Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lights, sirens, action

Over the past year or two, Tim and I have had this recurring discussion.

"Kim, we need a new mattress. This one is getting a dip in it."

"It'll be fine, we can't afford a new mattress." And he would agree, and we'd let the matter lie for awhile, but this year, the "little dip" turned into a canyon and Tim was left clinging to the center of the mattress as the side dipped away at an alarming slope. So we went out this weekend, tested some floor models and came to a decision. Yesterday I took the kids to make the appointed purchase.

I never should have left the house. Mary wasn't feeling well, the baby was teething, it was drizzly and cold and generally just a cruddy day. But I pushed on anyway, loaded the kids up and headed down the highway.

Not two exits down after Providence, my car ran over some debris in the road. I heard a thump, what sounded like some metal, but I couldn't see anything and the car seemed to have taken it in stride, so I continued to the store. I gave the undercarriage a look in the parking lot, but everything seemed fine. I kept insisting I smelled fuel, my mother in law kept telling me I was nuts, if I'd broken the line, I'd have known it long before. I agreed and drove with the windows down.

Well, later that afternoon I bought some gas, enough so that when I returned home I noticed the puddle under the car. Further investigation turned up a big gash in the side of the tank. I called my mechanic.

"We can get you a tank from a salvage yard," the man on the phone said. "Just get it towed here."

Is is bad that until that moment it hadn't registered with me that I couldn't just get in the car when Tim got home and drive it to Warwick?


No one ever called me a car person.

So I called AAA.

"Sure, we can tow it for you," they said. Excellent, I thought. "You just need to call the fire department and have them check the car, it takes like five minutes, but they have to say it's safe to tow."

So I started Step 4 in what was feeling like a very long process and called the dispatch line, who promised to send "someone" out shortly. I figured they'd send a car with a firefighter in it.

And then I heard the siren.

My girls were thrilled as they watched from the door and saw a massive firetruck, complete with whirling lights and siren, roll up in front of the house. And I was thrilled when some of the best looking men I'd ever seen in my life got off that truck. (What? I'm looking at a pricey car repair here, I have to take my cheap thrills where I can get them.)

"I have a gash in the gas tank," I said. Firefighter A took a look.

"I guess you do!" he said. "I can fit four fingers in there! How'd you drive this thing home, anyway?"

"I don't know," I said. "Is it safe to tow?"

"Oh yeah," he said with a laugh. "It's empty. You can have it towed."

And away they went.

AAA arrived...and promptly towed the car to the wrong bodyshop. I spent the morning rectifying that.

With any luck, the car should be back at the same time the mattress is being delivered. I thought I was hot stuff because I'd managed to save about $300 on the bed's purchase price by comparison shopping.

The universe has a funny sense of humor.

Is it socially acceptable to begin drinking at 11 a.m.?


  1. Um, who cares if it is socially acceptable? By all means! I think you've earned it.

  2. I've always called 11 am "whisky o'clock"...

    And mmm, I do love me some firefighters.