Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Car Troubles

So, as Lydia and I were on the way home from Athens, I get a text message from my friend Tabitha, who wants to hang out.  She was just getting off work, and would meet me at my house in a while...  However, she works in Simpsonville, and Lydia and I were almost to Simpsonville!

Lydia and I discussed it and decided she'd drop me off with Tabby in Simpsonville, which would be good for her because she could just go directly home from there, instead of having to drop me off at my house.  And this would be good for Tabitha, because she could save gas. Not only would she not need to get me, but since she and her husband share a car and she'd have to pick him up from work in Simpsonville when he got off, she and I could just stay in Greenville county until then and save lots on her gas. And me, I got to hang out with Tabby. So it was a win-win-win, right?

Well, we got off 85 and were on our way... I'm not sure which highway we were on, but the speed limit was 60 and suddenly we were going 40... Lydia was slamming her foot down on the gas, but it didn't go any faster! Luckily this happened right near our exit.  We got off and kept getting slower.  When were were going less than 15 miles an hour, Lydia pulled over and turned the car off. According to the GPS, we were six minutes from Tabby's work, so I called her to get us.  While we talking about this, Lydia tried turning the car back on. It worked!

So we figured we'd be able to make it six minutes to Tabby's work, and then we could figure out what was wrong with her car, right? Well, no. It made it less than half a mile, then got worse! We pulled into a church parking lot JUST as the car died. We coasted to a stop and I called Tabby and Lydia called her parents, who told her to call AAA. They have a membership.

Tabby got there in under ten minutes, and we all transferred to Tabby's car. AAA had told Lydia it'd be an hour... and it was pretty much that exactly.

I think God was looking out for Lydia and me by having Tabby text me, because if he hadn't, we'd have been on I-85 when the car stuff happened, and who knows? We may have gotten into an accident instead of being able to pull into a church parking lot.

It was SO hot!  Tabby tried to run the ac, but because the car was still, it really wasn't doing much.  Meanwhile, this church apparently had something going on Sunday evenings because even though no one had been there when we pulled in, suddenly all sorts of cars kept appearing. And Lydia had parked right in the middle of things!

In order to cool us off, Tabby tried to drive the car a little, but as we went to pull out of the parking lot on one end, the driveway was crumbling away from the road and we hit the gap with the front of the car. So we backed up and just stayed in the drive. It was a weird parking lot, half paved, half gravel, and switched back and forth.

The tow truck arrived, and gave both Lydia and her car a ride home. So Tabby and I left.  On our way to CiCi's for dinner, we almost got into an accident! We were in the middle lane of a three lane highway, and the car to the right of us just changed lanes without looking! If Tabitha's reflexes hadn't been fast enough we would have been side swiped for sure, or if there was someone on our left, we would have been slammed into them. I was sitting on the passenger's side, of course, so I could see the driver clearly, and he didn't look in our direction even once! I am not sure if he had any idea we were there at all, even though he came within six inches of hitting us.  Tabby honked after she righted her car, but by that time they'd pulled ahead and so even if they looked, I think think they had no idea how close it was. 

As Tabby and I got the restaurant, a storm was rolling in which great gusts of cool air and we wondered why it hadn't come an hour earlier when we were trapped in the hot car with Lydia... but oh well. The pizza was good, and after we went shopping a series of random stores just for something to do...

When we came out of Ross, Tabitha noticed the driver's side rear tire was flat! So we pulled across to the Spinx, Tabby exclaiming the whole time it didn't feel like she was driving with a flat.  We put air in the tire, and then Tabby admitted she felt a difference. We didn't know why it was flat and hoped the air would be enough for now. Tabitha and her husband had just replaced the front two tires the week before, and had planned to replace the rear tires after the next paycheck anyway, so hopefully adding air would make it last until then...

We went to Walmart, then went to pick up her husband from his work. When he came out, the tire was even flatter than before!  So we call drove to another Spinx to try to put enough air into it to get home.  But when Jeremy knelt down to hook up the air hose, he noticed what was causing the flat, and thought no amount of air would make it really drivable. The tire was missing HUGE chunks of rubber and was showing damaged spots of wire.

Tabitha started going on (and on and on) about how she didn't know she hit anything. And honestly, I don't know when she did because I never noticed she hit anything. We did tell her husband that church parking lot was weird, but he dismissed that, because was parking lot gives flats? I theorized that it was probably broken glass on the road. He just said he didn't care and tried to get Tabby to drop it.

But Tabitha (like me at times) can be way over analytical. So, upset, she just kept on talking about it. Jeremy was busy taking off the tire and getting out the spare. Tabby turned to me and said, "It couldn't have been when we tried to pull out of the parking lot was it?"

I said, "I don't see how, it hit the front of the car."

At this point her husband, who I think had honestly not cared what had happened until this was said, exploded, "You said you didn't hit anything!"  I tried to explain that it was like bumping into a curb, and that we had actually told him about church parking lot being weird, but I think he thought the combination of Tabitha's inability to stop babbling about it with what he saw as an inconsistency meant he thought we may have been lying and we'd actually hit something all along. Now, I'll be honest, I don't know that's what he thought because he's an extremely hard man to read who never lets anyone in on his thought process (and I'm someone fascinated by the way people think, so this makes him a puzzle to me) but he got very short tempered after this...

However, it wasn't just that which aided his temper! It was also the fact that the spare tired didn't fit! The amount of holes for the lugnuts didn't match! The car dealership which sold them the car had cheated them!

So he had to put on the flat tire and we drove half a mile to a tire place. It was like 11:00 pm or so, and it was closed, but this way the tire would be replaced in the morning... so Tabby called her dad to come get us.

Then Tabby was freaked out that her father would be angry because I was with them, so she just didn't tell him until he showed up. She was freaking he wouldn't be willing to take me home, so she was saying I could sleep on an air mattress at their house.  I was willing to do that, but this was becoming a very long day and all I really wanted to do was curl up in my own bed, with my dog, and on the phone with my Ryan.  So I hoped her father would take me home...

And he did. He didn't seem particularly upset about that... he just seemed upset in general that he had to wake up to drive to Simpsonville (from Woodruff) to get them in the first place. I was just icing on the top of his irritated cake.

Anyway, that was my adventures with cars on Sunday! I hope that Lydia's car is easily fixed and that Tabby and Jeremy found a way to get back to Simpsonville to pick up their car from the tire place. But I honestly don't know, because I've not gotten to talk to them yet.

I do know that I was able to sleep in my own bed, with my dog... though I didn't get a hold of Ryan until Monday. But then we had a long and amazing talk and that makes everything better!

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