky her....
One last little "story," but I promise to keep it short. I went to the Parents' Night at the high school with my friend (my son's best friend's mom, the one who is president to my vice president of Parents' Club) and she told me that this morning on the way to work, she hit a kid with her car!! What the hell is going on with the universe?! The kid is fine, but her side mirror is completely ripped off her car, and hanging by a wire. Sheesh! Between Dori, she and I, we need to go have a couple of drinks somewhere. Although, with the way our weeks are going, one or all of us would be picked up for DUI, so we'd better just keep our asses home!! On that note, I'm going to bed. Good night!
Calvin: You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help. ---Bill Watterson