We’re heading down the Cape for more fun and frivolity. Hahahaha. I’m such a funny guy. I really crack myself up sometimes. Let’s start this over, shall we?
We’re heading down the Cape for the first of the seemingly endless yard work that pops up down there that is of such jaw clinching importance to my girlfriend’s mother that if we don’t go down there not only will all hell break loose but she might plotz. Even though I’m sure she’d never use that word. But that’s the kind of dire consequences that will befall if we don’t get down there THIS WEEK to take care of it.
So we’re driving down. It takes a couple of hours and, just in case you’ve never experienced it, let me tell you, being in a car for two hours with a girlfriend who is pissed at being forced to do something she doesn’t want to do isn’t as enjoyable as it sounds. Have you ever been trapped in a car by a wild dog barking and clawing at you? Put that dog inside. Welcome to my world.
Trying to keep things as civil as possible I pretend to be incredibly interested in the scenery. Even though it’s the same damn scenery I’ve seen for all the years we’ve been forced, I mean, gleefully traveled the highways and byways to the Cape. Don’t get me wrong, we manage to have fun but it’s the tempest in a thimble that’s conjured the cause of dread.
Please don’t think I shirk any duties. I’ve carried more barrels of leaves into the woods than the internet has trolls. Mowed miles of lawns. Pulled dead animals out of clogged gutters (it sure would have been nice to know they were there before I grabbed) and countless other things too disgusting for someone of my delicate sensibilities to go into publicly (suffice it to say, the smell of a rotting animal whose guts you’ve unknowingly jammed your hand into stays on your hands long after the deed is done).
We’re getting closer to the doom. Which I exaggerate. Yes, the work has to get done. Yes, we will do it. No, it has never been to the level where even the most anal condo association would toss down a fine. But, once marching orders are in place those feet are going to move.
I’m watching the traffic. I like that. One day I was watching traffic when this woman started staring at me. She couldn’t see what I was looking at because of my dark glasses but I could see what was going to happen if she didn’t stop staring at me. And damned if it didn’t. The traffic was heavy and slow so the impact wasn’t too bad but it sure was funny to see her come to a full stop like that.
But today the traffic was flowing pretty quickly. Cars are passing us and we’re going 70. We’re a car length away from the car ahead of us and all is flowing in the world of traffic. A little ahead of us in the slow lane was a tow truck. It had a beat up piece of shit on the bed and it was towing another beat up piece of shit. Off to the crusher, I think, wondering about all the trips to family BBQ’s, and the beaches and prisons to pick up wayward cousins those cars have seen.
Suddenly, and please remember, I am not a mechanic nor have I ever played one on TV, the left rear tire (to show you how not a mechanic I am I actually typed right at first) started shaking. ‘Hmm,’ I think in my not mechanic head, ‘That’s highly unusual.’ Moments after saying that the hubcap shook free of the vehicle and started bouncing, flying across traffic. I think I saw bolts bouncing but it could have also been any other part of the car that was now exposed because the right rear tire was now as free as a wobbly bird going 70 miles per hour.
I can hear cars behind us jam on breaks to slow down. That may have worked for them but we were in closer proximity. The tire is keeping up with traffic which is now cars behind us slowing down, cars ahead of us speeding up and us, we and the car directly in front of us, pretty much in the path of this bouncing, rolling, unsteady mass of rubber. It was like watching the movie Rubber right in front of us (sans the explosions I’m hoping).
The tire bounces, hits the ground but has enough momentum that only two things can happen.
1) it hits the side of the car in front of us because the tire seems to be honing in on it or 2) it misses the car in front of us sending it into the guardrail where it could possibly bounce back to our truck. There’s a third option but at this moment I’m damn sure it’s going to hit something.
And I was right. It bounced and hit the passenger door of the car in front of us. It sort of climbed up the car and seemed to pick up more speed, if that’s possible. I could hear the woman driving that car, which is trying to be carjacked by a tire, even though hers and our windows are closed. She must be a loud screamer.
We’ve slowed down as the car in front of us sped up as the tire bounced along barely losing speed. They pull to the middle and frantically try to get away from this demon tire. I lose sight of them because, at this moment, the tire is in front of us. I know you may not think so but that’s a good thing. I’m gonna keep my eye on this bastard. Which is still going our speed which is 60.
But it’s slowing down and, lucky for us, it’s continuing it’s path left toward the side of the road. But because there’s a guard rail there it’s still not safe to pass. Once it’s kinetic energy begins to be eaten up it slows down so we high tail it out of there.
I checked behind us as we drove away and the car that was attacked was still navigating away from it’s attacker and the tow truck, sparks flying off the spot where that tire we’ve been talking about was, is shaking to it’s stop.
Then I spent the rest of the afternoon placing lawn gnomes around the yard.
After we completed that most urgent of tasks we were quickly informed that next week I get to make some new corpse buddies because there’s an emergency in gutter alley!