Monday, November 22, 2010

And Boom goes the Dynamite my Tire...Again

This entry is in lieu of NaBloWriMo Day 18 because it was a lame question and this entry should be more interesting.

So, do you remember how 2 weeks ago, I said I had driven over a bolt and had to get my tire plugged? I was kind of annoyed with it but the solution had been easy enough and I thought my tire problems were over.

Oh, no. When are things ever that easy for me?

On Friday I was driving home from somewhere and I heard this clicking sound from the front of my car. It sounded just like the clicking my back passenger-side tire had made after I (unknowingly) drove over the bolt a month ago. So I heard this noise and I was like, "Oh god, no! Not again!" but then there was kind of a thud and the clicking went away. I breathed a sigh of relief, assuming I'd driven over something and it had dislodged itself. Presumably, that's what started this whole thing but I'm not sure. All was well and I drove home (and never thought to look at my tires).

At 8:30pm, I drove to Ann Arbor. It's almost exactly 100 miles from door to door. Thirty miles into the drive, in New Baltimore, I drove through a construction zone. I moved into the left lane to pass somebody and all of a sudden, my car started making a loud, angry, mechanical noise. This was my train of thought over the next few minutes.

What's that noise?
That can't be my car, my car is just fine.
It must be the road, I'm in a construction zone. Hmm, the road is fine.
Maybe it's the car next to me. There's no warnings on my dashboard and I don't see smoke or smell anything.
--BAM! Car falls forward and swerves--
Oh no, it's definitely me. $%@*^!*#$%^&*)!@#$%!!!!!!!!!

I was having a hard time steering but was luckily able to make it to the shoulder without endangering myself or others. Thankfully the highway was quiet. I sat on the shoulder for a moment and didn't know what to do, until it occurred to me that I should get out and see what the problem was (I was a little stunned, if you can imagine). I walked around to the passenger side and I saw that the front tire had exploded, pretty much literally. The whole outside edge of the tire around the rim had shredded. I'd never even seen a tire do that before. I got back in the car and started wondering what I should do. Of course, being the girl I am, I started bawling. I've never been in an accident or had any kind of problem like this before. I did once have to call a tow truck when I got stuck in snow in Iqaluit, but it wasn't really a big deal. So I was just completely confused. I called Anthony, who told me I needed to call my insurance company. Unfortunately my stupid slip doesn't show the emergency number, so Anthony found a number on his phone.

Call #1:
Answering message: Hi, you've reached [Useless] Insurance Company. Our hours of operation are 8 am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
Me: Okay okay let's get on with the program, I need the emergency claims number!
Message: If you know the extension of the person you wish to dial, please enter it now.
Me: ...
Message: If you don't know the extension of the person you wish to dial, please dial 0. Please note, our office is now closed. ...Hi, you've reached [Useless] Insurance Company. Our hours of operation...
Me: ARRRRRRGGGGGH *hangs up*.

At this point, I texted my friend Colleen because I figured she'd be at home and would be able to Google it with better results than Anthony (who was only using his phone). Within minutes she had the proper emergency number.

Call #2:
Customer Service Rep: Hi, you've reached [Parent company of Useless] Insurance Company. How can I help you?
Me: Hi, I'm on the I-94 in Michigan and I just blew a tire. I need help.
CSR: Okay, can I have your name and phone number?
Me: [Name] [phone number].
CSR: Okay I can't pull up your information because this is the after-hours hotline.
Me: Uhh okay?
CSR: Do you know if you have roadside assistance?
Me: Um no, I was hoping you would know.
CSR: Unfortunately I can't pull up any of your information since this is the after-hours line. But I would be happy to send your name and phone number to your home branch and someone will call you in the next 1-2 business days.

Gee thanks. You're telling me to sit in my car until Monday or Tuesday to wait for a phone call? What kind of service IS that? I was able to get some tow truck numbers from him luckily and just as I hung up with one dispatcher, there was a tow truck right behind my car. An hour after pulling over, I was able to drive away with my spare. It was only a donut so I had to drive 50mph the entire rest of the way to Ann Arbor, which sucked. The limit is 70 so needless to say, every car in America passed me. I was actually a little worried I might get pulled over since the minimum speed is 55mph but luckily, I did not have to start crying to any police officers that night.

Anthony poured me a nice strong rum and Diet Cherry Pepsi when I got there and I relaxed. The whole drive I had oscillated between being really angry and really upset. It's just been one darn thing after another ever since I moved back to Ontario.

We went and got me a new tire today so all should be well until any moment now, when something even stupider will happen.

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