Friday, December 16, 2005

You know, I couldn't make this stuff up....
This has been the most trying week I can remember in a long time. You already know about the first flat tire on Sunday.

Well, on Wednesday morning, while driving to my PiYo class, the low fuel alarm chiming, and thinking I needed to stop and pick up 2 birthday cards that were going to be late, I was pulled over by one of Plymouth's finest. He cited me for doing 30 in a 25 mph school zone. Busted...meanwhile, I'm praying that the car doesn't run out of gas while he's back in his car checking me out in his computer. I mean would he be inclined to take me for a can of gas after writing a citation? Not to fear, I did make it to the gas station on fumes.

So, Wednesday evening rolled around. I'm an elder at our church, so there's mail for me to attend to. I decided to wait, attend the evening Advent service, and do mail then. Since I was only going to be gone a short while, I put supper in the oven and didn't put it on "timed bake" since I would be home by 7:00. Upon walking out of church at 6:40 PM, I discoverd another flat tire, this time the driver's side rear...flat to the ground. Did I drive on it like that?

Called dh at work, who was just getting ready to leave. Explained the situation to him and he agreed to come home first, turn off the oven, then come to my rescue. He tried filling the tire from a scuba tank, but the tire wasn't holding air at all...I must have driven on it all the way to church. ARGH!! So the weird little spare tire went on and we drove home as the snow was beginning to come down.

Thursday brought heavy snow warnings, with snow coming down hard at 7:00 AM. Getting the tire fixed was Job 1, since I had a dr. appt. at 1:45 PM that had already been rescheduled once. Drove the vehicle in, the tire could not be repaired, hence waited an extra 45 minutes for them to get a new tire from another store. Finally at 10:30 AM, they tell me I'm good to go. I start driving down the road and it sounds like I'm driving a bucket of nuts & bolts. Hmmm...drove to the next gas station and checked....the tire people threw the spare and the jack-set in the back of the vehicle rather than putting it back into the little well designed to hold it. After I spent a nice long time in the driving snow pulling that out and putting it together right, I figured it would be good to double check the tire pressures. I mean, why would I assume that having had one tire repaired and one replaced in the past 48 hours, they would have put in the right amount of air? Guess what...4 tires, 4 different PSI's...none of them correct. More fun in the slushy snow, letting air out of over inflated tires and pumping it into under inflated ones. GRRR...lesson learned, when you buy a brand new tire, that's all you get. Am not sure what it takes to also get service.

Today, Friday, arrived. Christmas is breathing down my neck and there's much to be done. As part of my errands, I threw two bags of clothing in the car to put in one of those drop-boxes that sits at the local BP station (my feeble attempt at FlyLady clutter control). The opening was high as I tried to push the bag into the receptacle. So I reached up with my other hand, which was holding my keys, to give it a push. You've already car keys, house keys, remote entry fob, and all of the little ID cards from the library through the grocery stores went into this very tall locked metal bin.

I went into the gas station to ask the attendant if they have a key to the box. Nope...they know nothing. I called both of the numbers on the answer at one and discontinued service on the other (who ARE these people?!)

So I did the only other thing I knew to do: call the police (yet one more encounter with Plymouth's finest!) Fortunately, I know the police dispatch number by heart...our residential phone number for the past 27 years is only one digit different and one year (about 16 years ago), they published our number rather than the correct number on one of those little community service magnets for the refrigerator. (Yes, that was a year of very interesting phone calls...)

The policeman (Not MY policeman from Wed.) arrived in his patrol car. All of a sudden the gas station owner is interested in my plight. (Again...who ARE these people?!) He was not happy that I called the police, but he wasn't interested in helping me either. The kind policeman called a locksmith and asked him to help me out. The one hitch, the locksmith wanted me to call him myself. So, I called the locksmith and after telling me that I'd have to wait around 2 hours, he wanted to know who was going to be liable for any possible damage to the collection box as a result of this escapade. By this time, I am a quivering bowl of jelly. I will pay, pay, and pay to retrieve those keys. I'm sure my desperation came through, I won't say loud and clear because by this time I was weak and trembling. He said..."I'll come myself, see you in few minutes."

The Town Locksmith (yep, that's the name on the big 350 Econoline Van) arrived almost instantly and out jumped the person most likely to pass for a garden gnome. I'm not his thick navy sweater, knit stocking cap, and his cute little jeans. His face was buried in a steel gray beard and mustache, with a perfectly round, upturned nose. Meanwhile, the gas station owner is still kind of agitated. The Locksmith gnome worked his magic on the gas station owner (it was like he sprinkled fairy dust!). Then he got his toolbox/stepstool (don't you love when an item serves dual purposes?), pulled out his lock pick set, and sprung the lock in seconds. My keys never looked so good to me!! I happily wrote the locksmith a check. The gas station owner wanted to know where he could get a lock pick set...(once again...who ARE these people?!) And we all departed the scene.

So: 1 traffic citation: $100
1 destroyed tire replaced: $116
1 emergency locksmith visit: $65
1 quiet Friday night at home with Dove Dark Chocolate Promises and some mindless knitting: Priceless!

If you are reading this and think you should be getting a Christmas card from me this year....consider this your card.


  1. Oh, Valerie, I hope you can forgive me for laughing but the whole account truly was priceless!

    I hope your weekend goes much more smoothly.

  2. Oh, Valerie! What a week! Sounds like the whole year's bad-karma tried to squeeze itself into 6 days. Forgive me, too, for laughing so hard I'm crying! Merry Christmas - I hope you have smooth sailing from here.

  3. whoa! It was priceless - and you tell it so well!

  4. Anonymous9:22 PM

    yep priceless...i am a valerie young also..hheheh...sounds like my life..hahah

  5. Whoa, Valerie, I thought these things only happened to me...those flat tires, are they contagious??

  6. Anonymous7:33 PM

    Ah Valerie,
    I can't beleive all this happened in such a short span. I think I would rather sit at home with my chocolates and ring in your birthday and New Year than head for Pennsylvania but I'll be here waiting for you and I think I better come up with something real special, like right now.

  7. Merry Christmas to you, Valerie! 'See' you in the New Year. Happy Holidays & Peace to All.

  8. Oh Valerie! What a calamity! I hate to laugh over someone's obvious "series of unfortunate events" but it this a wonderfully written story!


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