I don’t know why the events of last night cancel each other out and just not occur at all. I was heading into Queens to meet up with a few friends for Vince’s birthday. I gave myself some extra time to get there, but used that time to detour to my bank. While cruising down the Long Island Expressway, I felt a shuddering. My wheels made that sound they make when you drive over the grooves on the side of the road that were intended to wake up sleepy drivers. I was in the left lane though. I immediately pulled over and inspected my vehicle. The front passenger side tire, one of the newer tires I had put on just a few months earlier, was completely flat.
In a slight panic, and realizing that I was just a few hundred feet from the next exit, I grabbed a can of Fix-A-Flat and emptied it into my tire. I knew the can had enough air to slightly inflate a slightly deflated tire, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference this time. I pulled out the air compressor I keep in my trunk, but it would not engage. It was a cheap plastic one, and has helped in other situations, but it wasn’t going to do me any good anymore. I realized that I would have to change the tire.
I’m no mechanic, but I can cover some of the basics… I emptied my trunk onto the side of the roadway and began unscrewing the components of my spare. It would have taken me at least another thirty minutes to get the car up on the pathetic scissor jack included with the stock spare tire of my Scion tC. I was dreading having to cancel on my plans when a vehicle pulled up behind my car. The yellow spinning lights on top indicated that this was a rescue vehicle. I was hoping for one of the H.E.L.P. trucks which provide free assistance to roadside travelers, but it turned out to be a tow truck driver between jobs looking for a quick dollar.
Realizing that I had the situation under control, he gave me his card and offered assistance if I wanted it. I didn’t need it but I knew he could change a tire in a fraction of the time it would have taken me. I took him up on his offer and let him do the dirty work. In seconds he had the car up on the air-jack and changed the tire for me. Despite the trouble of the flat, I was fortunate he pulled up when he did. He made a quick twenty bucks and I made a quick getaway from the situation. I arrived in Queens just in time to park and hitch a ride with my friends as they were heading out.
Is it good luck that I got a flat but recovered, delayed only fifteen minutes? or was it bad luck still, as I now have to deal with a flat tire? I guess my luck was split somewhere down the middle.